Friday, September 20, 2013

Mixing it up

I'm now into week three of two track sessions a week. As I mentioned before I have a great, well maintained track less than 1km from my apartment. Even of an evening it isn't busy. Last night I shared the space with two race walkers, four or five 'joggers' and a frisbee match!

My sets are 12 x 400m reps at between 75-78 seconds a lap and 5 x 1km reps at 3.16 per km. Both hurt! The 400m reps start to hurt at about 150m and the 1km reps for the first 600m! I'm not used to that leg burn that comes from 'speed' and it takes a fair amount of inner 'persuasion' to finish a session. 400m seems no distance until you are into rep 4 or 5 and your breathing hasn't got time to return to normal and the burn hasn't left your legs. I would think 800m is probably the hardest distance to race as you are near maximum effort but have to survive two laps.

Nothing to do with todays blog! This morning runs upto Council Crest
The real purpose of this change of tack is to see if can improve my speed from 10k upto marathon distance. I haven't raced for a while, but my training times on routes seem to have improved marginally, especially uphill. The acid test will be a road race. This weekend is a 50km trail race at Mt Bachelor, where I don't expect to see any improvement UNLESS it's reasonably flat and untechnical.

What I am feeling is that my hamstrings are working harder and it's much more important to warm up and try and keep good form when running. It feels like something could 'snap' at any minute. Even a fifteen minute session (12 x 400m or 5 x 1km in 16 mins) feels like a decent workout and maybe it will wake up any fast twitch muscles which have been dormant.

I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that in a marathon the front guys run 42km at less than 3 minute a km with no breaks! I have a minute between reps and hang on for about 3.16 a km, for a maximum of 5k. I'd be happy to just lower my 5km PB/PR from 17.20 (World Record 12.37, that's 2.31 per km btw).

I'm going to keep this track thing going, hope I don't pull something and see how it impacts on racing. At the very least I'll know my legs can go nearer 3 minutes a km if only for a lap or two of a track. The early anecdotal evidence is that training runs feel slower than they are, which is a positive. Would be nice to run a track 5 or 10k at some point too.....


  1. Another thing you might notic is that you have been suing your arms more, so that is why your hill running has improved...

    50km is still a long way!

  2. I am a firm believer in having compulsory gear. We are never able to predict what the mountain will throw at us. I have experienced many times when I was thankful for lugging all that extra baggage up and down every peak.