Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hickson Road

There's something about Hickson Road. 5 x 1.2km off 2 minute rest sounds fairly straightforward, but it's run at a constantly uncomfortable pace so the whole session is painful. It was made worse today by the hot and very humid conditions - felt that I had no strength in the legs at all.

Huge crowd today (must have been 15+) with Charlie, Serg, Enda, Anthony and Phil Woods running towards the front. My reps went:

3:52; 3:48; 3:44; 3:44; 3:37

Couldn't believe how slow the first one was, and how hard it felt running it. Wasn't helped by the fact I ran the first two by myself up front. Joined by Serg on rep 3, Anthony on rep 4 and ran the final rep accelerating all the way with Enda and Charlie (who pulled ahead at the end). To think that six months ago I used to average 3:35 for these...

MC and Durante were taking it easy further back in anticipation of the Striders race on Saturday. Will be interesting to see what times they run. On current form I reckon Mike would have a chance of cracking 34 on a flat course so I reckon 34:2x on Saturday. Durante would run sub-30 if he did some consistent training.

Looking forward to going along to lapscore Kanser and Tucks at the State 5km tonight. Don't envy them running in these conditions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Easy 10km

Normal flat route at work. It was supposed to be easy but the combination of yesterday's session in my legs and the heat and humidity resulted in it being a bit of a slog. Half way in 22:02, got a second wind after about 7km to finish more strongly in 43:16.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


45 minutes Fartlek - 1 min fast, 30 seconds slow. Sounds a lot easier than 30 x 1min off a 30 second active recovery. You tend to hit a low point at around 17 minutes when you think the session is never ending, but the last 10 minutes seems to pass quite quickly.

Started with a good crowd of me, Ray, Serg, Anthony, Gerry, Darrens (Quarrell and new chap (asked his surname but I was knackered when he told me and I've now forgotten)) , Tim C, Enda, Toby, Adam C and Luke. Over half fell off before the end so that only Tim C, Darren New Chap, Enda, Adam and myself finished. Ray (who only planned to run until halfway) ran at the front with me following until Ray dropped out, then I ran at the front with Anthony, Tim C and Enda (who is going very well) variously joining in. It was very hot today which made the session very tough. Had to stop for a water break at the top of the Domain. Cut short the Domain section and ended up finishing slightly further around under the bridge from last time so we probably didn't cover as much ground. We chucked in the occassional easier 1 min rep for the group to re-form (which strangely coincided with when I was feeling a bit tired).

Great 10km race training. Just a shame I won't be running one until March.

Beaky - good to hear from you. Hope the stress fracture has healed and that the recovery continues to be successful. Would be good to see you back on the racing circuit in the near future. You don't want to be rowing in Canberra in Winter. You'll get stuck in the ice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Public holiday Monday

Just a 1km swim in the Manly Boy Charlton pool. 23:48. Felt pretty tired today, probably due to the lack of swimming as a result of the increased running. Legs were sore today after yesterday's effort (particularly the thighs) but haven't felt the achilles all day. Saturday nights/Sunday morning's rest seems to have done the trick. I'll give it a day's rest each week. In fact, worringly, the left achilles was more sore than the right today.

Have added a photo taken this afternoon of Charlie and the older kids with his new armbands. He's taken to jumping in, with assistance (at the moment).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Long run

26.3km. 2 loops of the 10km route plus to Shelly and back. Took it much easier than last week knowing I was running further. Felt fine until 20km onwards when the legs felt very tired (lungs were fine) partly due to the heat. Hot in the sun - amazing how much easier it feels running in the shade. Splits went 14:01, 27:40, 44:23 (for 10km), 58:12, 72:01, 88:47 (for 20km), 102:35, 115:57. Good to keep an even pace (check out that 10km/20km split) but struggled to do so at the end.

No problems with the achilles. In fact, went to bed last night without doing the exercises (I was knackered and "Sense and Sensibility" wasn't keeping me awake) and it felt a lot easier this morning as a result.

A few quick notes about some great performances recently. First, my eldest brother Jamie who set himself the target of beating 40 mins for 10km at Christmas and did so in fine style this morning running a 39:26. Secondly, Dave Sweeney setting an Australian >45 3000m record in 8:56 seemingly running by himself, and Keith running a 4:11 1500m on Thursday aged 53 (presumably an Australian >50 record? Hope to be out there challenging you both soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Steady 10km

Standard flat Manly route. Struggling not to push these steady runs. Probably something to do with feeling as though I need to test myself each time given the limited training I'm doing. 40:40 all up. Started at the bottom of Surrarow, 3:52 at long car park, 16:50 at Shelly, 29:30 back at car park. Achilles has been stiff recently.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tempo 10km

The boys were meeting to do 400s/800s today at Rushcutters Oval and I knew my achilles wouldn't appreciate it so hooked up with Springer who suggested a tempo 10km. The idea was to go out at 4:00 per km pace. Given Gerry is the unofficial Striders 40:00 10km pacer, a man sought out for his metronomic pacing abilities, I told him he should lead the way and I could follow safe in the knowledge we'd bang out a 40min (well, 40:10 as it is 10.04km) run.

Well, Gerry's fired. We hit the halfway point in 17:52 (about 3:33 pace). At that point, we agreed to take it easy on the way back. Started out by jogging then gradually picked up the pace from end of Farm Cove before finishing in 37:31 (19:39 for the back 5:02km - about 3:55 pace). Not quite what either of us had planned, but a good run nonetheless. Pretty hot out there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some swimming

Achilles more sore than recently this morning, no doubt due to yesterday's efforts. Eased up during day but sensitive again this evening after sitting down for a long meal. Just 700m swimming in the Boy Charlton today. Not enough time and too busy (went at 6pm).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back with the Boys

6 x 5mins with 90 seconds rest. Good crowd today with Tucks, Charlie, MC, Michael Harrison, Serg, Anthony, English Andy, Tim C, Durante, Aus, Enda and others. Kanser joined us half way through after running a tempo 5km. Plan was to take it easy in the middle of the pack and be dragged around. Wasn't confident about staying the distance after a month away from proper training. Took the first 3 pretty easy in the pack, then started to push the last 3. Was struggling a bit more than usual but held on stronger than I had expected. Was overtaken only by Charlie, Tucks and Michael on the last rep. I think we averaged about 3:23 per/km for the first 3, 3:18 for 4 and 5 and 3:10 for the final rep.

Notice that in my absence:

1. MC is a lot stronger. He's a chance for going sub-34 if he can translate his training form into racing.
2. Kanser is much stronger. I'm sure Sunday's run/race was an aberration.
3. Anthony and Serg are well below form (or taking it easy).
4. Tim C and English Andy are going well.
5. Tucks is as consistent as ever.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Two days in a row!

Went out for an easy 10km at lunchtime with Kanser, chatting about all things running, marathon preparations and the meteoric rise of Mike. Just the flat 10km route again in 44:52 (22:32 at the turn). Achilles feels good. Still love those shoes.

HB - would have been keen to run the 5km or 10km on Friday 9th but I'll be in London. Looks like you've picked the old Striders course which I've always fancied trying - should be very quick.

TJA - crawl is an Englishman attempting Freestyle. Bollocks to your high mileage - I challenge you to a triathlon with my new found swimming prowess...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Medium Long run

Got out for my first early morning run since starting training again and aimed to run either 16km or 20km on the flat. Plotted this almost exact 10km route which doesn't have the hint of a hill in it - we should make a race out of it

Ended up doing the loop twice. First 10km in 43:02 (splits of 13:38 at Shelly and 26:56 back to the car park) then second 10k in 42:21 (equivalent splits of 13:21 and 26:32) for 85:23 all up (about 4:16 per km). Pretty tired by the end. It was warm and humid although still with cloud cover. Bumped into Pete Walker and Dave Le Banh on the second loop and a bunch of the Striders running the Dee Why Dash STaR. Achilles was fine - didn't feel it until the last 3km when it started to feel more sensitive due to getting tired. We'll see how it is tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More swimming

Another 1km in the Manly Boy Charlton pool. 22:33. Proof today that my crawl is now a lot quicker than my breastroke - I was losing about 10 seconds a length on the chap in my lane on the breastroke by gaining on the crawl.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mixed but gotta love those Trainers

Woke up with the achilles more sore than recently so spent a while stretching it out. Headed out for 10.1km (route shown here on the G-Spot Findometer.... in the new trainers at lunchtime and they felt fantastic. Couldn't feel the achilles after the first km (was more concerned about a pain behind my knee). As a result, I lifted the pace from half way. Reached the turnaround in 20:45 and then completed the out and back in 41:06. Love the shoes. You can always rely on the Germans. I'll try a flat (and it is dead flat) 16km on Sunday.

Forgot to mention the very exciting news in my blog yesterday, being of course King Kev's return to Tyneside. And in an equally heroic return, he'll be joined by the deity that is Shearer. Will we never learn? Still, should be a fun ride for a while...

Thursday swimming

Popped out in the late afternoon to the Cook & Phillip for the usual 1km swim. Felt really strong on the crawls today and clocked 23:06 even though I rested at a few of the length ends. Achilles was a bit more sensitive today than usual despite a lot of ice last night but still good enough to test it with a 10km tomorrow in the new shoes.

Just back from watching American Gangster down in Manly. Great film - Denzel Washington was fantastic and our Russ was as credible as ever.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Almost back to normal

14km run home from work. 30:48 at the Toyota Garage and 58:38 all up. Felt very easy. Was aware of the achilles as usual, particularly on the hills. Having said that, couldnt tell whether it was the achilles or general tightness around the ankle as a result of trying out a heel wedge in my shoe. Won't use it again, particularly given I've just bought a new pair of shoes (Adidas Adistar Control) which feel great.

Attempted the longer run 'to test out the achilles. Feels fine now but we'll see in the morning. Back of knee was a bit sore up and from the final hill after Spit Bridge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ice Addiction

Saw Caleb this morning. Suggested some new exercises and a certain pair of shoes. Doesn't think pronation is the problem though, just over extending it through excessive training. So continue the exercises as before. He's suggesting 6 months to get back to pain free running though. I preferred Tara's 6 weeks. Achilles felt great today when not running, but aware of it all the way when running, albeit not painful.

Ran the flat 5.1km to the Opera House gates (20:51) then back around and cutting back to the office at the Art Gallery. 8km in 33:37. Then put the good old ice on. Nearly didn't get out today as I'd forgotten my kit other than my (soon to be replaced) shoes. Scrabbled around the office and found my Gold Coast 10km T-Shirt (one size too small) and an old pair of football shorts (3 sizes too big - like the pairs Ray wears). Looked like a tool and got a few strange glances but just happy to be out running.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Woke up for the first time in 2 months able to walk to the bathroom without hobbling. The ice and increased exercises (added another Yellow Pages last night) appear to be working. Have an appointment with Caleb Wegener tomorrow but will cancel Tara.

1km early in the morning in the Boy Charlton Pool (Manly). I've gotten soft with too much saltwater swimming - it was tough this morning. 25:26. 2 minutes slower than last week. Beginning to wonder whether I miscounted the lengths and added another 2.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday 12th - more running and getting excited

Saturday 12th

Drove to the car park next to the bridge at the end of Queenscliff lagoon and ran to shelly and back. 6.3km in 26:23. 13:25 on the way out and 12:58 on the way back. Aware of the achilles but nothing more. Iced it afterwards following Richard P's suggestions as to how he got over his. Feeling more confident.

Friday 11th

1km swim in Boy Charlton Botanical Gardens. Achilles feeling good today.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another run

5km route again very easy. 22:04. Achilles the same as Tuesday - felt it in first 2km and then gradually eased throughout run, although maybe not as much as on Tuesday. Feels good again now. Let's see how it is tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reaction and swimming

Achilles reacted badly to yesterday's run. Very sore this morning, particularly when doing the exercises (which it hasn't been before). Only easing slightly this afternoon. It's going to be a long and slow recovery.

1km swim in the Boy Charlton (Botanical Gardens) this afternoon. Beautiful day and the beautiful people were out in force. First 10 lengths crawl then alternating. Again - much easier in the saltwater. Felt quite comfortable the whole way.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Test run

First test run back. Very flat (slightly downhill) 5km from the office around to the Opera House. 21:46. Very conscious of the achilles for the first 2km and then it gradually eased. Couldn't feel any problems with the achilles after the run (best it's felt in a while) but keen to see how it responds in the next 24 hours.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tiger and a swim

Easy Tiger massage followed by 1km in the Cook & Phillip. Massage sorted out a number of problems. 23:30 for the 1km swim. Not sure I can go much faster without doing more crawl - was knackered at the end today and took a few gulps of water along the way.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Continuing to improve

1km in the Boy Charlton (Manly) in 23:50. Felt much stronger again, using the breaststroke as recoveries for a concerted effort on each crawl. Only first 150m crawl though. Will have to start increasing this.

Ran there and back. Could feel the achilles but it's getting much stronger.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hackett watch out

Another 1km in the pool today down at the Boy Charlton in Manly. 25:10, but only the first 3 lengths crawl (must have been the saltwater yesterday). Legs and arms are starting to coordinate better. Can't wait to get back running though. Met Richard Green, Jaap, Jonathan and Joel down at Scoozime in Manly this morning then bumped into Dave Robinson on the Corso. Seeing fellow Striders makes me realise how much I miss it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Physio and swimming

Saw Tara this morning. Plan is to take 7 days off completely, then start very slowly back - 5km every other day, building up distance, then speed, then to every day over a period of 6 weeks. Have also increased the number of reps on the exercises - can feel the calf getting stronger.

1km swim in Boy Charlton in Botanical Gardens. Easier again - first 6 lengths crawl then alternating. The buoyancy assists with it being saltwater.

How do you do deep water running and where do you do it without looking like a tool?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

More swimming and better news

1km in the Cook & Phillip. 27:00. First 150m crawl today then alternating. Felt much better than yesterday. Tried out some of HB's recommendations. No pain from the achilles today and it felt much easier when I woke up. I've added weights (2 copies of the Yellow Pages) to the eccentric exercises. Seeing Tara tomorrow so will ask about gentle running and new shoes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Start of swimming

1km swim at Boy Charlton in Manly. First 100m crawl, then 50m breaststroke, 50m crawl. 27:58. Absolutely knackered on the crawls.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Out for a while

Achilles reacted badly to yesterday's run so I've decided to stop running for a while until I can sort it out properly. Every time I sit down to rest, and particularly when I get up in the morning, it's very stiff such that I'm hobbling about until I can stretch it out. I can't contemplate doing any proper sessions when it's like this so it's better to bite the bullet now. Spent a very depressed day coming to this decision. Not helped by being permanently knackered. Needed another 2 hour sleep today over lunch.

I'm just going to concentrate on doing the exercises (most literature suggests 3 months until they show any effect and I've been doing them for a month) and will start swimming to keep vaguely fit. Anyone who has ever seen me swim will be laughing at this point.