Operation 5,000m PB – Week 1

Well now that Zatopek is out of the way I’m trying to place what my next real focus is. I want to try and give my week’s training some context so you lot can tell what I’m building up to and see blocks of training that relate to something. With no marathons planned until the 2nd half of next year, I guess my next focus is trying to address my 5,000m PB in late Jan. Compared to my other PBs, it’s a bit soft at 14.09, and I’ve actually run a quarters session that would have been well inside it had I run any faster than a 41 last 200m, which I’m sure I could have done!

I’d like to go sub 14, and there are a few PBs in our group around the 13.55-13.58 mark that would be good to take down. I’ll need to move up another notch but if I can get some good weeks in now I believe I can do it. So that’s my focus for the next 6 weeks.


A rare track foray – but something I need more of.

Monday – 90 mins brisk at 6.21/mile with Dave Byrne. As per usual recently, straight after a race I feel a lot better! (14)

Tuesday – AM – 35 mins easy (5.5)

PM – 80 mins easier than yesterday at 6.40/mile (12)

Wednesday – 90mins steady at 6.26/mile (14)

Thursday – AM – 45 mins easy at 6.55/mile (6.5)

PM – 66 mins steady at 6.36/mile (10)

Friday – 35 mins easy (5.5)

Saturday – AM – Mona fartlek around Centennial Park. 4.10 miles (4.53/mile average). Felt pretty good and was about 50m behind Nipper and just behind Josh. (9)

PM – 44 mins easy (6.5)

Sunday – 2.15 long run at 6.25/mile. Pretty humid day again but felt pretty good. Was up the front of the group with Nipper. (21)

104 miles. Threw in a few longer runs seeing as there weren’t many sessions this week. Felt pretty good and my Mona fartlek at the end of the week was much better. Especially considering the work Xmas party the night before (I bailed early though).

Zatopek week 11 – Race week

Very boring post but it’s here for ‘completion’ Race report can be found here

Monday – 68 mins easy home from work at 6.50/mile (10)

Tuesday – 8 x 200m off 2 mins in 29-31. (6)

Wednesday – 33mins easy (4.5)

Thursday  – ZATOPEK 10K – 8th in 29.30. (11)

Friday – 60mins steady at 6.19/mile. (9.5)

Zatopek Week 10 – week before race

Not much to say about this week – one hard session and easy running around it. Feeling pretty good for the race next week, but I’m not in PB shape I think.

Monday – 65 mins home from work at 6.29/mile (10)

Tuesday – AM – 38 mins easy (5.5)

PM – Quarters Track session – 14.04. Decent effort. Went out a bit hard in 65s and paid for it but still an improvement – was VERY humid. (9)

Wednesday – 79 mins steady at 7.11/mile. Kept it very easy. (11)

Thursday – AM – 38 mins easy (5.5)

PM – 64 mins steady with 7 mins pick-up at 3.20/km or so. (9.5)

Friday – 34 mins easy at 7.03/mile (5)

Saturday – AM – 71 mins easy at 6.59/mile and 133bpm average (10)

PM – 36 mins easy at 7.11/mile and 132bpm average (5)

Sunday – 91 mins easy/steady at 6.51/mile. Held back and ran easy with Zatopek next week. (13.5)

83.5 miles. Feeling pretty good going into Zatopek next week.

Zatopek 2014 – Race Report

Firstly, I’m sorry about the tardiness of this blog. It’s been a very hectic few weeks that I haven’t had the time. It’s at times like this I realise what benefits being a professional athlete would give me: time to blog. I guess another contributing factor was that my race was a bit ‘meh’. I mean it wasn’t awful – and signs of improvements were there – but it’s impossible not to compare it to the same event 2 years prior where I ran 50 seconds faster.

Anyway, the race. I was prepared to be caught in two minds early on in this race. Mind 1 was to go out with the lead group, and perhaps suffer the harsh pace I wasn’t in the shape to go with. Mind 2 was sit in the 2nd group, and feel like I was being a bit soft, but probably a better reflection of my form. So as I expected, I got caught between the 2 for the first 3k. The pace of the lead group quickly felt a bit uncomfortable and so I was basically waiting for group 2 to catch me up so I wasn’t too exposed.

2 laps in

2 laps in

The pace shouldn’t have felt too hot at the front though – I went through 3k in about 8.50 and at that stage didn’t think I’d even break 30mins. I didn’t feel good at all. When the 2nd group caught me I let training partner Brad Milosevic lead for a few laps so I could sit in and regroup. We hit 5k in about 14.50 and I felt a bit better, but the pace was slowing. I shared a few laps, and then Brad also did. No-one else in the group showed any inclination to do any work at all. You know who you are…

I felt bad for Brad doing the pacing – and he had more chance of a PB than me so I took to the front with 7 laps to go and tried to push things on a bit. I was actually starting to feel a bit better and the pace picked up from 71/72s to 69-70s. With 2k to go I was starting to get a gap on the group behind me and had a couple casualties from the lead group to chase. My 24th lap was a 66, but still had about 3 guys within a few secs of me, including Steve Dineen who I had just overtaken. A 64 last lap held them off and I finished in 8th in 29.30.

Given how I felt at 5k, this wasn’t a bad result. I was hoping for 29.15ish so I wasn’t too far away, so I guess I’m happyish with the race, just not too happy with my general shape at the moment.

It was great to see another training partner James Nipperess execute on his good training form and pop out a 28.54.

Zatopek 2014 Results

Zatopek Week 9 – Good Sessions, some Theatre, busy work week

The last full week before Zatopek and it’s starting to come together a bit. Sessions were decent again. Had a pretty tough work week also with 2 days of all day training, which meant some early starts but no real problems.

Cyrano De Bergerac

Other highlights this week were 2 trips to the theatre to see Switzerland and Cyrano de Bergerac. This makes me sound very cultured so I am writing about it so you get that perception of me. The backstory is that myself and Amelia get a season ticket to the Sydney Theatre Company each year which includes 6 plays and we had 2 this week. You sort it at the start of every year then just go to the plays when they come round. Most of the ones we’ve seen have been good, although Waiting for Godot tested my patience…

Anyway, here’s the running I did this week:

Monday – 66 mins home from work at 6.37/mile. Felt reasonable (10)

Tuesday – AM – 38 mins easy at 7.01/mile and 136 bpm (5.5)

PM – 3 x (4 laps @ 72s, lap in 1.45, 2 laps hard) off 5mins. 4.45, 2.09; 4.48, 2.08; 4.46, 2.05. I was pleased I could do each final 800 faster each time – didn’t think I had much more after the first one. Shared efforts with Yugi – Nipper a few secs ahead on the 800s.  (10)

Wednesday – 91 mins easy/steady. Had to do in the morning again as has an all day work training programme with ‘bonding’ drinks afterwards. 7.07/mile (13)

Thursday – AM – 39 mins easy into work at 7.11/mile (5.5)

PM – 10 miler home from work with 10min pick-up (5.25/mile) around the Domain.  143bpm and 6.14/mile (10)

Friday – AM – Pilates.

PM – 42 mins easy at 6.58/mile and 132bpm – (6)

Saturday – AM – 6 x Long Hill/Short Hill. Didn’t time the hills but 25.53 for full 6 sets with jogs. Was better than a few weeks ago – just behind Nipper (10)

PM- 46 mins easy at 7.21/mile. Had a nap and felt veeeery sluggish when I woke up! (6.5)

Sunday – 1.48 long run at 6.42/mile and 142bpm average. Glad it was only a shorter one – felt a bit battered by hills! (16)

92.5 miles. Decent sessions again – I should be at least coming into Zatopek on the up!

Zatopek Week 8 – Sessions of the Greats will make me Great. Maybe

Gammoudi beating “Pre”

This week was a tough one – 3 hard sessions crammed in and two which mimicked legends of the past – one is Mohammed Gammoudi who won the Gold in the 5000m at the ’68 Olympics. He would apparently do sessions where he started quite slow and ramped up and up through a rep of 3k or so. The session is tough as trying to run fast off about 10k pace, in a long rep, is pretty challenging, but great race simulation.

Steve with hair

The other was the classic Mona fartlek – a staple of Steve Moneghetti – an Australian marathon icon. For anyone that doesn’t know this session, it’s a 20 minute continuous effort with subtle pace changes over shortening time periods starting at 90secs on/off and ending at 30sec on/off efforts. It simulates surging mid race and pushes up your aerobic threshold as you practise a slight surge and then settling into a pace that is still pretty quick. This session is as hard as you make it really, so a good one in a hard week.

A tiring week but more progress.

Monday – 66 mins home from work at 6.33/mile. Felt pretty good (10)

Tuesday – AM – 36 mins easy at 7.05/mile (5.5)

PM – “Gammoudi’ session. This is 3 sets of 6 laps of the track at 80,80,70,70,2 laps fast. 5 mins between sets. I’d never done this before and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. 7.12 (2.12), 7.12 (2.09), 7.10 (2.09). A decent session again. (10)

Wednesday – AM – 87 mins easy/steady. Another AM Wednesday – these are supposed to be evenings really but circumstance dictated an early start. 6.52/mile. Felt pretty dead. (13)

Thursday – AM – 37 mins easy into work. (5.5)

PM – Dobroyd Hills – 2 x 6 x hill off 5mins. This felt awful. I don’t know if it was Tuesday in my legs, or the shock of 2 sessions in 3 days or what, but I knew from rep 1 this was going to be a struggle. Ranged 1.53-1.57, which reflects this! A few others also struggled. (11)

Friday – AM – Pilates.

PM – 56 mins easy at 7.14/mile – (8)

Saturday – AM – Mona fartlek – 4.03 miles in 20mins. Yugi and Nipper got away in 2nd half but a decent session at the end of a tired week. (9.5)

Sunday – 2.15 long run. Started early to try and beat the heat but it still bit! Last 30 mins was a struggle. 6.25/mile. (21)

93.5 miles. Another solid week and an improvement bar the tiredness!