Operation 5,000m PB – Week 6

Well – 1st attempt at breaking my PB and I came close, but fell just short. I finished 9th in the Briggs Classic in 14.12 and to be honest, I never felt I would break my PB, despite coming close in the end. The race started slowly for the lead pack with a 2.53km and I stayed with the pack until about 2.5km where they started to gap me and I found myself leading round the 2nd pack (just like my last race – Zatopek 10km…!). I hit 3km in about 8.33 and so was still within PB touching distance (my PB is 8.30 pace though 3km) and while I tried to pick up the pace, I actually slowed a bit. I rallied reasonably well with a 63 last lap and held off the young bucks behind me (again like Zatopek 10k), but tweaked my hamstring in the final few metres.10924222_632180126909139_2458897362945397810_o

I had one of those moments where you see someone coming back to you (in this case Swede Mike Ekvall) and although sprinting hard already, wondered if I gave it EVERYTHING I could get past him, and indeed, if I really cared about giving it everything. I was coming 10th, and I knew I wasn’t going to get a PB, so what was the harm in cruising in 10th? I got angry with myself for thinking about it, so went all out for the final 30m, and then felt a little ping in my hamstring. That’ll teach me…. At least I beat him though.

1 Brett Robinson 91 VICTORIA 13:43.13
2 David McNeill 86 VICTORIA 13:45.56
3 Ben St Lawrence 81 NSWIS 13:52.51
4 Jack Rayner 95 VICTORIA 13:55.14
5 Mitchel Brown 88 VICTORIA 13:59.73
6 Brenton Rowe 87 AUSTRIA 14:02.50
7 Duer Yoa 89 VICTORIA 14:04.05
8 James Nipperess 90 NEW SOUTH WALES 14:10.10
9 Ben Moreau 81 GREAT BRITAIN 14:12.31
10 Mikke Ekvall 89 SWEDEN 14:12.73
11 Riley Cocks 95 SOUTH AUSTRALIA 14:13.88
12 Stewart McSweyn 95 VICTORIA 14:14.74
13 Nick Wightman 85 VICTORIA 14:15.53
14 Craig Appleby 84 VICTORIA 14:20.97
15 Ethan Heywood 92 WESTERN AUSTRALIA 14:22.66
16 Reilly Shaw 95 VICTORIA 14:24.43
17 Joshua Tedesco 91 WESTERN AUSTRALIA 14:32.93
18 Alan Craigie 83 ACT 14:34.75
19 Dylan Evans 92 NORTH LAUNCESTON 14:41.56
20 Toby Rayner 86 VICTORIA 14:45.29
21 Grant Page 82 NORTHERN SUBURBS 14:58.04
— Michael Marantelli 87 VICTORIA DNF

The training build up:

Monday – PM – 69 mins home from work at 6.45/mile and 132bpm/148max  (10)

Tuesday – AM – 40 mins easy at 7.19/mile at 125bpm/137max (5.5)

PM – Track session – 3 x 2k alternating laps at 64/74 (5.40 per rep if we get it dead on), off 5mins . Felt really comfortable and ended with a 60 and got told off. We shared the pace but reps were 5.48, 5.43, 5.39. 153bpm/188 max. (8.5)

Wednesday – PM – 73 mins very easy with Nipper at 7.21/mile. Nipper always does a good of making me run slow so I choose to run with him on race weeks! 126avr/145max (10)

Thursday – AM – 35 mins jog into work. 7.17/mile and 136bpm/163max (5)

PM – 45mins back home from work again! Put 7mins pick up in at about 5.34/mile and in the 150s HR. (7)

Friday  – 30 mins easy at 7.18/mile and 127bpm/136max (4)

PM – Flew to Hobart.

Saturday – PM – 25 mins easy and some strides. (3.5)

Sunday – 5,000m Briggs Classic – 9th in 14.12. (8)

61.5 miles

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 5 with Noosa Bolt 5k

I guess I could be working while everyone else is at the Melbourne Cup, but seeing as productivity in Australia has ground to a halt, and I’ve already done a couple of Sporcle quizzes today then I shall use my time to write a blog on some running I did last week.

The plan for last week was to do an almost full week of training and then race the Noosa Bolt 5k at the end of it. I’ve missed too much time to have an easy week and so I need to cram in all the training I can.beach

The Noosa Bolt 5k itself was really cool. It’s a sideshow compared to the Triathlon festival that goes on in Noosa that weekend. It’s the largest triathlon event in the Southern hemisphere apparently and the usually quiet, small beach resort-town of Noosa was rammed with athletes and had a great atmosphere


The race itself is 4-and-a-bit laps of a 1200m circuit that’s really just 600m out, around a cone, and then back again. this makes it great for spectators, but also leads to lots of slowing as you navigate the hairpin turns. I knew I wasn’t going to set the world alight here but was hoping to be in the mix with my 4 training partners who were running. I started off reasonably steadily in about 15th place, and moved through the Racefield as the race went on. I probably shouldn’t have let Roffy and Jeff get away from me early on, as this isolated me a bit and meant I got the full breeze in my face for half of the loop. As things turned out, I moved into 8th place and was slowly gaining on Roffy and Jeff but couldn’t get close enough to challenge them. 8th place was where I finished, in 14.57. My Sydney Running Academy teammates all ran to form really – Nipper had a strong run for 2nd and young Jack Stapleton challenged well for 4th. Jeff, Roffy and myself all need a bit more training in our legs. Still, 5 in the top 8 for this Asics sponsored race makes the sponsors happy.



The biggest disappointment for me was that I wasn’t on the warm-down party that got lost and saw an echidna in the national park. I’m yet to view one of these prickly little chaps and so that would have been excellent.

Anyway, here’s last week’s running:

Monday – 68 mins very easy. Felt really dead after the hot long run the day before, so just kept it slow – 6.48/mile (10)

Tuesday – AM – 38 mins easy (5.5)

PM – Quarters on the track – 14.25. Averaged 68-69 for the 400s, and 38-39 for the 200s. Felt tired still. (8)

Wednesday – 90 mins very easy. Felt tired again…. 7.20/mile (13)

Thursday – Am – 42mins easy (6)

PM – 43 mins easy (6.5)

Friday – 38 mins easy (5.5)

Saturday – Noosa Bolt 5k (9)

Sunday – 2hrs 15 around the National park and Noosa coast. Started off with a few wrong turns – sand, steps, hills. I found the last 15 mins really tough as the humidity caught up with me. But again, got it done. Pace hard to tell as Garmin got lost in the woods. (20)

83.5 miles. Calf threatened to get sore after track and race but held up ok. Just got to get the training done and hope things start to click soon.

whiskyAt the end of it Amelia had booked lunch at a very nice Japanese restaurant called Wasabi. Here’s some sort of glass decanter they keep their whisky in.

Commonwealth Marathon Reflections

Well I’m now back in Australia and awake at 4.45am and so am putting my jetlag to good use with a few feelings about my race last Sunday. I finished in 14th place, in 2.16.50, and was behind my other 2 England teammates (fact for you – apparently the oldest ever trio of Commonwealth teammates – combined age of 109 and I’m the young one!). Coming into the race I’d had some very mixed form, with a pretty disappointing 12k XC and a 30.13 10k. However, my longer stuff had gone pretty well and I’d not suffered any big interruptions to my build-up so the fitness was there, I was just struggling for form over the shorter distances. I’d also made a few changes to my training and diet – incorporating more of longer efforts at marathon pace and less carb reliance, and the point of this was to make me more of a ‘diesel’ engine which would actually explain the drop in form over shorter distances.

One of the difficult things with being in the athletes village building up to a race is the amount of time to think and you have to really focus to not let the negatives creep into your thoughts. The rest and recovery is a definite positive, but it’s a tough test mentally I think. I definitely had moments when I doubted my ability to run a good race and had to force myself to think rationally and positively. The way I dealt with that was not to think about the time I wanted to run, but just to think of it as a race, and take out the mental pressures of all the splits I need to run. I’d also had a tight hip flexor for 2 weeks but there’s nothing I can do about that on race day so just pushed it to the back of my mind.

So, to the race. It was a 9.02am start so I got up at 5.45 and got some food and then got the bus with the team to the race start, where we sat and waited. It was a nice drizzley day –  a relief after the hot days we’d had previously! Finally, the days of waiting were over and we got underway. My plan was to try and get in a group that was moving at a pace that felt comfortable enough, and for the first 5k, that was the lead group as the race started cagily. We moved through 5k in 15.45 or so and the pace felt ok. Not super easy, but ok. There were a couple of moments where the lead group surged a bit and slowed, but soon after 5k, they surged away and left a group with the 3 English guys, Derek Hawkins (Scotland) and Martin Dent from Aus. I knew there would be a few casualties from the lead group so I sat in this group, not really thinking about the pace we were running at, but just what felt comfortable. As it was, we were actually running at sub 2.14 pace, so reasonably quickly.

IMG_025510468026_10152656121035786_6527339620950002992_o (1)

I still didn’t really feel comfortable at this pace. I knew I had to stay with the group, but it didn’t feel super easy, and that was worrying me a bit. Steve and Nick seemed pretty comfortable, but there were times when I would drop off by a few yards, and then work to get back to the group. All I was telling myself was to back my strength, and to stay calm. I wasn’t looking at my splits – I didn’t want to know if I was slowing down. I wanted to just think of it as a race and not a time trial, as this made me feel more confident and positive.

The crowds were amazing all of the way round but as we looped back towards the end of the 1st of 2 laps we hit the crowds again and the noise was amazing. I was trying to identify familiar faces in the crowd and was getting a lot of shouts but there were so many I couldn’t do it! There were a few moments that were real hairs on the back of your neck moments and I’ve only ever experienced that before at London marathon. Certainly a far cry from the 14 spectators and a monkey at Delhi!! At one of the points Steve surged a bit and gave a fist pump to the crowd. I was thinking ‘keep calm Steve, long way to go yet’, but clearly as it turned out he had things well under control!

As we hit halfway, this was the first time I looked at the clock – 66.50. I was now dropping off of the group and was finding things tough. The course is 2 13.1 mile loops and I actually quite liked it. IT had a few short hills in, but the final 10k of each loop is a gradual downhill. I knew I was going to find 20-30k quite hard, with the hills and the breeze that was getting 1547914_10152656121645786_1816168415355164899_o (1)stronger. As I started running on my own the negative thoughts came back. Should I drop out? How bad is this going to get? Is my hip flexor going to hold up? The answers were: you don’t drop out, whatever happens. You can’t let people down by dropping out. As to how bad, well just run at the pace that feels manageable. Hip flexor – forget about it. It hurts a bit, but it’s doing ok.

Somewhere between 20-30k I passed Marty Dent who had a bad day, but the other guys were pulling well clear of me. I kept telling myself that everything can change in the final 10k and just hold it together. I struggled up the hills and the windy sections and knew I was slowing down but now just wanted to get to the final sections of the race. Weirdly, something Steve said to be at the start of the week came into my head: think how happy you’ll be on your honeymoon (I head to Bolivia this week!) if you can sit back and think you gave it everything. That was all I thought about for a few km – being satisfied with myself and not giving in.


I got to 35k and thought – I’m not dying, this feels ok. A couple people started coming back and now I told myself I could push hard and try and pick people off. I could see in the distance that Nick Torry was coming back, but Steve and Derek were a long way ahead. I rallied a bit in the last 5k and picked off 2 Africans and was gaining quickly on Nick but eventually ran out of road and finished 15 seconds behind him.

As I finished I saw Mike Shelley vomiting but with a flag draped on him and asked Liam Adams how he did who told me he won. An incredible run. Another incredible run was from Steve Way – 2.15 for a 40year old and another big PB. Legend.

I’m still not sure what to think of my race. On one hand, 1 minute outside my PB on a course that isn’t super fast and with a slight lack of form, isn’t bad. On the other, people ran PBs and I still feel I’m not getting the marathon performance I should be capable of. It was a tough slog for me and I never really felt great – unlike Fukuoka where I felt incredible for so long. My hip flexor was very sore afterwards but will assess it when I get back into running and see if it’s ok.

The atmosphere was amazing – and I actually really enjoyed the course too. Enough variety to keep things interesting without making it super hard! Highlights on the course were spotting several people I didn’t expect to; being shouted “Go on Wales!”; several people trying to say ‘Moreau’ and failing; and someone obviously thinking I was French and shouting “Allez, allez allez!”…!

I’m extremely proud to have made it to two Commonwealth Games – I would never have thought that was a realistic thing to happen. It’s also been a privilege to have Nick and Steve as team-mates, and to have had so much support on race day and the build-up was fantastic.

In any case, I have 2 weeks in Bolivia to reflect and not run, so will enjoy that greatly 🙂


5k – 15.49
10k – 15.45
15k – 15.51
20k – 15.46
Half – 66.50
25k – 16.29
30k – 16.56
35k – 16.34
40k – 16.26

Results here