Operation 5,000m PB – De-railed but back on track. Puns.

I haven’t posted for a while, mainly as my appetite to write about running always wanes when I don’t have good news to write about. The hamstring ‘tweak’ I picked up in the final 25m of the Hobart 5,000m actually set me back about a month. I did manage to run in this month to varying levels but had to take about a week off, and then thought all was ok, but it wasn’t quite and returning to hard training too soon cost me even more time.

The good news now is that it seems to be ok – I am back to full training and hopefully can be fit enough to run a 5,000m PB in 3 weeks time in Melbourne. Here’s a summary of the past few weeks:

Jan 26-Feb1

Mon – Ran for about 25 mins but then hamstring was really hurting so walked/jog back….

Tues – REST

Weds – REST

Thurs – 4 x 4mins jog off a minute walk. Felt ok but not brilliant.

Friday – 5 x 4mins jog off a min – a bit better than yesterday.

Saturday – AM – 5 x 5mins jog off a min walk. Felt better again. Much less pain.

PM – 30 mins jog continuous. Can feel it but it’s runnable on at a slow pace.

Sunday – 46 mins easy. Better again.

16 mile week – BOOM!

Feb 2 – Feb 8

Monday – 58mins steady at 6.41/mile. Getting back in business. Better again (9)

Tuesday – AM – 37 mins easy at 6.54/mile (5.5)

PM – 66mins steady at 6.36/mile. (10)

Wednesday – 79 mins steady. Progress again. Kept it slow at 7.11/mile with Nipper. (11)

Thursday – AM – 37 mins easy (5.5)

PM – 60mins with 20mins threshold. Hamstring held up fine! 5.47/mile (10.5)

Friday – 57 mins easy at 6.54/mile (8.5)

Saturday – AM – 8 x 2mins off 1 min float. 4.58/mile average overall. Felt pretty good and no hamstring pain. Took the pm off to help recover. (10)

Sunday – 93 mins. Hamstring was sore…. Could feel it from the start and after 50mins or so it was getting noticeable so I cut the run short a bit. 6.41/mile and 143bpm average (14)

84 miles. 2 steps forward, 1 step back….

Feb 9 – 16

Monday – 62 mins steady – hammy got sore after 40 mins or so, will need a few easy days I think… 6.34/mile and 134 bpm (9.5)

Tuesday – 32mins jog. It felt ok 6.43/mile and 130 bpm (5)

Wednesday – 33 mins jog at 7.03/mile and 136bpm (4.5)

Thursday – 45 mins steady at 6.48/mile and 134 bpm. (6.5)

Friday – 53 mins steady at 6.55/mile and 132bpm (7.5)

Saturday – 65mins steady at 6.25/mile and 144bpm (10)

Sunday – 2hours steady. It was hot and hamstring felt fine but I felt awful. 6.33/mile and 151bpm. Although hit 181 at one point!! Still, a good long run at least (18.5)

60.5 miles. Had to ease back but getting there.

16 – 23 Feb

Monday – 68 mins steady at 6.45/mile and 137bpm (10)

Tuesday – AM – 36 mins easy at 140 bpm and 7.12/mile (5)

PM – 69 mins steady at 6.49/mile and 139 bpm (10)

Weds – 91 mins steady. Felt awful. Too early in the morning. 6.56/mile and 137bpm (13)

Thurs – AM – 38mins easy at 7.02/mile and 136bpm (5.5)

PM – 64 mins with 2 x 7mins pick-up. Hamstring fine but felt crappy again. 6.29/mile and 147 bpm (10)

Friday – 49mins easy at 7.14/mile and 130bpm (7)

Saturday – SESSION! 6x2mins off 1min float. Hamstring felt fine again. Held back a bit just to protect it. 4.58/mile (10)

PM – 37mins easy. No pain! Progress! 7.00/mile and 129bpm (5.5)

Sunday – 2hours long run. 6.25/mile and 143bpm. Felt miles better than last week. 162max not 181…. (19)

95 miles. I think I’m properly back running again!

Feb 23 – Mar 1

Monday – 45 mins steady. 6.28/mile and 141 bpm (7)

Tuesday – AM – 39mins easy at 7.13/mile and 139bpm (5.5)

PM – 6x800m on the track off 2mins. Started slow and built into it, but no pain! 2.20, 2.14, 2.13, 2.14, 2.13, 2.13 (9)

Wednesday – 88mins steady at 6.58/mile and 144bpm. Felt CRAP but hamstring fine. (13)

Thursday –  AM – 38mins easy at 7.04/mile and 130bpm (5.5)

PM – 62mins steady at 6.30/mile and 136bpm (9.5)

Friday – 55mins easy at 7.00/mile and 131bpm (8)

Saturday – AM – 8 x half lakes off 1min. 1.59, 2.17, 1.58, 2.15, 1.57, 2.15, 1.55, 2.13 (10)

PM – 38mins easy at 7.03/mile (5.5)

Sunday – 2hr15 long run. Man it was hot and the last 40mins were horrible. Still, got it done and Nipper hated it as much as me so that’s comforting.6.28/mile and 150bpm (21)

94 miles. Hamstring seems fine!

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

Operation 5,000m PB – Week 5

A good end to Falls Creek and then kept the end of the week steady as we returned to absorb the training load. A wise man called Ben St Lawrence warned against overdoing it when you get back down from Falls and ensure to allow the body to absorb the training. A wiser man called Ken Green already knew that and had given me my training accordingly!

Will taper a bit next week for attempt #1 at my 5k PB!

Monday – AM – 67 mins steady out and back at 6.41/mile. (10.5)

PM – 37 mins easy along Baby Aqueduct at 7.04/mile (5)

Tuesday – AM – 20mins tempo, 5 mins  steady, 10 mins tempo. Did it on the road. Felt so nice to be running on the road again!! Felt pretty good – 5.02/mile pace for 20mins and 4.52/mile for 10mins. (13)

PM – 37mins easy along Baby aqueduct at 6.59/mile (5)

Wednesday – AM – 90 mins and kept it pretty easy and pretty flat.6/43/mile. (13.5)

Thursday – AM – Quarters session. Again! Felt a bit better this week. 15.40 – still slower than week 1 though but have a lot of miles in the legs. (9)

PM – 37 mins along BabAq at 7.05/mile. Last run at Falls Creek! Has been a great block of training. (5)

Friday . PM – 47 mins easy at 7.11/mile. 133 bpm average 146 max – back to using the heart rate monitor. (6.5)

Saturday – AM – 69mins steady at 6.50/mile. 139bpm and 156max (10)

PM – 35mins at 6.40/mile and 131bpm/148max. (5.5)

Sunday – 2 hours steady around Centennial. Held back a bit to make sure I didn’t overdo it. 6.35/mile and 143bpm/165max (19)

103 miles.

Operation 5,000m PB – Week 4 (More Falls Creek)

Another really good week at Falls – this week is interesting because the sessions and structure don’t change week to week. So you can see if you’re adapting to the altitude, and also assess the effects of extra runs, on hilly terrain, and more intense sessions. We had an excursion to Bright on Friday to sample the delights of the Brewery which was a nice break. The Stubborn Russian Porter at 8.9% is one to try. Once.

I had a great Tuesday session, and a tired Thursday session, but did some beautiful runs along the peaks and also another really solid long run with Yugi, so a positive week. Despite a horrible blister that put a dampener on things….

Monday – AM – 70 mins steady out and back at 6.41/mile. Felt pretty good (10.5)

PM – 36 mins easy along Baby Aqueduct at 6.54/mile (5)

Tuesday – AM – Mona fartlek. 4.0 miles at 5.00/mile. Felt pretty good today – 145m further than last week, so some good altitude adaptation. About 70m behind Nipper. Then doe 5 mins of 60m hard/60m float. (11)

PM – 37mins easy along Baby aqueduct at 7.10/mile (5)

Wednesday – AM – 1hr41 up Mount Spion and back. 6.58/mile. This was a tough run. 530m of elevation and pretty rocky and uneven underfoot. Some amazing views though. Worth doing. Once. (14.5)

IMG_0733

We made it to the top!

Views from Spion - pretty!

Views from Spion – pretty!

Thursday – AM – Quarters session. And my first tired day! I was well overdue one so not overly worried. My resting Heart rate was 47bpm vs the 42 or so it’s been up here so I

More topless trail running!

More topless trail running!

was ready for it. I ran 15.44 – one of the few people who was slower than last week… The leaders ran 15.00, Josh was 15.30. Yugi just ahead, Carter just behind me.  (9)

PM – 37 mins along BabAq at 7.12/mile (5)

Friday – AM – 72mins water hut run. Felt much better today. resting HR back down to 42! (10.5)

Saturday – AM – Fitzy’s Hut. This was a bad idea. It had rained all night and the trails were full of puddles and the rocks were slippy. I was 2 mins slower than last week, mainly down to trying to keep my footing and get through it without injury. Kelly sprained an ankle and I tore my blister (inflicted by this run last week!) in a very painful way. I had to miss the pm run as a result.. (10.5)

Hurty blister

Hurty blister

Sunday – 2hours 15 on the same route as last week. Luc, Kelly and Ben St got moving at 4min ks and under pretty early on. My blister was AGONY on anything stony on a camber but I could run on it. We clipped along pretty well and I felt good. 6.10/mile. (22)

102 miles.

Operation 5,000m PB – Week 3 (Falls Creek)

Well this is the first full week up at Falls Creek, and the running is awesome. Beautiful trails, varied routes, and always a group of guys to run with. This gives it a good mix of social and competitive and also really helps distract you from the tough training! I’m really enjoying the extra recovery and the 9.30am leisurely starts and this is definitely helping me get some extra miles in. With this in mind, I’ve added in a few extra easy runs I wouldn’t normally do, to boost the mileage a bit.

Undoubtedly the running is pretty tough too. I’ve done 2 runs this week with ridiculously steep hills in and the terrain is always a little bit cross-country which works your core and feet as well as slowing you down on the faster sessions.

**If you want to read a non-runner’s perspective on Falls Creek, then you can read my wife’s blog here!**

Add in 1,500m of altitude and you have some tough training!

Monday – AM – 67 mins steady out and back at 6.39/mile. Felt pretty good (10)

PM – 37 mins easy along Baby Aqueduct at 7.18/mile (5)

Tuesday – AM – Mona fartlek. 3.9 miles at 5.07/mile. Behind Nipper and Josh but felt ok. Then did 1 mile of 50m hard/50m float. Sort of a baby Mona. (11)

PM – 36mins easy along Baby aqueduct at 7.05/mile (5)

Wednesday – AM – 90 mins at 6.44/mile. Really this was 7k hard up a mountain that got gradually steeper and steeper. I don’t think I’ve breathed this hard for ages as there is a bit of competition about getting to the top first and I really felt the altitude! I got to the top first though after 29.25 of pure uphill. Then we cruised back down. (13.5)

PM – 37 mins along BabAq at 7.06/mile (5)

Thursday – AM – Quarters session/race. I thought this would be chaos along a dual trail where you turn back every 600m but it worked out ok. There were a few casualties from New Years Eve which probably aided my finishing position of 4th – Nipper, Dave McNeill, Ben St Lawrence, then me. 15.37 for the 4.8km which apparently is solid. Nipper ran 15.03. (9)

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Quarters – trying not to fall down the ravine

PM – 37 mins along BabAq at 7.12/mile (5)

Friday – AM – Water hut run. This was a really pretty run and felt pretty good. Kept it relaxed at 6.47/mile (10)

Saturday – AM – Fitzy’s Hut. Jesus, this was hard. We ran steady for 30mins, then smacked it up a mile long hill (100m elevation in a mile), then you just carry on running hard along a rocky plateau, with wind in your face and uneven terrain. Then you fly down a hill and finish back along the road. We lost Kelly and Dave who went wrong immediate and

Fitzy’s Hut. We run around it.

added 5km down a HUGE hill before they realised what was going on. Again I was breathing like a suffocating trout at the top of the hill and had blurry vision. Ben St Lawrence took off and Brett and Yugi went past me also. I rallied a bit later on but was 1 min behind Ben and 20secs behind Brett and Yugi. 61.05 for the full 10.5 miles. The strava route is here. My feet were so tired from just trying to stay upright on the bumpy ground. (10.5)

PM – You guessed it – 37 mins along BabAq at 7.08/mile (5)

Sunday – Long run. Really ramped up the 2nd half as I felt quite good and wanted to catch Nipper who had got 1-2mins ahead, due to another ill-timed toilet stop (must underhydrate next time). Yugi then caught us both and I picked up the final 20mins a bit more as I thought I may as well make it a big effort while I was feeling good. Strava link here but last 10km was 35.30 ish. 6.14/mile (21.5)

111 miles.

Operation 5,000m PB – Week 2 (Christmas)

A slightly easier few days leading into Falls Creek. As per usual I hated life on the Dobroyd Hills sesson and Christmas with the Hanslows was, indulgent. However, I’ve now got 3 weeks of tough running at Falls Creek ahead of me and fell pretty good going into it. The Falls Creek Long run was awesome and I felt really good.

Monday – 66 mins steady home from work at 6.31/mile (10)

Tuesday – AM – 35 mins easy (5.5)

PM – Dobroyd Hills session – 2 x 6 sets of hills. Felt pretty crap. Ranged from 1.54-157 in 1st set and 1.53-1.58 in 2nd set. Was massively humid but I always just find this session a struggle! (10)

Wednesday – 90mins easy with Nipper in the morning. Kept it easy at 7.00/mile (13)

Thursday – AM – 78 mins in the Blue Mountains – Xmas Day run! 7.06/mile and prettttty hilly. (11)

Friday –  AM – 40 mins easy in the Blue Mountains at 6.54/mile (6)

PM – 40 mins easy at 6.47/mile (6)

Saturday – AM  – Travelled to Falls Creek

PM – 60 mins steady along the aqueduct at 6.42/mile (9)

Sunday – 2.15 long run at 6.24/mile. Really beautiful run in Falls Creek and felt really good. Nice doing a long run with no humidity! (21)

Pretty Valley at Falls creek – Long Run territory!

91.5 miles.

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.

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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).