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)

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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).

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