At about this time of year, when the first signs of spring appear, be they wattle blooms or bees or blowflies, I have usually had enough of winter running and start to anticipate all the pleasures of Canberra summer - especially those Thursdays at Bruce Athletics track, with sunlight until 8:30pm, watching or competing in races over 400, 800, 1500, 3000, 5000; and dinners at Zeffirelli every couple of weeks after most customers have left.
This summer there will be a new initiative on Thursday nights. The competition subcommittee is still in the process of completing the program, but the decision has been taken, I believe, to have a new award for the 3000m event, starting from day one of the season, 20th October.
The 3000m is a good event to focus on in the track season, because
(1) It is short enough to race regularly because recovery is quicker than for a 5000 or a 10000, i.e. racing it each Thursday should not compromise one's day to day training.
(2) Even a runner in marathon training can successfully race 3000s and improve their time, on marathon training alone.
(3) 800s particularly, and 1500s, because of the faster pace of these races, can sometimes cause injury problems for Veteran runners who train over long distances moving down to race on the hard surface at the AIS.
(4) For runners whose specialty is the 400/800/1500, the 3000 is a good distance to move up to as a runner should find it a lot easier to maintain a good pace over that distance than over longer distances, which tend to become a jog and which therefore can produce loss of leg-speed for the shorter races. In other words, a middle distance runner should be able to move up to 3000 and gain endurance without losing their middle distance speed.
(5) The gap between 1500 and 5000 is too big; 3000 bridges the gap nicely.
(6) One's 3000 time can be easily reduced with specific focused training.
(7) I like the 3000 because I still hold the Australian M35 record, set in 1984!
The plan is to have a 3000 metre event at 6pm; the first event each Thursday night. It will not be combined with the 5000. (Any 5000 will be at the end of the night). Even if a steeple is programmed, a flat 3000 will still be run. This means that in a twenty week program there will be twenty opportunities to run 3000s. A ranking list will be kept of the average best eight times of the twenty. At the end of the season the best male and female who have completed at least eight runs will receive a trophy.
So let's get our long winter races out of the way and start thinking about the 3000.
Crazy Costumes At Bay To Breakers
39 minutes ago