Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, July 30, 2015 with No comments
Living in Canberra, the seat of government in Australia, I usually try to ignore what the pollies are up to, as it is all quite depressing. Had to laugh at this cartoon today, though. I don't think it got a run in the Canberra Times.
Thinks: probably the"L" should be highlighted rather than the "P".
Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 with No comments
Thursday Ruth, me, Maria, ran early; Julia, Kayla (new), Jen and Dave arrived at 5:30pm. It was a perfect Thursday night on the track, with fog rolling in after we finished, Julia ran a 5k timed run in 24:20, while Maria, Jen, Dave, Kayla and I ran random intervals and paced her.
On Monday Ewen and I ran 8k early. Julia and Marie are rumoured to have had a short early run as well. Then after our 5:30pm warm-up the group did some quick-cadence hills at the most sheltered hill, NE corner of Parliament House. Participating were Andy, Colin, Dan, Isaac, Jen, Julia, Lorena, Marie, Mick. Pieta, Ruth, Susan, Warrick and me. This was followed by a short attrition session before we enjoyed birthday bubbly from Julia (45)
Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, July 24, 2015 with 3 comments
I am impressed by an article linked by Scotty Imhoff which describes a speed session used by marathon runners. Read the full article at http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/yasso-800s. The session looks good because it would keep the mind focused on the marathon goal time during the key last three months of training, and it would provide the kind of speed-endurance training needed as part of any marathon preparation, being an alternative to some of the time trial and long interval sessions I have used in past years. And I assume it works. An excerpt from the article:
"And now you've got an easier way: you've got Yasso 800s. Want to run a 3:30 marathon? Then train to run a bunch of 800s in 3:30 each. Between the 800s, jog for the same number of minutes it took you to run your repeats. Training doesn't get any simpler than this, not on this planet or anywhere else in the solar system.
"Bart begins running his Yasso 800s a couple of months before his goal marathon. The first week he does four. On each subsequent week, he adds one more until he reaches 10. The last workout of Yasso 800s should be completed at least 10 days before your marathon, and 14 to 17 days would probably be better.
"The rest of the time, just do your normal marathon training, paying special attention to weekend long runs. Give yourself plenty of easy runs and maybe a day or two off during the week."
Sounds like a plan for some, for Thursdays at Dickson? Any interest?
Meanwhile in Australia: How to build community (not!)
Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 with 1 comment
Training last week at Dickson: Roger, Ruth and I trained early (4:15pm) when we could see and it wasn’t snowing; Jen, Susan and Thea trained at the normal time (5:30pm) and it was pitch black, freezing cold wind, and there were hints of snow. Ruth ran a paced 5k in 30 minutes plus; Susan a 5k time trial in 22 minutes.
Sunday at Stromlo Forest Park: Andrew, Dave & I ran intervals in the frost. Mine were only 100s, Dave's were 300s.
Monday at Parliament House:Paul, Marie, Julia and I ran early. The main session was a repeat of last Monday’s, a series of hill runs on 2 minutes. Participating were Alex, Andy, Bron, Colin, Isaac, Jen, Lorena, Paul, Ruth, Susan and me. Next week there should be birthday champagne, and the following week (3 August) we will retire after training to the Yacht Club for dinner.
Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, July 19, 2015 with No comments
Thought I'd publish a training program I devised for someone. I'd prefer they remain anonymous here in the blog, please. Of interest because the person receiving the program has mostly done long slow training and run some marathons, and this is by way of an experiment to see if a very different focus in training, for a while anyway, can produce a different result, either in the short term or in the longer term when reverting more to what they have done in the past.
Definition of insanity: doing what you have always done while expecting different results.
My new definition though: (once you have modified your training schedule,) train insane or remain the same.
I love the way those two sayings seem to contradict each other.
Here are some facts though: someone who for a long time has run short and fast should start running long and slow; and someone who has for a long time run long and slow should run short and fast.
What you should do for the next four weeks regardless of your longer term plans:
Mondays: our session on hills
Tuesdays: warm-up 1k: limber up & stretch: 6-10 x 100m: cooldown 1k
Wednesdays: 1k warm-up: 6k fast: 1k cool-down
Thursdays: 30 minutes of hill work (fartlek: vary pace; include rests)
Friday: repeat Tuesday session
Saturdays: race 5k (Parkrun)
Sundays: tempo 60 minutes or less.
Each day focus on speed.
There is no focus on distance.
You will miss a day if fatigued.
PLUS: Two, preferably three, sessions in the gym where you do intense interval training. probably not a spin class or a pilates class and the like. But "Active", "HIIT", "Power", "Circuit", or whatever equivalents there are at your gym, all good. If you can organise it, probably run after the class rather than before.
What else? Trust the program. Each week's parkrun will be faster than the previous week. If you stick to the schedule from Monday 29th right up to Sunday 26th (which could be a Vets Handicap day) we can progress from there.
Putting together a training program is rather like putting together a puzzle. It shouldn't be as difficult as some puzzles are, like the one illustrated.
Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 with No comments
Monday 13th at Parliament House: it nearly rained but it didn't. It nearly snowed but it didn't. We were well sheltered, but still felt a little of the breeze. I ran early, rugged up. I stayed rugged up as I joined the training group for a variety of hills sprints on 2 minutes. Only the hardy were there. This is true: the only males present were Isaac (aged 11) and yours truly (aged nearly 70). Where were all the adult males? The females were of course better represented, although some were missing. Jen, Pieta, Rae, Ruth, Susan & Vanessa did attend and were running strongly.
Thursday nights have been a slightly different story, with lights temporarily off, various anonymous people were running around in the dark at Dickson. Not everyone; a winter cold or flu has taken out at least six of the regular Thursday night-ers. Including me; I did not attend.
As far as lights are concerned, this Thursday all should be OK, the Kanga Cup has finished and hopefully normal service will have been resumed.
Meanwhile, John Kennedy's photos of the Mount Ainslie handicap
Medallists! Someone who was actually fourth, Janene**silver, yours truly**bronze.
Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, July 11, 2015 with 2 comments
I only had one run in Sydney last week, before a devastating cold started taking hold. Anyway here it is. An easy 10k run from our motel in Lidcombe. The rest of the week, health gradually deteriorated. Next time we stay in Sydney I might check in to a hotel with an indoor gym.
Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, July 10, 2015 with 3 comments
Mathematics will tell you that we can run faster by turning our legs over more quickly, and by increasing our stride length at the same time
Of course it’s not as simple as that; a host of physiological and psychological factors come into play as well; it takes many training sessions to condition our heart, lungs, muscles, and mind, to sustain a faster pace, to overcome fatigue and to tolerate, even welcome, good pain.
Let’s see how easy it might be to run faster if we address these two issues alone; cadence, and stride.
Running with a quick cadence is easy. We can get our legs moving at 180 to 200 steps per minute if we count “1, 2, 3” every second. We have to work on sustaining it; conditioning takes time. But if our cadence is slower than 180, we can run faster times right now with that simple adjustment to our running technique.
What often accompanies a quicker cadence, however, is a shorter stride. So while for a long time I have been encouraging my training group members to pick up the tempo of their running, it is time to consider what can be done about maintaining a good stride length, if not increasing it.
Another issue for us older runners is the effect of ageing. Stride rate changes little as we age. But stride length drops off significantly; extremely so. What can we do about it?
Without going into a detailed explanation, here are some recommendations we should all adopt if we want to do something about stride length.
• Weight training for the legs is essential; we must strengthen ankles, calves, quads, hip flexors and glutes.
• Squats and lunges can be practiced daily.
• Two or three sessions in the gym each week is ideal.
• Good exercises for strengthening glutes, for example, can be found on the internet.
• It is essential to develop a good warm-up routine, used before every run.
• Flexibility around the hips is improved by doing leg swinging exercises.
• The larger muscles should be stretched each day.
• It is a good idea to schedule some drills as part of a training program
• Stretch stretch stretch!
• Train for fast arms. Arms drive the legs.
• Train for fast legs. Don’t let the feet linger on the ground when you run.
• Light shoes help fast legs.
• A regular hill sprint session is recommended.
• Fast downhill running is helpful too.
I have had a terribly short stride in recent years. I am hoping I can correct that in years to come. I am hoping you are the same. Currently I am doing five gym circuits each week; two of them are intense. I haven’t started downhill training yet; I am waiting for my ankles to get stronger and my balance to improve. Improvement is happening; slowly but surely. Stretching is a bit hit and miss, but I do some stretching and mobility work before every run and in the gym every time I am there. In 2018 I will turn 70; yoicks! In 2018 I am planning to be running better than I am now. And that will only happen if I can increase stride length.
Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, July 08, 2015 with 1 comment
Every Monday the speedygeese training group meets at Parliament House at 5:30pm for - half an hour warmup, half an hour of intervals (currently hills), and a short cooldown.
Monday 29th June I was away, and a small keen group consisting of Colin, Jen, Isaac, Dan, Susan and Ewen (I think) ran some 200m, 400m and 600m intervals.
Then on Monday 6th July, I was back and ran 7k early, after which the group ran on the far SW hill a set of 22 x 100m sprints up the hill, om 80 seconds.
We focused on leg speed - 180 to 200 steps per minute for each uphill interval.
I ran some of the hill intervals. An easier session than usual as the hill is not the steepest we use.
Training with me were Alex, Andrew, Andy, Diana, Lorena, Pieta, Rae, Ruth, Susan, Vanessa and Warrick.
We learned why the name "Warrick" is spelt that way - he was born in the US and his parents didn't want the locals to mispronounce his name.
Don't forget we train at Dickson oval under lights every Thursday at 5:30pm too; and at Stromlo Forest Park Sundays at 7:30am (Brrrrrrr. Rug up).