Friday, November 13, 2015

Athletics week 6 - 200m magic and a nasty headwind

An interesting day on the track today.  Conditions were mild, but with a headwind starting at least as strong as last week and increasing from there at times.  This week, I entered the 200m and 60m events, same as last week.

Now that my injury issues are behind me, I could focus on running at my best.  The 200m started well.  Around 70-80 metres into the race, I felt the headwind take effect on the final part of the bend.  I noticed I was somewhere near the front of the field, so I gave it everything from there until the finish and hoped that my fitness carried me to the line, which it did.  End result was a new PB of 28.28 seconds (0.33 seconds off last week's time).  I also won my heat by 0.38 seconds.

The 60m sprint was run in difficult wind conditions, as the wind had picked up by this time.  Unfortunately, official wind readings weren't available, but by feel, it was probably in excess of 5 m/S.  I got off to a good start, but took a bit longer than normal to settle into rhythm (pity it wasn't a 100m event!).  Ran a solid 9.11 seconds, which was still OK, given that everyone else's times looked around 1/2 a second slower than their normal times too.

This week's relay was a 4x400m event.  There was no chance of a record this time around, as the existing record was set by a combination much faster than ours.  However, it was a great experience, as I had never run one of these relays before, but had watched them on TV.  I ran the second leg, which meant that my first change to receive the baton was done in lanes, then I was the runner to cut into the inside lane on the back straight.  Had a good run with a reasonably clean change to receive the baton, a smooth transition to the inside lane and passing another team on the home bend.  I finished my leg strongly, before passing the baton on to the third runner.  I really enjoyed this experience and look forward to the next opportunity to run a 4x400m relay.

Next week, it's back to the 100m and 400m sprints, as well as the 4x100m relay.  I'm also looking at competing in the long jump for something different.  Training wise, I still have to work on my starts to get out of the blocks faster, as well as more repetition, and managing the balance between my various training sessions.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Athletics - Week 5

So where was week 4 you ask?  It was on, but I had to pull out of all events due to injury.  Anyway, I came back this week, almost fully recovered from my injury, and now armed with a pair of spikes.  I had hedged my bets, entering the 800m, in addition to the usual 200m and 60m events.  The plan was to run the 200m, see how everything was holding up - if good, run the 60, otherwise run the 800, which wouldn't stress any weak areas.

First event was the 200m.  Conditions were tough, with a stiff headwind (later measured at 3m/S), blowing almost directly up the home straight.  This was my first actual race in spikes..  Anyway, I took the start a little easier than normal, so any acceleration issues didn't overstress my groin.  About 120m from home, I felt the full force of the headwind and felt it was safe to open up and hold that to the finish.  My energy held up and I finished strongly with a PB time of 28.61 (down from 28.96) seconds. 

Next event was the 60m sprint.  This would be a test of my recovery, as there's no room to take it too easy over such a short distance.  Got away to a good start, and cautiously accelerated to near top speed, finishing in a PB time of 8.70 (down from 8.91).  As is common for me, the effect of the headwind was hardly felt in the shorter race, doe to the excess power I have.  In both sprints, the spikes were certainly responsible for a significant portion of the improvement, as well as improved fitness, especially in the 200m.

To finish the day, we ran a "Swedish relay", which consists of 4 legs - 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m.  The teams were mixed together in age and gender, rather than tuned to win specific age groups, as this was more of a fun event, rather than a serious one.  I got the 300m leg in my race, which is towards the longer end of my range.  However, this run went better than I expected.  The whole 300 metres felt good, even the upwind in the home straight, just before passing the baton to the 400m runner.  This was my first experience with a "400m" style of changeover ever, which went well.

Anyway, a good day in all, I'm back on the track with a vengeance, and ready to build on this success.  Next project is to (carefully!) work on my starts and sort out the issues there.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Back in form. :)

Just about recovered from my injury.  Athletics training was cut short tonight, because of a thunderstorm which arrived just as we finished the warmup.  So, it was on to the fire brigade training.  Tonight, after the warmup, we had two 75 yard (68.55m) timed sprints.  My best time was 9.58 seconds.  Even allowing for this being hand timed, it equates to a time marginally faster than my 60m PB, nearly 2 weeks ago.  However, I was being a bit cautious, especially at the start and early acceleration phase, only opening up (and keeping that to 95%) relatively late in the run.

I'm looking forward to getting back on the track on Saturday.  - Tony.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

And now for something different.

Last weekend was a bit of a mixed bag.  My groin was still causing issues, and I was forced to withdraw from Saturday's track sprints.  However, on Sunday I had a 5k run, which I had entered ages ago.  In the longer, slower race, my injury wasn't an issue.  I had good results, running a PB of 25:37, just a fraction slower than my goal of 25 minutes (5 minutes/km).  As this was around 90 seconds faster than my previous PB, I was happy with the result.

Meanwhile, training goes on, and I'm steadily recovering.  Also had my first test run in spikes, which was quite successful.  Looking forward to when I can return to pushing the envelope. :)