Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back on the Track!

Today marked the completion of a big weekend of sporting activity.  Friday evening, we had the fire brigade winter competitions.  This is a fun social night where we run a few of the dry events in teams drawn out of a hat.  I did quite well, scoring a first, second and fifth place.

Yesterday was the cross country breakup and 800m handicap as described in yesterday’s post.

Today was a full track and field meet at the local athletics track.  The weather was cool and sunny with a light north wind which favoured the 100m and 200m events.  I entered the 100, 200 and 400m as my main events, and added the shot put and discus for something different.

While I’ve been training consistently, a couple of things in the lead up added a little challenge.  Last Sunday during speed drills I stressed my left hamstring slightly, though it didn’t affect my training.  On Thursday I did a lot of speed, starts and acceleration which worked that area a fair bit, and it remained a bit tight on Friday and through the activities of the last few days.  I also had some coordination issues with my block starts on Thursday which really affected my starts.  Possibly something I’ve just become aware of with increasing awareness.

First up was the 100 metre event.  This was the most likely time for something to go wrong.  For my start issue, I tried a visualisation (it’s actually more a sensory immersion in my mind) technique to get my first step right.  I have used similar techniques in the past for a lot of physical activities, including teaching myself to swim as a kid.  From my practice starts, it was obvious that this technique worked.  Anyway, with a bit of caution during the acceleration, I ran a (official electronic)  PB time of 13.41.

Next up was the discus.  Here I was in it purely for the fun.  Managed one legal throw with a distance of a bit over 12 metres. :)

The 200m was my third event.  This one felt really good the whole way, got off to a good start, and for the first time, maintained full effort for the entire distance - the first time I’ve been able to do this.  My time was short of my 27 second goal, but still a PB at 27.11.

Following the 200m after a long wait was the 400m.  My goal here was to break the minute barrier.  With the slight breeze not being optimal, this was going to be a tall ask, but I was out to give it a go.  My first 200m was quite fast, with a friend recording it in a similar time to my 200m race!  For the rest, I maintained as much speed as I could manage.  Ran 1:03.72, 0.37 seconds outside my PB.

To finish the day, I competed in the shot put.  Like the discus, I hadn’t thrown a shot put since school.  Managed 2 legal throws, with the best being 5.06m.  Not exactly earth shattering, but I’m in this one purely for the fun. :)

Another good day, especially for pre-season. My fitness is better than at any stage last year.  Have to work on technque for acceleration and speed, and race strategy for the 400m.

Lookinf forward to next month’s final pre-season meet and the start of track season a week after.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cross Country Wrap Up

I’ve been a bit slack posting over winter.  I haven’t run any serious track and field meets since the Police and Emergency Services Games back in April.  Winter here is the time of cross country, which I did participate in most weeks.

Today was the break up of this year’s winter cross country season.  It was an interesting season, with a number of successes.  I won the 1km event by handicap a couple of times, ran the fastest on course time on at least 3 occasions, and just last week, took a massive 44 seconds off my 3km PB, banging it down to 13:33.

Today’s proceedings consisted of an 800m and a 3km handicap on the athletics track.  Being a sprinter, I opted for the 800m event, with the goal to get around in 2:35, and a handicap time corresponding to 2:40 for 800m.  Things didn’t quite go to plan.  I went out too fast, completing the first lap in 1:12, but not able to hold that for the second lap, finishing in 2:45, around my previous 800m PB.  Conditions weren’t ideal for me, with a headwind in the back straight.  Still have to work on race tactics a bit there, though if things go well, it might be the only 800m I run for the next 12 months, while I focus on the sprints.

Following the runs was the presentation of recent ribbons and the end of season presentations.  My 3km performance last week earned me a second place, which I already knew.  However, I did get a surprise, winning the overall fastest on course for the “short” distance (mostly 1km) event.  I won this by 4 points with a combination of regular attendance and some good runs (including the 3 fastest times mentioned previously).

Anyway, with cross country out of the way, focus shifts to the fire brigade and track and field season, which run over the warmer months.  Track season officially starts in early October.  However, there are a couple of out of season meets to come, the first being tomorrow.  I’ve entered the 100m, 200m and 400m, as well as taking on a couple of throws for the first time since school - shot put and discus.  Stay tuned! :)

- Tony via Tumblr