Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Midwinter Update

As June comes to an end, it’s time to take stock of where things are at.  Fire brigade is in recess for the winter break, and each of us are doing individual training to maintain fitness.  For me, that means athletics at the track, which I train all year round.  I have done a little plyometric work as well, though it has been hard integrating it so far.  These are the times when it’s good to have coaches to consult on how to tie the various components into a coherent and effective training program.

While on training, we’ve settled into a routine with a mix of speed endurance (which helps for my 400m runs) on one day and speed/plyometric/jumping on the other day.  I’ve also added a third day, which is dedicated to throws, and have been working on my shot put, discus and javelin on that day.  Hammer throw is something else I’d like to try.

There have been some promising signs in my training.  The latest is being able to maintain a 60 second 400m pace through a whole speed endurance session, and I didn’t feel too bad afterwards.  This had given me confidence in breaking the minute barrier for the 400m next summer.  Speed wise, I have had a couple of fast runs, but am still to prove I can generate that extra speed consistently.  Throws training has been very productive, with discus improving significantly to over 20 metres, while shot put has gained a bit too.  Javelin still needs a bit more work.  I also need to start incorporating the spins, shuffles and run ups.  Discussed a strategy with the throws coach that may work, by working on the run ups/spins separately, getting them right then integrating them with the throw, because attempting it all at once totally overloads my processing and the resulting throw is poor.

Competition wise, it’s roughly halfway through cross country season.  I have been focusing on the 3k events this year to try and get a little more endurance.  I’ve been able to get up to 4:50/km (14:30 for 3k) - nothing special, but reasonable for me.  More interestingly, that pace seems to hold for more difficult courses where others slow down.  Overall, I’m reasonably satisfied how cross country is going so far, even though I’m not going to break any records.  Soon, it will be time to switch to the 1km event and push my speed endurance to the limit to see what I’m capable of, after the training I’ve done so far.

We’ve had one out of season track meet so far, which has been described elsewhere, with another one coming up on July 8.  I’m looking forward to testing my 100 and 400m performances to see how training is tracking, along with shot put.  However, I have got into another interesting form of competition - virtual racing.  The idea is that competitors enter online, register with the race organisers, as well as the online GPS logging service that is being used for the virtual race.  A time period to complete the race is given, during which, competitors have to run the race, then upload to the tracking service.  After the race period, the organisers compile the entries and come up with a finishing order based on time to complete the specified distance.

In early June, I ran the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Global Running Day Virtual Mile.  As the name suggests, this was a virtual race of 1 mile.  I chose to run my race at the athletics track, where i had access to a measured mile.  In the virtual race, I recorded 6:41, but the GPS recorded me as passing the mile in 6:31, which was the officially recorded time.  In any case, this time was comparable to my 1500m runs from the pentathlon and decathlon around Christmas.

Anyway, my results were good, with the following:

Overall place - 209 out of 2868.
Gender place - 188 out of 1587
Age graded place - 88 out of 1587
Age group place - 9 out of 134
Finish time - 6:31
Age graded time - 5:42
Age graded percentage - 65.09% (shows I’m not a miler, as that’s well short of my normal 80-85% that I get in the sprints :) ).

According to Strava, I managed to be the fastest Aussie (out of 25), which was a total surprise!. :)

Link to the results are here -

I have since entered another two virtual runs, which I can do in one hit.  One is another NYRR event - a virtual 5k, while another is hosted by the Runkeeper service and is also a 5k.  Because the race periods overlap, I am able to run both races with the one event.  For this, I intend to run the local Parkrun on July 14th to log as my virtual races.  And because my GPS logging is synchronised to both Strava (which NYRR use) and Runkeeper, it’s easy getting my runs sorted.  This will probably be my last 5k for the year.

So far, winter is progressing well.  But there’s likely some big news on the horizon for the coming season, so stay tuned.

- Tony via Tumblr