Saturday, April 29, 2006

CR 5k

Today Total: 11k
Week Total: 51k
Month Total: 255k
Year Total: 967k

Another fine gathering of the clan CR this morning in showery conditions for the end of month 5k challenge. There was even a special guest appearance by none other than Jen_Runs who put in a blistering performance that made us all suspect she has been in sekret training.

I was feeling really blah this morning which was a bit disappointing as I've been feeling great lately - I suspect I just over-did things at training last night and was a bit dehydrated. Earlier in the week I had thought of going off 22mins but when I turned up I thought 25 sounded good...... Anyhoo after a warm up I felt a little brighter and started off 23mins.

I was bang on schedule for the first 3k but then really started to struggle and thought I might be joining Benny as the second of the Chunderbolt brothers and I briefly contemplated pulling the pin but pride kept me going and I eventually lost the urge to add colour and a few carrots to the event. As the crowd started to go past I got a bit more despondent till Blue Dog caught me - he was running conservatively for him as he has an XC meet this arvo and so I was able to run beside him for a couple of hundred meters but then tailed off and letting him get about a 30m gap on me.

I knew I was a mile behind what I needed for a sub 23min finish so I stoked the boiler, dug deep and sprinted the last bit to come in on 23.02 - 12 seconds slower than last month - not great but considering how blah I felt I suppose it wasn't too bad.

A couple of people asked what was with the sprint finish? Figuring if I had that much left I could have run faster throughout - I dunno to be honest, I've always had a bit of a kick - but I'm not sure it is due to bludging. The HRM showed I averaged 176bpm which is 94% MHR for me so I don't know how sustainable anything higher would have been over 5k?

Sauntered back most of the way nattering away with Jen, Gnome and Benny in a cheerful little group. Then proceeded to chatter away at the end with anyone who would put up with me.

I'd like to say nice morning but I still feel a bit too crook for that - company was good but :-)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 14

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 40k
Month Total: 244k
Year Total: 956k

Well here we are - day 14 of The Great Heartrate Experiment.

Ran the usual 10k this morning @ 140bpm in 65.01 (av 6.30) which is 34 seconds faster than yesterday.

So conclusions thus far:

- have remained niggle free despite hitting terminal velocity in a 3k TT last Saturday (which was a 14sec PB of 12.58)

- really enjoying my training managing to get in 2 session most days ie run/bike or run/kung fu

- I am convinced that not all of my improvement is due to changes in the weather, phase of the moon or imaginitis.

- the benchmark 7th & 8th k's as well as overall times continue to fall

7th k:  6.39, 6.38, 6.35, 6.34, 6.29, 6.22
8th k: 6.37, 6.38, 6.32, 6.27, 6.22, 6.20

- no further weight loss ie intake to burn ratio appears balanced (bugger)

I'm a happy 2P - I would like to increase the mileage (10k at this heartrate leaves me wanting) but I really don't want to get up any earlier - guess I'll just have to wait until I become more efficient at lower heartrates and get faster before extending the distance.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thoughts For The Future

OK - I know I'm getting a little obsessed by this heartrate stuff but there ya go - I'm never really happy unless I'm learning or thinking as much as I can about something.

Obviously having been involved in sport for yonks and having had Level 1 (the lowest) Coach Accreditation pretty much since they introduced the concept, I've been aware things like training zones, interval training, resistance training, nutrition etc and their impact on results - but like many I've never really given a whole stack of thought to how the whole shebang fits together.

Apart from anything else the "no pain, no gain" and "go hard or go home" concepts have been hardwired into my bonce since birth, so whilst all this easier stuff is all very nice for beginners and returning from injury it definitely isn't for 2P - well think again Scoop!

So to contextualise this - I have a couple of simple philosophies:

Your actions need to be in sync with your aspirations (otherwise you are just dreaming).

If your actions do not progress you towards your aspirations you need to try another way.

So what are my aspirations?

1. To actively be a nuisance to my grand kids and great grand kids :-) - generally, to be an old geezer who younger people can see as a bit of a role model and like to be around because I am not an old fuddy duddy. Part of this aspiration is to stay happy, healthy and active till my number comes up, whenever that may be.

2. Not have too many regrets as I head into the twighlight years and be satisfied that I gave this game called life a fair crack.

Now as far as number 2 is concerned - so far so good - but I'm not exactly going to be ready to hang the runners up till I have achieved a few more running goals and frankly, according to my philosophies above something clearly needs to change to enable these goals to be reached (and no - I'm not tellin - my goals are my lil secret).

In terms of number 1, unless I can streamline the ole 2P a bit the physics and physiology of the situation are agin me.... I eat well, exercise very regularly, don't smoke yada, yada, but I am also very short for my weight ;-). And though I have tried, I now know I can't grow any taller, so another solution is required.

In short - I require a more holistic approach to my training - not necessarily more, just more balanced.

The following I lifted from a website for walkers and I reckon it is one of the best written descriptions of training zones in simple language I have come across.


Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up) --- 50 - 60% of maximum heart rate: The easiest zone and probably the best zone for people just starting a fitness program. It can also be used as a warm up for more serious walkers. This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. 85% of calories burned in this zone are fats!

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) --- 60 - 70% of maximum heart rate: This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories. The percent of fat calories is still 85%. Ignore this zone to your peril.

Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) --- 70 - 80% of maximum heart rate: The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. More calories are burned with 50% from fat.

Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) --- 80 - 90% of maximum heart rate: Benefits of this zone include an improved VO2 maximum (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise) and thus an improved cardio-respiratory system, and a higher lactate tolerance ability which means your endurance will improve and you'll be able to fight fatigue better. This is a high intensity zone burning more calories, 15 % from fat.

Red Line (Maximum Effort) --- 90 - 100% of maximum heart rate: Although this zone burns the highest number of calories, it is very intense. Most people can only stay in this zone for short periods.

So what does it all mean - well up until a couple of weeks ago I was completely ignoring anything below 80% - I literally never went there, virtually every sport activity I have been involved with since I was ten have had a focus on 80%+ and nothing much structured that went into the lower zones. I sit on my bum (mostly) for work and even with my approach over the last couple of weeks I'm still not doing anything under 70% (well mowing the lawn might count - but not even the grass is growing much now).... it's a wonder I haven't burst a foofoo valve!

So I'm going to continue the low heartrate stuff and also go lower still (on the bike or by walking). This is going to be important not only for improving my performance but also to lose a bit of lard(check the % rates of fat burning in each zone). And gives me a fair shot at achieving my aspirations above.

So I reckon my weekly schedule is going to look a bit like this:

Bike rides and walks targeted at both 60% to 70% zone and also 70% to 80%.
Long run and some other runs (maybe) at 70% to 80%
1 or 2 runs at 80% to 90% (plus generally my kung fu training sits in this zone)
1 session of speedwork i.e. 90% to red line

I will just mix it up depending on what I am specifically trying to achieve at any given point in time.....

Anyway a bit of a ramble but I wanted to record this for posterity.

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 30k
Month Total: 234k
Year Total: 946k

Back to the tedious ten this morning after yesterdays parole, but it is getting better and the benefits continue - todays 10k was 52 seconds faster than on Monday at exactly the same average heartrate over exactly the same course.

Todays stats - 10k @ 140bpm in 65.30 (av 6.33).

And Lulu - no need to be jealous of the weight loss at the moment - the scales have refused to budge since Monday - the 90 kilo curse continues!

Oh and BTW - I was only kidding about changing my handle - there was never any question of 2P or not 2P?


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sanity Run

Today Total: 10k + 30mins MTB
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 224k
Year Total: 936k

Edit: Got home from work later than planned but still enough time for a quick ride - 30mins at 128bpm before heading off to training.

I had to start work early this morning so decided to venture into the 80-85% HR zone which is such a nice change from the 75% trudge.

It was also a chance to benchmark progress - 10k @ 155bpm in 54.35 (av 5.28) which is a good 10 seconds per k better than my last two excursions to this HR zone.

Happy, happy, joy, joy :-)

Considering changing my handle from 2P to Lab Rat :-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lest We Forget

Today Total: 1hr 56mins MTB

So used to getting up early now I just can't sleep past about 5.00am (probably should have gone to an ANZAC Day dawn service) so I got up and headed out for a ride.

Took the Cooks River Cycleway option to Tempe and return. The morning was chill and I decided to wear my Skins under my short (padded) bike daks and fingerless gloves.

I didn't feel particularly cold but when I ran the cold water tap at home and it felt warm I knew I must be! No sense - no feeling huh?

All up 40k @ 136bpm.

For O/S readers today commemorates the first time in WW1 when brave lads from Australia and New Zealand went into battle on the foresaken penninsula of Gallipoli (Turkey). In short it was a balls up from the beginning but the ANZAC's held on for 9 bloody months far from home - the only really successful part of the campaign being the withdrawal under ANZAC leadership (finally) - the Spirit of ANZAC is deeply ingrained in the Aussie Psych - sadly this year is the first year we have been without any survivors from the war to end all wars.

Lest we forget.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Back In The Harness

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 214k
Year Total: 926k

Another 10k @ 140bpm and I am definitely starting to see some improvement. Three of my 10k's this morning were sub 6.30 pace - the 8th k in 6.27 which is 5 seconds faster than last weeks quickest - wooohooo I'm almost up to a trot!

The other pleasing aspect is I'm down to 89.5kg making the total weight loss since I started this low heartrate game 2.9kgs in 10 days and I'm still eating like a horse.

I am going to stick with it because I'm liking the results thus far - but I have to say that mentally this is some of the toughest training I've ever done.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dead Slow Ahead

Today Total: 25k
Week Total: 77k
Month Total: 204k
Year Total: 916k

After stoking up the boiler yesterday I rang the engine room bells for Dead Slow Ahead and navigated my way around the lake.

It was a chill but glorious morning and without a chest strap I just went on breathing and pace - a gentle run on a mixture of grass and trails with either water or bush views for the entire distance - it doesn't get much better than that :-)

Pretty happy with 77k for the week plus 2hrs 16mins on the bike.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nibble At 90%+

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 52k
Month Total: 179
Year Total: 891k

To add some balance to the low heartrate stuff I've been doing I had a crack at a 3k TT today.

I'm up at Gwandalan and forgot the heartrate monitor strap for the Garmin so it suited me anyway. After mowing the lawns I got Mrs 2P to drop me up the road a bit on her way to Lake Haven to do some shopping.

Finished the 3k TT in 12.58 knocking some 16 seconds off my previous attempt on the same gently undulating course the week before Six Foot Track. I definitely would have hit max heartrate in the last little bit as I was behind the Virtual Partner by 13 meters with 178 meters to go - I didn't look at the watch from that point I just gunned it till the beep went off and was gasping like a gaffed fish.

The warm up k and the two warm down k's judging by my pace and breathing would have been about 80 to 85% MHR.

Back to the long slow stuff tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2006

And So It Goes

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 46k
Month Total: 173k
Year Total: 885k

Well today is the 7th day of The Great Heartrate Experiment - another 10k @ 140bpm.

My impressions thus far:

- I have genuinely felt better and looked forward to all my runs and bike rides, waking before the alarm and feeling energetic all day NB I've averaged less than 6 hrs sleep per night all week

- the dreaded Ugly Step Sister has moved out again (zero ITB pain today)

- zero other niggles

- initial weight loss has stablised at 90.2kg but my diet in terms of volume has been atrocious (note to self: fix this)

- some minor improvement observed through benchmarking the 7th & 8th k of my standard run (flattest k's), though frankly this could have been due to environmental factors and initial weight loss

7th k: 6.39, 6.38, 6.35 (all @ av 141bpm)
8th k: 6.37, 6.38, 6.32 (all @ av 141bpm)

- the times I have done a 30min ride in the evening have really made my legs feel great

- total training times (duration) have increased markedly which can't be a bad thing

- my two little forays to the 85% zone have left me feeling ecstatic

- it sates my need to have something new to obsess about

- I still feel self conscious when seeing other runners (particularly on hills when I can be going as slow as 7.30)

- I have a sore arse

Well onwards and upwards - I am going to stick with it for a while to give it a fair go but I need a nibble at 90% + soon to keep me from going too stir crazy.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Squishing The Middle

Today Total: 10k + 33mins (MTB)
Week Total: 36k + 2hrs 16mins (MTB)
Month Total: 163k + 4hrs 32mins (MTB)
Year Total: 875k + 6hrs 52mins (MTB)

Edit: Got home after a mighty long day at work and headed out for a quick 11k ride at 133bpm.

A taste of higher heartrate at training last night had whetted my appetite so this morning I decided to squish the middle of the tube of toothpaste for half the distance of my run.

A bit on the overcast and breezy side this morning - even got a couple of spots of rain early - but still balmy and I feel obligated to make the most of the good weather before it turns chill again.

Stats for those interested (including me):

3k @ 140bpm av 7.00mpkm (a bit hilly for first 2k)
5k @ 154bpm av 5.39mpkm (flat)
2k @ 142bpm av 7.06mpkm (hills)

Weight - no change but I didn't eat till 10.30pm (after training) last night so I am guessing I will have dropped another little bit.

154bpm is a smidge under 83% MHR for me and feels entirely comfortable to run at. My 75% pace on the flat is about 6.50mpkm - it is amazing that a mere 8% difference in heartrate can equal a 1.10mpkm differrence in pace......

I wonder if any of the guru's out there know of a relativity chart that shows the ideal heartrate to pace ratio through the spectrum? If anyone has benchmarked this stuff I'd be interested in your results.

PS - Sorry my blog is becoming so boring - don't be too perturbed - with my attention span things are bound to change soon - oh look there goes a butterfly ;-)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Play It Again Sam

Today Total: 11k
Week Total: 26k
Month Total: 153k
Year Total: 865k

Another mooch along @ 139bpm out around Canada Bay. Pretty fine morning out there again, this certainly has to be the best time of the year for running.

Haven't noticed any difference in pace yet - but it has only been 5 days.

I have however (despite eating like a horse over Easter) noticed a significant difference on the scales. Last Thursday morning I was 92.4kg which scared the willies out of me! By Sunday Morning (after the long Saturday ride) I had dropped to 91.5kg and this morning to 90.2kg. This alone has made the Great Heartrate Experiment all worthwhile. The great part is I haven't cut back a jot on the food intake and haven't been hungry at all (hunger is something I truly loathe).

For the last 12 or so years 90kg has been extremely difficult for me to get under so it will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

At this stage my thinking is (with just 4.5 weeks to SMH Half) to keep the majority of my sessions at < or = 75% for the next 2.5 weeks, then some forays to 85%, with a nibble at 90%+ in the last lead up. SMH was never a goal race so I'm happy to use it for the purposes of the experiment - no biggie if I crash and burn - by giving myself permission to fail I can also dare myself to have a real go ;-)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Keeping The Faith

Today Total: 10k + 30mins MTB
Week Total: 15k + 1hr 43mins MTB
Month Total: 142k + 4hrs 1min MTB
Year Total: 854k + 6hrs 19mins MTB

Edit: Got home and decided to have a quick bash on the wind trainer for 30mins @ 132bpm - given that I intend using the trainer a bit I've decided to measure the bike riding by time rather than distance.

I was planning on a Mona's fartlek this morning but that was Testosterone 2P trying to undermine the plan - eventually Centsible 2P took over and decided after the food excesses of the weekend that low heart rate was on the menu again today.

Blimey it's a trudge though 10k in 67.21 (av 6.44) @ 140bpm av. Keep the faith brother, keep the faith......

Monday, April 17, 2006

Baby Brick

Today Total: 5k + 25k MTB
Week Total: 5k + 25k MTB
Month Total: 132k + 69k MTB
Year Total: 844k + 113k MTB

I was going to have a rest day today but when Mrs 2P announced she was off to the gym I had a look outside and it was such a gorgeous day I couldn't resist a quick session (settle down Miners I aint heading to the pool any time soon).

I pretty much did my 2 Bays route for the bike leg with the extra canal section thrown in to make up the mileage - those familiar with The Bay Run will know where I mean.

In keeping with the great heart rate experiment I kept my HR to < 75% MHR completing the 25k in 1.12.59 (av 20.5kmh) @ av 137bpm.

Now to answer a few questions - Tesso and LL the bike is RED of course, do they make them in other colours? And no the bike doesn't seem to aggravate my ITB if anything I think it is helping. For those who wanted to know how I established my MHR I ran 4k at > or = 90% theoretical MHR then gradually upped the pace over the last k to the last 300m where I attempted to sprint - the last 80m being uphill - if that didn't get me to MHR or close to it I'm not sure what will. I'm pretty sure it is accurate as I notice my breathing really changes gear about 143 bpm (4bpm above 75%).

Anyhoo nice ride onto the run.

I decided a 5k lap of Concord Golf Course @ < 85% MHR (158bpm) was the go. It felt fantastic - It might be the novelty of it but I think there is something to this HR stuff. Completed the 5k in 28.03 (av 5.37) @ av 153bpm and felt like I could have gone forever.

A perfect way to end a perfect training weekend - speedwork tomorrow ;-)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Humble Pie

Today Total: 23k
Week Total: 49k
Month Total: 127k
Year Total: 839k

I sure hope this heart rate training thing works because this morning was downright embarrassing. I wanted to put a sign on my front and back that said "Heart Rate Training In Progress - Honk If You Are Sympathetic".

The Garmin almost used all of its battery in the first 2k as the alert (set for 143bpm - 4bpm over 75% MHR) was going off so often - people were coming out of their houses thinking the paper boy had traded in his whistle.

I finally got the hang of running at 75% but it was very slow - over the first 10k some of my splits were exceeding 7 mins!!! From about the 10k (67 and a bit mins) mark my body seemed to understand what was expected of it and got more efficient and my splits came down considerably but were still slow at around 6.30.

To add insult to injury the only flattish course I could identify for a long run was my Canada Bay and The Bay Run combo - not like there is many people out there on a Sunday morning - NOT!

I eventually ground out 23k in 2.32.57 (av 6.39) @ av 139bpm (bang on 75%). And except for the times the HR alert went off I also got a sleep in ;-)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Approach

Today Total: 44k (Mtn Bike)

*Long Post Alert*

If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.

Farting around with a HRM recently highlighted a very salient fact - I am running too fast in training (hard to believe at my pace but sadly its true). Being on the wrong side of 90kgs @ a smidge under 178 cm I have to get close to 90% MHR to run @ 5.30 pace - now I can do this and hold it (somehow I managed 5.12 for 21.1k at the CC Half) for quite a period but a) I'm not losing any weight (obviously as not much fat gets burnt at these heartrates) and b) improvement is in teency increments.

Honesty time - I'm a bit fat, not hugely fat but I could stand to lose a few kgs - I'm also a muscly bugger - no chicken legs here and well chesty bond may have had just my build in mind (well maybe a taller version of me)  but I digress - I didn't do anything specific like weights or anything to deserve it - mostly it's attributable to genetics and an attitude that goes at things flat stick till something busts.

What to do? What to do?

Well somethings gotta give because being on the wrong side of 40 I don't want to be carrying this load into my twilight years and also (call it midlife crisis if you like) I'd like to get back somewhere close to the kind of pace I could run as an early tween - this means knocking about 4 mins off my recent 5k PB and 8mins off 10k. I also want to chalk up some more ultras (the two are not mutually exclusive - people like Blue Dog and Spud are good examples).

So enter the bike! Why the bike?

Firstly trouble with the ITB makes running everyday difficult and as most of my running goals involve hills I initially approached this from the perspective that the bike would help with hill running and give the ITB a rest - but I've made a few other observations lately.

Uncle Dave just ran a 2.40 mara, Aunty k a 4.40 (?) 50k, Minersrun is Tri-nut but does bugger-all running (well except for his recent IM campaign) by marathoner standards and he never has problems belting out 4min pace or so on his runs - all of them ride a gazillion miles per week on a bike.

Also an article in R4YL mag recently named the top mountain running gurus and most of them did the majority of their training again on a bike.

Now prima facie I was thinking this was all due to muscle specificity (for the mountain runners) and just increases in total training times (which to a degree it is both of these things) but after reading Hadd, thanks to Steve L *waves* (sorry can't do hyperlink via email blogging) (which made my brain hurt) I am  starting to think a lot of it may be due to training at the lower heart rate zones that are easier to achieve with the mechanical advantage of the bike and the inherent benefits thereof.

Now I could achieve this running but the rub is I'd have to go so bloody slow it's embarrassing and as anyone who's ever experienced an ITB problem will tell you "slow = pain". Also for some reason my ego goes into cruise control on the bike - which it can NEVER do whilst running.

So the plan from here is to do some rides each week at no harder than MHR minus 50bpm = < 136bpm for me, my long run at 75% MHR no matter how bloody slow this is, one speed session per week and my other runs about 80% to 85% MHR.

And as there is no time like the present to start I went for a 44k ride this morning at average heartrate of 132bpm which is a bit low, but I'm still learning to judge what 136bpm feels like. I rode from my place at Concord to the International Terminal at Mascot Airport via the Cooks River Cycleway and return. A pleasant jaunt for a couple of hours even if it was a bit windy.

I must confess at that heartrate I felt like I was bludging so this is going to take some getting used to - I'll feel better once I've mowed the lawn :-)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Paying The Piper

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 26k
Month Total: 104k
Year Total: 816k

Well that was awful!

I paid the piper well and truly this morning in penance for not doing a warm up or warm down for last nights dash for cash. My legs were tired and frumpy and it felt like I was running in clogs as seemingly my achilles on both legs had no bounce at all. To top it off the Ugly Step Sister nagged away right from the start.

My pace and heart rate were all over the place during the first 6k's with my pace range fluctuating between 5.30 and 5.50 and my heart rate from 140 to 155. By the end of the 6th k the nag in my ITB had turned into a real hurty bit that wouldn't be ignored so I put in a walk break during each of the last 3k.

The transition from walk to run each time was interesting to say the least but once I got into a trot it was managable for while and then I'd need to walk again - repeat.

Guess I've been a bit lazy with the treatment regimen because I'm not actively preparing for anything close - the SMH Half (though I have entered) completely fails to register even a flicker on my excitement meter and PMC doesn't seem quite real yet.

Looks like I'll have to dig out the ice and voltaren and get a bit disciplined again.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Searching For Max

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 16k
Month Total: 94k
Year Total: 806k

Sadly the Ugly Step Sister turned up early for Easter by moving back in at the 15th k on last Sundays run. I had hoped it was just a drop in visit but on Tuesdays Mona's fartlek she made her intention to stay well known (ITB's are such whimsical yet demanding creatures).

I'm using my tried and trusted anti-social approach and am just ignoring her so I slipped out for a 5k lap of the block in search of a distant royal relative HR Max.

I took off at a fair clip going close to the 5min mark for the first k (mostly gentle uphill), then upped the pace to 4.40 for the second k (1/2 downhill, 1/2 flat) and pushed the heart rate up to an average of 168. The third k is all uphill and the heart rate went to an average of 174 and the pace dropped to 5.21. Over the 4th and 5th k it is mostly flat and I just concentrated on keeping form.

For the last 300m I put the pedal to the metal - the last 100 meters is steep uphill and I finally found Max at 186 so that is what I am going to program into the new 305.

The average heart rate for the entire run was 168 which means except for the 1st k I ran the distance at over 90% MHR. In fact the last 3k averaged well over the 90% mark

All up 5k in 24.32 (av 4.55) - pretty happy with that.

So Steve L any suggestions on where to from here?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mona's 305 Style

Today Total: 11k
Week Total: 11k
Month Total: 89k
Year Total: 801k

The new toy arrived yesterday - oh joyous day ;-)

Can't have a new toy and not play with it so I headed out around Canada Bay for a Mona's Fartlek. My pacing was much better than last week and most of the faster efforts were in between 4.10 & 4.20 pace - the exception being a couple of the shorter efforts at the back end which were a bit quicker. My goal is to get the faster efforts sub 4.00 pace.

I used the HRM with the 305 - I haven't done much with a HRM so I was a little in the dark about what to program as my MHR but took a punt on 190. The Garmin measured a 189 towards the end so I might be in the ball park (though that could have been spurious - haven't downloaded it yet to analyse properly - I suspect 190 might be a smidge high) - average HR for the faster efforts was between the high 160's & low 170's - which from a perceived effort point of view was uncomfortable but not flat stick.

Now the important bit!

Rationalisations (post road test) for a buying a 305 from the perspective of a GPS tragic (I now own four):

- It is way more comfy
- It looks better :-)
- It is RED :-) :-)
- It is definitely quicker getting a satellite fix, can even get a fix from inside the house (oh joy, oh joy)
- All 3 screens are fully customisable, not just with what you want to see but also the number of data fields
- Their is a greater choice of data to display eg the GPS accuracy grabbed my attention as  a neat but probably useless addition ;-)
- The new course feature that allows you to race a previous result for a particular run looks good (itching to try)
- The alerts and beeps seem to sound louder and a higher pitch so should be a little easier to hear around traffic etc
- There are enhanced navigation features for nav geeks (like me)

And did I mention it is RED :-)

Love it!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Autumn Leaves

Today Total: 21k
Week Total: 51k
Month Total: 78k
Year Total: 790k (corrected to fix an error from a ways back)

In Bathurst again to visit the Halfpenny - so while she was off at Eisteddfod training I squished in a 21k loop taking in the Sofala Road, 11 Mile Drive, the Eglinton bicycle track and the Macquarie River bike track.

It was very chilly in Bathurst and my thoughts were with the Canberra Crowd when I saw it was zero degrees here this morning - fortunately my run didn't start till 10.30 am when it was a relatively balmy 10 degree and absolutely crystal clear and still.

The autumn leaves lent a magical variety of hues as I ran between fields of thigh high dry grass out along 11 Mile Drive and with no pollution or humidity to impair the view it was beautifully stunning - I love a sunburned country :-)

All up 21k in 2.02.56 (av 5.51).


Friday, April 07, 2006

Getting Quicker

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 30k
Month Total: 57k
Year Total: 768k

To mix the speedwork up a bit I decided on a 5k tempo run this morning.

It was another stunning autumn morning (I just got back before the breeze kicked up) out around Canada Bay and after a rest day yesterday I was set to go.

First warm up k in 5.41 then 5k @ 5.05 followed by an easier 4 k. All up 10k in 52.43 (av 5.16).

Best of luck to the Canberra crew this weekend (marathoners, ultra-nuts and 10kers). For those still overcoming injuries to get to the start line - the power of the human mind can do amazing things so give it a whirl, you've nothing to lose - but please, if it hasn't done its thing by the end of the second kilometer take the smart option and join the cheer squad ;-)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nice Surprise

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 47k
Year Total: 758k

I expected to find this morning a bit tough after last nights Mona's fartlek but after my first k in 5.59 everything seemed to be working ok so I upped the pace a bit.

Apart from the fact that the rising sun across the water almost seared a hole in my retinas it was a gorgeous morning out around Canada Bay - interestingly more people said hello this morning too so the weather obviously has an impact on peoples sociability.

All up 8k in 43.07 (av 5.23)


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mona's n Me

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 39k
Year Total: 751k

Mona's n me have got heaps in common - ok, ok so he is from regional Victoria and I'm from metro NSW and he is tall and thin and I'm...... er.... not. True, he is almost twice as fast as me over any respectable distance and he has represented Australia on numerous occasions and I never have - but apart from that we might have been brothers!

I even keep a happy snap I took of him at the 2000 Olympics on my coffee table - doubtless he has one of me lying around somewhere at his place. So in looking for a fartlek session to do as I head towards the SMH Half (one of his pet events) it only seemed right that I should adopt the Mona's version - thanks to R4YL and Bernie G for reminding me of it.

So after a 2k warm up I belted out 2 x 1min 30sec, 4 x 1min, 4 x 30sec and 4 x 15sec efforts with equal recovery between each one - well that's what I should have done anyway - due to a user error programming the Garmin I actually did 8 x 30sec which made it 22mins so I ditched the final 15's - numnuts!.

I really, really enjoyed this session it was fantastic fun at one stage another runner thought he would tag along but in DJesque fashion I just looked across and blew him off - I averaged 3.45 pace for that minute covering 267m. My quickest pace was my last 30sec (which showed I had been bludging) @ 3.25 pace I covered 146m.

To finish - what I really respect about Mona's is his longevity in the sport - I love the way he ignores the stereotype that you're done and dusted as a sportsperson by 32. Onya Mona's!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Two Bays

Today Total: 22k
Week Total: 57k
Month Total: 27k
Year Total: 739k

Wow - the end of daylight saving was just like opening the fridge door - the light came on and the cold air hit.

For those of you non-Sydney residents who peruse these pages we had our first chilly autumn morning today.

I haven't done a longish run since the hill hop a few weeks back - so I figured it was time to get out there and go a bit longer before the old pins forgot how. I had been planning to do this particular run for a while but between one thing and another I just haven't had the opportunity till today.

The route from my place took me to Cape Cabarita and then along the foreshore to Canada Bay - from there I used a road route to get me to Nield Park where I joined The Bay Run for a lap and then returned home the same way.

I avoid The Bay Run during the week like the plague due to all the traffic and noise - but on a crystal clear cool autumn Sunday morning it reverts back to become a slice of paradise.

About half way into my run on The Bay I detected another Six Foot singlet heading towards me (I was sporting mine as well) long before I recognised the happy face of Johnny Dark as he flashed by me at warp speed, effortlessly greeting me as I wheezed out a stifled "gmornin" - Edit: LOL after reading JD's comment you can see how far gone I already was :-).

Enthused by this encounter with a fellow CR I picked up the pace a bit and managed a pretty nice -ve split for the morning.

All up 22k in bang on 2.05.30 (av 5.42) - pretty happy with that :-)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Short & Sweet

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 35k
Month Total: 5k
Year Total: 717k

I've been fighting off a bit of a cold since my 72 inch sabbatical and I wasn't going to run today as it had freshened a bit after Thursdays 400's. But after some agricultural exploits this morning (ok - I mowed the lawn) I was feeling a little brighter so I went for a doddle around the perimeter of Concord Golf Course - on the road that is - the esteemed members would never let small change like me in!

Barely raised a sweat - 5k in 26.30 (av 5.18).