Thursday, March 29, 2012

not everyday is Christmas....

for a series of reasons (and also because it was supposed to be my last race for the season), last night I ended up racing again in the 10000m for the Round 2 of the HK track league.
In this track meetings, usually very few people are brave to tackle the 25 laps of the track (understandable, since the track races are also in the peak of the summer and there are no prizes of any sort to justify the torture).
Well... last night basically anybody in town with a PB below 34'30" was there, which at least made the race very competitive.
On the very front, Gi K.M. run an amazing performance, to smash the HK record which was standing for 22 years.
For me... well, I was really feeling very tired after sunday's race. Totally missing a consistent base of training, the recovery is much slower than usual and I was knackered on Monday, very tired on Tuesday and simply very weak on Wednesday..
I set out at a reasonable pace, but I was feeling really tired and struggling a lot to tackle the turns. My right hamstring is not yet 100% and at every lap it got tighter and tighter over the turns.
To make it short, I passed the 5000m in around 17'10", but then I was really starting to struggle and the last 3k were really VEEERY LOOOONNNG...
I closed in around 35'10", which is obviously something considering that I resumed running 2 months ago, but a step back from sunday... after the race I was indeed as tired as after a full marathon.
Anyway it was good to be part of such a "historic race" (maybe this new record will stand for another 20 years ?)

After the race, we (our running club) all banded together for a dinner/party to make our best farewell to our runner C. who is leaving Hong Kong soon (anyway it celebrated in style winning on Sunday and placing 2nd yesterday).

Changing topic... I also have people wondering how I could resume so quickly...

1) I did a good dose of aerobic endurance with cycling.
2) as usual, I avoided to make any "fast" interval training, just giving a lot of emphasis to build up the lactate threshold. In this way I was able to make progression runs and "slow" tempo almost every day with a good boost of specific running endurance, without breaking me down with too much interval training, etc...
3) as demonstrated in several cases.... a good aerobic base gives the runner already a 95% "fitness" level...
probably running at good aerobic pace daily is enough to give a runner a very solid season made of several good races and some good PB... while adding the interval training in right amount can be a sort of icing of the cake for the peak form of the year...
(my personal opinion...I am sure that others might disagree)

what next ??
- april : I just want to focus on getting my right leg "right"... still the coordination is poor and today my hamstring is very sore... so strength work, stretching, glute activation exercises, muscle self-massage/roller/stick... Is no point to think to something if I can not even complete 10000m on a track without pain
- may/june: general base training running+cycling, plus more strength work

end of June I will decide if to tackle a marathon in the fall or just stick to lower-level local races.
(also this year I made my donation of 100EUR to the organizers of the Berlin marathon, hoping to attend...)



Thanks Roberto for sharing how you trained to run 34.10
i would be interested in a little more detail.
Some time back you recommended to me to basically run about 15k every day finishing each run with either a set of strides or a progression run.
Is this close to what you did?
Also did you get any benefit from going to Stride UK and what advice did they give you.
Cheers Rick

Ewen said...

I'd agree that interval training is the icing on the cake. Bake the best possible cake before you spread on the icing ;) Strong tempo/aerobic running daily - I'm trying to do that myself.

by7 said...

@ Rick
- about the visit to StrideUK, it deserves a full post which is long overdue. I promise that I will do something in the next weeks !!

- about the training, I am nowhere near to be an expert and/or coach, so I can only express my personal feelings, based on my observations on amateur runners.
I noticed that this kind of training: run 12-18k daily with strides OR progressions and some short hill sprints workout are a good balance to keep a steady "95%" form during the year and get very near to each runner's best in almost all races.
Most of the times, an amateur runner enjoys racing over different distances during the year...5k,10, etc up to Marathon.
This kind of training is not really focused on a specific distance, so is a decent compromise.
To peak for a specific race distance, than it takes less than 6-4 weeks of specific workouts to fine tune the performance.

This approach is obviously in contrast with the usual "British running club" pattern (I call it as broad generalization): tuesday hammering intervals (basically racing) on the track or long hill sprint, thursday tempo run (another mini race), saturday more hill sprints and then a long club run on sunday (basically another race...).
I noticed that this latter approach usually makes the runner "fizzle" in shape quite quickly, but then being terrible inconsistant among different races ...