The Middle Ground

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15/12/2012 at 21:16

Sounds pretty bad Hilly. Good stuff getting out for a run at all.

Commuted 3.7M into work today with some strides. Really didn't want to, but I'm RD'ing at parkrun next week - typically today the winner was someone I have beaten before. Watch next week be the same then the sub-16 crowd to turn out for the 29th (when I get to run).

Feeling pretty good about tomorrow - hamstrings are tight today as they have been for the past few days but they get loosened up during WU so no big deal right now. Should get the results pretty sharpish  

Finally, didn't get to last night but here's some stuff from yesterday's session:

I'd like some feedback, especially on arm action - the first clip shows my left arm almost twisting away from me as I accelerate (it's kind of hard to see). I tried to get this to go straight, but ended up twisting my torso quite a bit.

I think my arm action is coming along quite well but there might still be a bit more I can do - perhaps with pumping them more, I'm not sure. But I think leg action is looking pretty good now. 

Edited: 15/12/2012 at 21:18
16/12/2012 at 13:37
Where is everyone?

8.3 for the first 60 today, 8.1 (pb) for the second, then 4.93 for the LJ - a 33cm pb. Not too shabby full report later.
16/12/2012 at 14:03

Nice clip Duck. That looks a cracking venue.

Cross country league for me today. For some reason, despite running in this series since 2006 I'd never done this one.
A 3 lapper with a lot of mud, but what felt like a lot of lovely downs.

Pleased with 6th out of 300 odd. One of those races you look at those who beat you and you think, yep that's as good as I could have done.

16/12/2012 at 14:45

Hilly, that sounds like freezing rain. The raindrops fall as water below freezing and as soon as they hit a surface they turn to ice. I experienced it a couple of times when I was in Illinois over a winter. It can make for some beautiful scenes, but walking was seriously difficult.

Duck, I see what you mean about the left arm.  From the third angle it looks like it is coming up too high as well. What's your upper body strength like? Maybe some upper body work would get things under control. Coe had a bit of a problem with his left arm as well, so you're in good company. See
Legs and core look good though and good acceleration.

Sounds like you had a good day today. Look forward to your report.

Nice XC-ing, SG. It was a lovely day or a run today.

I checked out Tilgate parkrun yesterday. It's a pretty nice one. Although all on tarmac there are a few uphill sections and some tight twists and turns that means it's not particularly fast.

This morning went out for a progressive long run and was going along well but then suddenly zonked out and had to jog the last 5k. I think it's due to there being a work do last week and trying to pack all my quality into 4 days. Oh well, lesson learnt and I still got in 23k.

16/12/2012 at 14:48

Well done Duck  and StevieG! Think everyone else is out for a verrry long run.
New post Achilles post op PB: 48 minutes dead for 5k walk. Will not be looking it up in the WAVA tables as it was not on a certified course but by Garmin.

16/12/2012 at 14:48

Nice going Stevie, sounds like a satisfying days work.

Simon, not good! I can do maybe 20 pushups on a good day. I'll have a look into doing some more though, thanks.

Good long run today, all things considered. 

So two 60m races (11am & 12 noon) and the Long Jump (12:30pm) today. Was hoping for something quicker than March's 8.2 in the 60m and reckoned a LJ pb was on the cards as well.

I was drawn in heat 3, lane 6 (outside lane) for the first 60m race. Decided to use block starts as I need to start getting used to them (the national championships states they're mandatory). I set them up but as we went into "Set" I still wasn't happy with the angle the blocks had my foot at (despite it being on the shallowedt setting possible, it was still very high).

I got a reasonable start (for me anyway) but that's the weakest part of my race so I was well behind after 10-15m. I then made the mistake of trying too hard to regain the time and almost ran out of my lane, and weaved over the track a fair bit up to about 30m. After this I settled down and, despite not losing any more time came 6/6 in 8.3. A little bit disappointed with my excecution of the race as I ended up looking more at those around me than focusing on my own running. 

Second heat I was down to heat 4, lane 3. The lane draw was excellent as being on the outside previously felt quite uncomfortable, and being one heat 'slower' than before meant I was unlikely to get left behind. Decided to not to use blocks this time, but to just do a regular non-block crouch start (i.e. mimic using blocks but without the blocks there).

Better start this time but I was still last after 20m or so. I was able to pick up really well after this and stormed back through the field to finish second in 8.1, which is a 0.1s pb. 

I think the conclusions to be drawn from this is that, technique-wise the start needs work as always, but I'm feeling quick now without straining like I used to. 

Then it was time for the long jump. Pb is 4.60m but I have jumped 4.8m with a stupid tailwind so that would be a good marker. 

First jump. Hit the board well and just seemed to hang in the air for an eternity. 4.93m. Probably could have been a bit further up the board but a 33cm pb on the first jump, with no wind to worry about was a massive improvement.

Second jump. Felt I hit the board again but I hadn't even landed before it was deemed a no jump. A shame as I think I had gone even further than before.

Third jump. Pretty tired now and had no energy left to get up to speed. I knew as soon as I landed it wasn't as far, but jumped 4.74m which still betters my pb before the beginning of today.

Conclusions? Plyometrics are working! 

And now....

Edited: 16/12/2012 at 14:50
16/12/2012 at 14:51

MIDDLE GROUND WAVA LEAGUE (September-December) Calculator here: 

86.96% Sir RobT (10K, 34:28, September)
83.79% PhilPub (5,000m, 15:55.9, September)
82.34% Hilly (10M, 66:45, December) 
82.20% PRF (HM, 1:18:41, September)

79.26% Duck (60m, 8.1, December)
77.71% SG, (10M, 57:09, October) 
77.41% Wardi (5K, 19:51, October) 
76.52% YD  (5M, 28.20, November) 
73.52% Dr.Dan (10K, 40:27, November) 
72:09% Minni (5m 35:11, November) 
71.43% MrV (5M 29.52 November) 
70.78% Curly (5M, 34:12, September)

59.56% CB (10K, 46:20, December)

35.8% BR (Dewsbury parkrun 5K, 39:30, September) ... relegated by Mrs BR

0% Simon (0K, 00:00) - waaay too busy eating pies and blowing his nose
0% Ratzer (0K, 00:00) - reading science papers and building up to a 5 metre run
0% YoungPup (0K, 00:00) - not feeling quite young enough to enter a race
0% Dash (0K, 00:00) - busy breeding his prize Xmas turkey somewhere in Norfolk

Disclaimer: I'm a little suspicious of my high WAVA % from today. I've checked out the IAAF indoor scoring tables, and an 8.1 60m time apparently equates to 26.01 for the 200 (which doesn't = 79.26% by a long way). Another reputable calculator I use  has 8.1 equating to 13.08 for 100m, which I almost ran 10 of on Friday. I'm not sure what to make of this - Howard Grubb says it's my best performance by a long shot, yet IAAF and other sites say it's not as good as my open 200 (and even 400) times. 

Edited: 16/12/2012 at 15:04
16/12/2012 at 15:55
Afternoon all,

Nice racing from Stevie G and Duck, and a fabulous 5k from Alehouse

YP Jr and I did a very slippy Nonsuch Parkrun yesterday, and without even aiming for one he got a PB! Only by 8 seconds, but who cares, it still counts right!?

I'm on my IPad, so can't do links, but I really like this pic as he looks like he enjoyed the run....

I then did another 5 easy miles with the dog last night, followed by a lovely 17 miles around the Bridleways of Surrey this morning. Gorgeous weather down here today, I was in my Roclites, and I just aimed straight for the centre of every puddle and patch of mud...

Pace was slow, with average of 09:40/mile, and an average heart rate of 138bpm (63% WHRR)
Edited: 16/12/2012 at 16:02
16/12/2012 at 16:38

Well done Duck and Stevie.

Sounds promising on all fronts Alehouse.

It sounds fun over there Hilly! Things weren't quite so bad this side of the Pennines!

Parents over this weekend and no running. After Friday's effort I think a couple of days rest won't be a bad thing.

17/12/2012 at 09:17

Things are slow here! Everone's on really long runs...

Nice interval session this morning. 4 x 5 mins effort off 3 mins rest. Last one was a struggle, jelly legs after the third, but in comparison with the last time I tried this one it was world beating!

17/12/2012 at 09:48

Simon - I can't say I fully understand the chocolate/antioxidant debate but that aside, there's also the damage limitation element.  Let's have a weight/illness avoidance report in three months. 

SG - Excellent XC!

Duck - I don't feel qualified to comment on your flappy arm, but your leg acceleration looks pretty damn good. Nice work on Saturday.

YP - Well done Jr, or is that Dennis the Menace? If he likes the colour scheme, get him signed up for Herne Hill Harriers. 

Alehouse - Looking forward to hearing the first run report... all in good time.


17/12/2012 at 09:52

Another mud-fest for me on Saturday, at the Kent County Masters' XC champs. I was a bit fresher than the previous week, so fancied my chances against my club mate Paul who had trounced me at the Southerns.  The course was "9.5k", four laps of squidgy/soggy grass field, going into woodland with lethal tree roots, the odd protruding rock, and steep gullies.  A bit of everything really! Then an almighty downpour for a couple of minutes right before the start made the ground even squelchier.  We both ran at the front through the whole race, with one other guy leading the way for half of the first lap, but we soon started pulling out a small gap.  The small gap got even smaller when I managed to head the wrong way momentarily going into the second lap... after which I took it upon myself to set the pace and make sure we stayed clear.

By the final lap I could see that it would be a final tussle between us, so just motored on as much as I could.  Entering the woods for the final time I thought there might have been a bit of a gap between us, but Paul's a very quiet runner so hard to tell, plus he might have been keeping his distance because of the perils under foot... Oops!  Heading down the first gully I got a little over-enthusiastic; I think my left heel slipped, then as my weight came forward again my spikes dug in and I did a massive head-over-heels tumble. Somehow managed to get back up almost in the same movement and I remember Paul slowing a little to give me a hand up.  (Proper gent!)  After which I was immediately setting the pace again but my breathing was all over the place.  About 2k to go and feeling pretty shocking, but still holding the pace.  Over the final k in the field there was much panting but we were just about managing to pick up the pace and running neck-and-neck.  The crowd were going mental!  (All 20 of them. )  I mustered what I could of a sprint with about 300 metres to go but Paul had one last kick and pipped me.  Two seconds gap between us on the line with the next guy about 40 seconds behind.

So, I missed out on being county champ by 2 seconds, but one of the most enjoyable races I've had.  We also picked up the team prize (4 to score).  Then we retired to the pub and various old men talked about old races, which is what happens at Masters' champs apparently.  We had the closest finish since the 1974 race or something.  Can't remember, the Harvey's Best was going down well.

A very pleasant 51 miles on the bike yesterday, with just a spin class today.  Running legs should be in good nick for the traditional club xmas parlauf tomorrow.

17/12/2012 at 10:10

Duck, 10x13sec 100s in one session is epic! I wouldn't be confident of more than one personally. Presumably when you go back to the longer distances, 5k up you'll feel the benefit.

Looking at the figures you mention, 8.1 for 60metres is 1.35 secs per 10metres. Over 100metres at the same pace that's 13.5 seconds.

How can that calculator thus equate 8.1 for 60metres (1.35secs per 10), to 13.08 for 100 (1.308 per 10). It's saying you'd run quicker over 100 than 60 which seems unrealistic.

17/12/2012 at 10:15

epic race report PP. Cruelly pipped at the post there!

Nothing worse after a hard gruelling xc to have to obliterate yourself to a sprint finish! I got away with it yesterday, as 50metres ahead, and plenty more behind, but at my last xc before that, the chap was slowing so much I had to overtake him!

17/12/2012 at 12:06

Looking rapid in the vid Duck and excellent work on the 60m PB. In answer to Stevie’s point I assume 60m is too short to hit top speed for long enough, so it is slower than the 100m. Also the start eats into your race, this is even bigger factor in 60m races I would have thought.

Good progress Alehouse

Good to see you training well again Simon, zonking aside 23k is a decent run.

Good to see you keeping the thread alive CB! Good work on the morning reps.

Nice work at XC Stevie

Great racing and a really good report Phil. A shame you stumbled it could have been the difference……

I had planned 16m with a couple of 3 mile efforts on Saturday morning, that didn’t happen because of life* getting in the way, though I did manage 6.5miles easy. Then again on Sunday morning life* got in the way, but I did manage to get an hour in (8.xx miles @ 7:25/m), and then at tea time on Sunday I ran 11.xx miles with 2 x 3m at 6:20/m. So 19 and a bit miles with 6 faster yesterday, not classic long run fare but the 11 with 2 x 3m at night was tough on tiring legs. So probably a useful excersize in Marathon build up.
*= SPO

17/12/2012 at 13:33

Phil - Great report, must be very enjoyable to be in a position to challenge for race wins!

YD - Good improvisation there and a decent session in the end.

Duck - Nice video. You look rapid! Pbing at this stage of the season must be a good sign.

My cross country race on Sat was somewhat less impressive than Phils. I really don't do well when its very muddy, I finished a good distance behind people I would normally beat easilly on the roads. Still good strength training anyway. Followed that up with 13 yesterday.

Then today decided to make use of a day off work wih another mile rep session. 6 of them at 10 mile effort again, with 2.15 recoveries. Legs felt awful in warm up and during 1st rep but decided to perservere. In the end I managed an average pace of 6.03 a rep so happy enough with that.

17/12/2012 at 13:53

Great report Phil, especially the gymnastic bit! Well done! First next year! And yes, I'm looking forward to my first run report too! Just back from the physio who is very pleased: I am far in advance of where she expected. However I was told I must rein myself in and not get carried away: a lot of damage can be caused by taking one step too soon. So it will be next year before I attempt a run, which I may well do on the 1st before I see her again the next day. In the meantime lots of stretches and lots of walking, with as much of it as possible backwards!

Decent sessions going on: make sure they keep going during the holiday season...all too easy to get out of a routine.

Edited: 17/12/2012 at 14:01
17/12/2012 at 14:16

Wardi -

Nice to read tales of frozen eyelashes, I too joined that club last week. There may be more to come.

Alehouse - That shows a lot of improvement with the achilles if it is standing up to what is pretty brisk walking for a sustained period. No doubt there will be a fair bit of scar tissue to break up but at least it is repairing itself.

Duck - Far too fast for me to comprehend again. I dont understand these events that dont reward my steady start approach Although I totally buy into YD's logic about why 100m could be at a quicker pace than 60m. For may years the 100m and 200m world record paces flip flopped backwards and forwards for the very same reason.

Hilly - 'Excellent training threaders'?

Phil - Loved the report. I can just imagine how winded you must have been after the shock to the system of the unexpected slip. To recover from the oxygen debt of that and go on to battle out such a tight finish is very telling of your fitness levels. Pity about missing the title by such an agonisingly small margin though.

Mr V - I'm with you on the underperformance on mud. Its good for toughening up though


My weekend consisted of:

1. Should have finished 1st in a parkrun, depsite having no warm up, but woz robbed on the final lap by unethical behaviour which breached the newly written Dewsbury parkrun regulation 3, sub clause 7.1 which states that '...whilst being assigned pacing duties you are forbidden from finishing in front of anyone who finishes fatser than your allocated pacing time, especially if that runner happens to be the RD'

2. Was 1 metre in front of the Olympian who happens to be the fastest ever parkrunner at the 5 mile point in yesterday's Telford 10K. That is all.....



17/12/2012 at 14:20

Mr V - well done on the xc.  I was there too.  My first one on the NEHL ever and I ran for my second claim club.  Came in first counter for them so pleased and although it was hard I was quite pleased with my performance.    I loved the atmosphere and support for the clubs. 

17/12/2012 at 14:30

Duck, great time and great WAVA. Bear in mind that an indoor 200 will be slower than its outdoor equivalent. I would have thought this is the event that suffers most in fact.

YP, great pic. Nonsuch thought so too and tweeted it yesterday. Unless that was a time on feet exercise that run does seem too slow. I think you'd get far more benefit from doing long runs at more like75% MHR.

Phil, well done on a great result. Do you reckon you would have had it were it not for the fall?

SG, 100m will be run at a higher average pace than 60m because of acceleration. For example, in Bolt's 100m WR he went through 60m in 6.31, whereas 60% of his time was 5.75

YD, what's SPO? I looked it up but got Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra. How did they affect your running? Sounds like you got a fair few miles in anyway.

Shame your XC didn't go well, Mr V. Decent mile reps though.

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