The Middle Ground

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27/06/2013 at 22:37

Dash, take some downtime, and you'll be back hungry like a dog for some racing sometime soon i'm sure.

27/06/2013 at 23:39

Cheers peeps

28/06/2013 at 09:07

Thanks, Mr V. Yes, really pleased with the run itself, particularly just 2 days after a 10k PB. Undoubtedly another breakthrough, but so disappointing that there's nothing tangible to show for it. 

Some good tempoing from you there by the sounds of it. Increasing to 10 miles of it sounds tough though!

Right - it's official: -

"We’re very sorry that due to a mistake on the night, the 5K course was approximately 160 metres short, making it approximately 3 miles."

My time has been confirmed as 19:25, and I make that 20:03 pace for 5k across the race, but given that I 'went' with what I thought was about 400m to go and was doing around 4:40 pace per the Garmin over the last 30 seconds plus, I've no doubt I'd have comfortably broken 20:00. Sigh. 

20:03 for 5k according to the Grubb WAVA calculator would give me 69.11%, but 19:25 for 4.84km, even though it's an identical pace, only gives 67.61%. Feck knows how that stacks up, but guess I'll not bother updating the resurrected league table with such small beer. 

28/06/2013 at 09:35

Bad luck Bob ... the same pace at a longer distance is bound to give you a better WAVA but if it's not a certified distance then it's all academic anyway. The important thing is that you ran well and the reality is that these current race times will seem like peanuts in a year or two, once you have a good mileage base to build on.

Dash ... you'll be back. Hungry like a Black Shuck. Woof.

28/06/2013 at 20:35

Bad luck Bob, must be very frustrating that. You know though what you will be capable of next time.

First of three 10ks in 15 days for me tomorrow evening. The latter two are the ones I have been targeting since early May. Tomorrow, I just want to beat my previous two woeful attempts at it.

Calf/lower leg injury is intermitent. Yesterday it was playing me up terrible, today barely there. Have spoken to a physio who is annexed to our local semi pro footy team. I cant get to see him for about 10 days but he has given me some strengthening work to get started via e-mail and says its easily sorted. Spoke to another guy and despite stating in my opening garb that I did not want someone to just state 'stop running', that is precisely what he said, and to see how I feel in 10 days.

Can anyone give a view on a common problem when I race/interval. Before my legs stop me or my breathing, I get a burn in my stomach and know if I push more I will be sick. I seem to routinely finish races with no ability to burst as 50 metres from home I start to gag. It gets particularly annoying in events like x country which is team scorer and everyone is screaming at you to sprint. It looks like you cant be bothered and don't care if you lose places!

29/06/2013 at 19:32

Bizarre I asked the above question yesterday as its exactly what happened tonight in the last 50 metres, heaving and gagging!

I was pleased with tonights race. 2 years ago I was 44.34 on the course. I am not great at hills so did not expect a great deal. I stopped my watch on 42 min dead, but my wife reckons it was just under 42, which I will take. At 7k I was just on for sub 40 min and cruising really well, then the climb kicked in for 1.5k and by the end where it peaks I was practically walking. It has left me reasonably confident that if I did a sensible course (which next 2 are) I will maintain where I was at 7k and do the job!

30/06/2013 at 19:28

Well done DT, and sounds promising for a flat 10k.

Not much to report here, a major cutback week! 96 reports done, 4 to go. 5 UCAS references done, 21 to go. 220 exam papers done, 435 to go!

30/06/2013 at 19:51

Hope you get back into things soon Dash, sorry to hear you've been struggling!

That's terrible luck Bob but that sub 20 isn't far from reality now! That happened to me with the Cardiff half a few years back when it was almost 200 metres short! I'll never forget a mates face when he thought he PB'd in 83 minutes only for lots of people around us muttering about their recorded Garmin distances! Sounds like a similar tale for you there.

DT...nice racing! As for the sprinting, are you saying that you lack a sprint finish? I do too but not for the same reasons. With me, I just feel like the legs don't want to respond. However, its more of a problem with the inline hockey where you are screamed at to 'bust' up and down the pitch to chase the puck but I lack the ability to push fast, particularly when it comes to doing it against players in their early to mid twenties or even younger. The number of times I've been told its about not trying hard enough....or its that the running has taken away any half decent pace I once had. Some people don't understand, much like some people can't shake their hips/can't dance/sing...some of us just don't have many fast twitch fibres (although realise that is not what appears to be preventing you picking up a gear at the end of a race?). Currently giving serious thought on whether to pack the hockey in after 24 years as I clearly aren't enjoying as like I once did...if I don't it will be one more season and that's it! 

Nice productive work on the marking CB! Although a bit more mileage with the marking left yet! 

Edited: 30/06/2013 at 19:53
30/06/2013 at 20:17

Lordshill 10k today was a day to forget. That may actually be an understatement! Provisional results show 40:49. Beaten by a club mate who I normally beat (although he clearly has a lot more potential if he puts more miles in) and one or two local runners who I'm normally faster than.

All was good at the start, did a mile warm up and felt bouncy! Was a little concerned about the heat as down here its been the hottest day of the year so far. Anyhow, we set off and intended to stick to the pace of the Eastleigh 10k. First mile passed in more or less an identical time of that race in 6:02. Next lap was in 6:18, felt like I had to work hard to maintain the pace of the first mile but no real warnings of what was to come. Passed the 5k mark in about 19:25 so by this point I thought it was too warm but should squeeze a sub 40! Clearly that was wrong! 3rd mile split before the 5k marker was in 6:26 so knew I was in for a tough 2nd half at this point.

However, the wheels rapidly fell off. The 4th mile was about hanging on and this came out in 6:37. Although it was a fairly fast course with gentle undulations some of the fairly short yet shallow inclines really took it out of me (a gradient I really seem to struggle with).....but wasn't expecting to register a shocking 7:15 5th mile. By this point I'd completely lost it and thoughts of Lliswerry from back in January went through my mind. Was also really struggling in the warmth (about 20 degrees by the end of the race). That might not be a problem for some but found myself wilting away...thank goodness I'm not in Death Valley this weekend that's all I say (53 degrees!!!). 6th mile was in 6:54 but by then my race was well and truely over. Over the last half mile my club mate overtook and there was no chance of catching him....then near the end that local runner I have comfortably beaten in recent races passed by. Last bit was recorded in 6:28 and have not been so relieved to finish or felt so deflated in quite a while. Certainly realise though that with running/racing it can be about 1 step backward to go 2 forward at times and patience is very much all part of improving. However, I need to look at what went wrong today, the heat was one thing but perhaps the training hasn't been right? Also starting to wonder if I raced myself into good shape back in March what with fewer races more recently? Or perhaps not having a proper rest since Brighton has caught up? The only positive if it is one was that most runners appear to be up to a minute down on their PBs. Time for a curry now and to try and forget about today.

Edited: 30/06/2013 at 20:20
30/06/2013 at 21:41

CB- Good luck with that. Not sure I could muddle my way through that lot and remain patient enough to read the full answers or decipher scrawly handwriting!

WJH- Yes that's precisely my issue. I was always a sprinter throughout youth and was far better at football in my twenties based on speed over 60m than actual ability. I was flying last night, then suddenly I get this burning in my belly, dryness in throat and my abs just start contracting and I gag. It kills my pace dead. Last night I could see the clock ticking towards 42 min and decided to just run through it and deal with it at end. Official time 41.59 in end.

Do you normally go off that fast? You are a bit quicker than me, but if I did my first mile in 6.10 say I would suffer in second half. The heat will have zapped you as well. Sometimes, as I found in  May with a race, it just isn't your day. I think if you had say 3 consecutive races like that then there might be an issue.

01/07/2013 at 11:34

DT – Looks promising for a fast time on a flat course

WJH – What time were you aiming for? I really struggle with the heat and humidty as well (actually its mainly the humidty). I just assume I’ll be 1 -2 minutes down over 10k during the Summer months and don’t worry about it. My easy pace at the moment is 20 seconds a mile slower than a couple of months back when it was cooler. I just treat summer racing as fun tempo sessions and save the PBs for autumn.

01/07/2013 at 13:50

DT - it is exactly the same pace I started off with at Eastleigh back in March. That day, I slowed a bit from the first mile but managed to hold it together. I think you are right with the pacing though as with Eastleigh that worked out on the Garmin at 6:16 per mile from memory...I listened to Marathon Talk the other week for the first time and they were talking about pacing and how track athletes often know without looking at the clock/watch how long they will have taken to run each lap split to tenths of a second! I guess that being at least over 10/15 seconds faster than I should have been for the first mile was a big mistake.

That combined with the weather was without doubt one of the overiding factors too Mr V. Kind of re-assuring that I am not the only one to not race well in those sort of conditions...yesterday was very humid actually. I was definitely not going for a PB but thought over 40 minutes would have been a dissapointment. On a further look at the race results, there were more names I recognise from other races that were also a minute or minute and a half down so perhaps I shouldn't be so critical of yesterday in some ways. I haven't run in conditions as warm as yesterday morning this year yet so it was probably a bit of a shock! As far as I go though, you are definitely right - spring and autumn are the times I am targeting improvements.

Before key 10k races this year I have also ran a hard 10k treadmill effort and ran one on Tuesday in 39:20. I do this session once every two/three weeks when not feeling like a tempo type session if its wet, etc (rather than once or twice a week like I used to last year and previously) with my best effort this year being 38:40 whilst it was in 39:16 on the Tuesday prior to Eastleigh. I tend to find these sessions a generally good indicator of fitness amongst many other workouts! So i'm hoping this shows that the fitness can't have dropped way off. However, I have not done anything like 800 metre or mile reps more recently though which may be a bit of a factor along with the heat in fading yesterday. I am not so sure it's a huge fitness issue in hindsight either since I did do a 6X400 on Thursday with rep times ranging from 87 seconds to start (lazy first one) and 77 seconds with an all out effort for the last (averaged out at 81 seconds for the 6). Shouldn't have been wiped out from these sessions for Sunday either since I also rested on Wednesday and Friday  whilst did a 39 minute Parkrun on Saturday. However, if anyone feels that this is the wrong sort of approach to take in the week leading up to a race (also lack of other specific 10k sessions maybe?) feel free to say!  

Edited: 01/07/2013 at 13:57
01/07/2013 at 16:02

WJH – I wouldn’t read too much into it as its just one race. Sometimes we just don’t run as well as we’d like and we can’t pin down why. Such is the way of running. I think the pacing may be a big part of it though. That slowing in the final couple of miles is a classic symptom of going off too fast. I’d aim for a cautious start in your next race. Try going off 5-10 seconds a mile slower than you think your average pace will be and after mile1 pick things up. Then see how much more enjoyable the race is and how strongly you finish.

I would also question the rationale behind your treadmill session. That’s essentially a full 10k at race pace isn’t it? Certainly the kind of session I’d want to avoid in the week leading up to a race if I wanted to be fresh. And to be honest imo its too intense a session for you to be doing every 2/3 weeks anyway.

01/07/2013 at 16:21

WJH: I'm not sure about the treadmill session either. That is basically your race pace so you are effectively running 2 10k races in 5 days. As Mr V says, it is the one to avoid if you want to be fresh. I'd find it a mind-numbing session! Not really sure of the value unless you were aiming for 10 miles or a half. It will help in your long term development, but I think on this occasion it may have been detrimental in the short term.
I don't run well in the heat either. Or in the cold. In fact I don't seem to run well at all any more!

01/07/2013 at 19:08

Well another week has ticked around - last week I managed:

Mon - 6.5k LSR

Wed - 4k Hill session on treadmill

Sat - 5k tempo run on treadmill

Sun - 5k easy recovery run

Had my LSR for this week planned for tonight (7.5k) but I've had a really busy few days and then woke up sick during the night last night, so figured I needed a rest day today and will move my LSR to tomorrow night instead.

Got through the tempo run relatively unscathed but I must confess to being a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to keep up that pace (or faster) over 10k when it comes to race day in about 6 weeks time. Hmmmmmm

Anybody got any races coming up this week?

01/07/2013 at 20:58

Mr V, I have the Kinvara 3s.

Bob, really annoying about the short course. But your performance shows you're in good shape regardless.

DT, I've never experienced anything like that stomach-wise. I sometimes get a "fizzy" feeling if I perform a hard effort without warming up properly - which I've always assumed is blood being pulled away from the stomach to the muscles. But that isn't attended by any sick feeling.

The only time I actually heave is 5-10 minutes after an 800m race or a really harsh lactic tolerance session. Nice racing from you,

WJH, sorry your race didn't go well. Heat can really make a difference, and sometimes things just aren't right. Agree wth Mr V and alehouse on your treadmill sessions.

I had a nice 1500 session the other day: 10 x 400m (70")[90"] which is promising. Went out for 6 miles tonight and pace/HR ratio was very pleasing. I thought I'd stick in one more over distance race to toughen me up for 1500 and am doing a 3000 on Wednesday.

01/07/2013 at 21:47

WJH- Just on the race thing and how well/bad you did compared to others, the best way to assess that is to look at the vsss figure on runbritain. That basically calculates how you performed compared to everyone else against their expected performance. If the figure is minus, regardless of your time, you faired better than the average runner in the race compared to their level. Its a complete leveller for difficulty.

In terms of race pace, someone told me for every 10 secs per mile you go off too fast, you will lose 10 secs per mile each mile afterwards. Not sure how accurate that is.

Simon- it happens to me routinely in races, if I don't get to gagging, it means I have had to pull back just before. I also routinely get it at club intervals. Its never my legs or cardio system that stops me its my stomach. I can remember first time it happened when I was 11 in the inter schools 400m and I was smashing for line in last 30m and started gagging.

So... how to I build my training towards my 2 big 10ks. One is a week Wednesday amd the other a week sunday.I would assume the days in between the races should just be easy running? When should I do my ;last speed session?

02/07/2013 at 10:38

Morning everyone. Probably only going to be able to dip in occasionally for the next month or so - I've moved up to acting Assistant Manager at work (after only being there 10 months) which is a great new challenge but doesn't leave much free time....

I wasn't really beating myself up over the parkrun, I know it's not a priority right now but it was interesting to see how the type of training I have been doing does not result in a good 5k! FWIW the guy who finished just ahead of me has a pb of 17:54 so I reckon that fits in with an 18-flat performance. 

That's a good 800 & 400 relay leg Simon. Your conversion is pretty solid (2.23 400:800 if both efforts were similar) so getting close to 56-flat would get you close to 2'05 IMO. 

Bob, matching a result from just over a month ago shows good consolidation to me. Of course not every race can be a big improvement but I'd take great heart from a result like that, that you've definately improved.

Nightmare on the short course! It's been happening more and more recently. All you can do is try and find another one soon. Really sorry you weren't able to break 20 

Mr V - training looks good from you too. If you can tempo 64 minute 10 milers in training you'll be set up very nicely indeed! Stick at it.

DT, I was going to suggest what Simon said  too - blood being pulled away from the stomach. 

WJH, these races do happen. I had 2 races back in 2011 where I ran the first 3k very slowly, then got even slower after that! 

I've had an okish first week back after a down week. I'm into 600s now but cannot get the damn pacing right - Simon I'm sure will attest to that. I can split 60, 61s pretty easily for the first 400 then the third 200 I think I subconsciously slow up and end up running relatively comfortable 94.xx or 95.xx times, but can't run any faster even though I know I can! It's frustrating so I think I need to just give it the full welly from about 450 onwards and see what happens. It's still good training but it's not the intensity I'm needing right now. 

We have a new (straight tarmac) track close to where I live now as well, which is 500m in length - sure looks a long way in a straight line. I used it Sunday morning - 500/500/400 w/10'00 rec, running 72.8, 73.4, 58.1. It's a little downhill which explains the quickish times - It's quite a sensation to split 56.xx for 400m and it not feel too difficult! 

Also, paced to 20 minutes at parkrun Saturday morning (ended up with 19:56). Felt really good, finished feeling like I had hardly gotten going and could have done the same again with plenty left to spare, so reckon it could be a decent estimate of HM intensity.

I have a 1500m tonight which promises to be wet and windy. Just going to have to sit and kick I think.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 10:53
02/07/2013 at 14:36

Afternoon all,

Busy few days - just having a proper catch up before race 3 of the GP series tonight - what (like Duck's 1500m) is set to be a wet and windy 4 miler. Think the wet and windy is a given from the forecast, the 4 miles may be more up for discussion however given last Thursday's shenanigans! Hoping for something like 26:15 if I can recapture the form from the second half of last week.

WJH - Bad luck with your 10k at the weekend. Not much experience to draw on for me, but I'd also suggest that the Tuesday treadmill session drew the life out of your legs for the race. Nothing wrong with a bit of quicker stuff from what I've been told and read, but not in a large continuous block like that. Perhaps 3 x 1 mile, or 4 x 1km with longish recoveries would be more suitable if at 10k pace, or a slightly less intense and shorter continuous tempo of 20 minutes / 3 miles at around threshold? The last of those is what I did 5 days out from last week's 10k incidentally. 'Cut the volume but not the intensity' is a handy soundbite I've taken to heart for taper weeks. Interesting what you say about the hockey, I'm really doing some soul searching over the cricket at the moment too. Will see this season out, but there's a growing likelihood that I'll be an occasional cricketer come 2014, with the cricket fitting round the running rather than the other way round as it by necessity this season whilst still playing league cricket at a half decent standard. Think I had a similar reaction to your pal at the Cardiff half last Thursday BTW - punched the air and failed to stifle a 'get in' when I stopped the Garmin at 19:25, but immediately realised that it wasn't realistic, and had a real sinking feeling as I looked at the distance.

DT - Sounds like an excellent 10k from you on a tough course. Sets you up well for the upcoming two that have better prospects for a faster time. What's your time to beat from your current PB? The problems you face from a quick finish sound very unpleasant - not experienced that...yet at least. As I think I've said before on here, my legs are still catching up with my overall fitness, so it's those that give in first for me. Regards your training before the 10k races next week, take my novice input with a pinch of salt, but in the week or so before the first see the above (to WJH) for the sort of session and approach that I'd look at if they were my races - probably one apiece of the tempo / intervals, and then a final easy run with a few strides or diagonals in the last day or two beforehand. Between them, again if it was me, I'd do a short 20 minute recovery run on the Thursday and another easy run with strides on the Friday or Saturday depending on whether you prefer to rest or run the day before a race - seems a very personal thing that, and you've got to work out what suits, and works best for, you.

AndyD - Looks a decent week. Good luck with the long run tonight - sensible increase in distance from last week there. If you can get the LSR over distance before your 10k comes around with similar sensible increases in mileage, that should help you a lot when the race comes around.

Simon - Good session of 400m repeats there. Assume that '10 x 400m (70")[90"]' means you averaged 70 seconds for the repeats with 90 seconds recovery between them? What do you do in the recovery for those - jog, walk, standing recoveries?

Duck - Thanks. Good luck with the 1500m tonight - training looks good as usual, nice mixture of quality sessions including the paced/tempo parkrun.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 14:37
02/07/2013 at 14:38

Continued ...usual overly long ramblings mean it didn't fit on a single post!

Final thoughts on the 5k, now reclassified as a 3 miler, from last week. The performance was at least reflected on the RB handicap with a -1.3 vSSS rating, but still don't understand the WAVA rating. Dr Dan - appreciate what you're saying, but seems an excessive drop off for 3 miles at 19:25 compared to the same pace of 20:03 for 5km, even purely using it for my own comparison purposes. For example, to get the same percentage as 19:25 for 3 miles (67.3%), is 20:35 for 5km. 1:10 allowance for the extra 160m?  Anyway, as you say, all academic given the circumstances, and yes, looking at the bigger picture all of these races are (hopefully) mere stepping stones along the way to where I want to get to ultimately.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 14:50
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