Friday, September 30, 2011

3 x 2 km, 1 x 1 km, 2 x 500 m

I had planned to do this session tomorrow but then I found out I have interclub tennis tomorrow and decided not to do both on the same day. I went into town early and did the workout before work and before breakfast. I did better than I expected considering I was so slow yesterday on the 12 km.

2 km 13:08
2 km 12:53
2 km 12:49
1 km 6:17
500 m 3:09
500 m 3:06

Average pace 6:25
Average HR 141 bpm

Thursday, September 29, 2011

12 km Training Walk

It was a sunny day with a reasonably strong wind. I wasn't feeling particularly strong and that was reflected in my times. I tried hard to stay upright and could definitely feel my glutes. With the world cup rugby and the navy ships in town the waterfront was humming which made speed walking a real challenge. My right archilles was an issue in the last few km. I have been making an effort to do 40 heal drops at least 3 times a day in the hope that this issue will get better. I know it takes a while so I will persevere.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 km Fartlek

I had a yoga class earlier in the day so I had to wait until after work before heading out. I headed down to the waterfront since the opposite direction is only 4.5 km and I didn't feel like putting in an extra lap. It was busy on the waterfront but I managed to avoid getting slowed down. I felt pretty good out there apart from a sore right hamstring. I could feel my glutes a lot and was aware of my core muscles kicking in a bit. The speed was not as good as I'd like but it wasn't bad.

1 km 6:03
2 km 3:09 + 3:08 = 6:17
3 km 3:20 + 3:06 = 6:26
4 km 3:34 + 3:17 = 6:51
5 km 3:25 + 3:07 = 6:32
6 km 3:22 + 3:10 = 6:32
7 km 3:28 + 3:07 = 6:35
8 km 3:30 + 3:09 = 6:39
9 km 3:24 + 3:07 = 6:31
10 km 3:35 + 3:11 = 6:46

Average pace 6:31/km Average HR 144 bpm

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race

I was feeling pretty stiff before this rate and expected to struggle to make 32 minutes. I offered to pace for Jackie who wanted to achieve 32:24. She started off fast so I had to work hard to keep up with her. She stuck with me for the first 400 m or so but she was not able to keep that pace and dropped back whilst I was negotiating through the crowds on the walkway. I couldn't see her when I looked around so decided to keep going at a constant pace. I finished in 30:53 but forgot to turn off my watch for a while. Almost exactly the same result as last week.

I have joined up for a yoga class tomorrow. I'm hoping this will give me lots of stretching and will improve my flexibility.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

20 km Training Walk

Daylight saving started today so it was 10:00 am before we were ready to even talk about going out for a walk. The rain started before we got out the door and Philip thought we would be able to head to the pool and do some cross training. He took it well when I said I would be doing the 20 km walk that was on my programme regardless of the weather.

I found today's walk very hard and I was slow. It was wet and cold and I was trying some new things as explained below. I had done some core and glute exercises as my cross training on Friday and my muscles were a bit fatigued from that. A few km from the end my calf muscles felt like they were going to cramp up but they did actually hold together. It was a relief to see the 20 km tick over. If Philip hadn't been walking with me I may have been even slower or may have stopped racewalking before completing the planned distance. My glutes were feeling it over the last few km which is a good sign.

I went to see John Sloane, the podiatrist, on Friday to hear his feedback from the filming at the track last weekend. It was a bit of a shock to see how much my foot collapsed in my walking shoes but good to know that my running shoes do a much better job. I will be walking in those from now on and may end up buying another pair. It's disappointing that New Balance market racewalking shoes that do not incorporate sufficient support into their design. I will have to buy from Shoe Clinic in the future so that I can see a video of myself in the shoe before I buy it.

John has taped a temporary orthotic to my left foot for me to see how it goes. It certainly felt different with more of my weight falling on the outside of my foot. John also encouraged me to try a shorter step to help resolve some of the issues that he saw in my walking. All this seemed to contribute to a slow time today but I am optimistic that a few steps backwards now will bring about improvement in the long run.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 km Training Walk

My left leg was still feeling slightly numb so I wasn't sure if I should be walking today. My aim was to average around 6:45 min per km. The first and last km involve quite a few road crossings so the speed is up and down on those. I tried to make sure I was tucking my butt under - it still takes a lot of concentration to make that happen. I could feel tiredness in my glutes after the walk so it worked to some extent. My average was actually 6:49 so I didn't quite achieve what I set out to do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race

It wouldn't have taken much for me to decide to give today's race a miss but I didn't have a good reason not to turn up. There was a cold southerly wind blowing and I decided to wear a long sleeved compression top. I don't like getting hot so that was a risk.

I maintained a steady pace without going hard out, aiming to catch some of the slower runners that I usually beat. I figured my time was likely to be around 31:30 and was pleasantly surprised to come in at about 30:53. I haven't yet gone over 31 minutes this season. The top of my foot was a bit sore at the end of the race. The podiatrist checked this last week and I will ask him about it again when I see him on Friday to discuss the video footage he took at the track on Saturday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pelorus Trust Half Marathon

It was raining heavily through the night but had stopped when I got up at 5:30 am to get some breakfast and get ready for my 8:00 am start. My legs had stiffened up this week so I wasn't feeling confident of getting a good time but after seeing the entry list, I wasn't expecting any competition in the women's race. I never really felt comfortable throughout the race but managed to maintain a steady effort and finished in 2:22:19, about 8 minutes ahead of the second placed woman. It rained for about the last 3 km but apart from that race conditions were very good. It's a pity I wasn't able to take advantage of them. It's not a fast course but I did manage 2:20 two years ago and really should have been able to do better than today's result. I was happy with my time today though, given the way I was feeling.

Friday, September 16, 2011

6 km Fartlek

My programme included an 8 km fartlek for this week. I had planned to do that yesterday but my left leg was feeling quite numb and I didn't feel it was a good idea to train at all that day. I did some stretches and core exercises instead. My leg was still not feeling great today so I decided to cut my distance down form 8 km to 6 km.

I was quite stiff for the first km but did manage to find some better speed in some of the later fast sections. The first 3 km were into a strong wind so it's not surprising that the fast sections were better coming back (the slow sections were slower though).

I'm meeting the podiatrist at the track at 12:30 pm tomorrow so I will do my 20 mins easy training then.

My times for today:
1 km 6:10
2 km 3:23 + 3:03 = 6:26
3 km 3:22 + 2:59 = 6:21
4 km 3:26 + 2:55 = 6:21
5 km 3:25 + 3:05 = 6:30
6 km 3:33 + 2:48 = 6:21

Thursday, September 15, 2011

12 km with 2 x 10 min at half marathon pace

Wednesday 14 September

I am not yet fully recovered from the weekend so my fast sessions were more like 6:20 and 6:30 pace than the 6:10 I was looking for. I felt reasonably comfortable in my walk especially as I warmed up. It was good to be able to finish with a bit of energy.

I went to see a podiatrist this morning and I wish I had seen this man (John Sloane) a couple of years ago. He has knowledge of race walking and very quickly identified a number of issues for me to work on. I have very inflexible toes - they don't really want to bend from the lower joint at all. My big toes have no strength and my glutes have almost no strength. Whilst it is daunting to have a large number of things to work on it is also encouraging. If I can get reasonable results with all these issues just imagine what might be possible if I can improve on these things!

We are meeting this Saturday so he can see me walking (and video me I think) and then he will decide what orthotic he will give me and most likely there will be more exercises to. Currently he has me working on bending my toes, strengthening my Achilles tendon before it causes a major issue and strengthening my glute. He reinforced to me the importance of stretching and suggested I would benefit from shortening my training sessions by 10 mins and using the time to stretch. I know this is an area I never give much attention and I will try to follow this advice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race

Tuesday 13 September

There had been an amazing hail storm earlier in the day so I wasn't sure I would be doing the race. Fortunately the weather cleared and the race conditions were good. I definitely haven't fully recovered from my efforts on the weekend. My legs felt stiff and heavy and I wanted to keep something in reserve for the half marathon on Sunday so I didn't push too hard. I decided a time of around 31 minutes would be good since that is the kind of pace I'm hoping to sustain on Sunday. I finished in 30:57. There were times when I felt I was getting the style I found on Saturday but I didn't have the concentration required to maintain it throughout the race.

Monday, September 12, 2011

15 km Training Walk

Sunday 11 September

The weather forecast for Sunday wasn't good. I was half hoping it would be correct since I had put my name down to play in a tennis tournament and wasn't feeling all that keen. The morning was overcast but fine so I headed out to play tennis. The tennis was actually fun even if I was very rusty. We won our first match, narrowly lost the second in a tie breaker and were completely trounced in the third match. The rain came in just as we finished our tennis so I went home to do a few chores.

It was around 4:30 pm when I was ready to start my walk. I drove to the edge of town and walked to the waterfront and around the bays. I wore a backpack to carry my raincoat and some water. My coat went on a off a couple of times and I walked about a km before I realised my watch had clicked off sometime during the process. I turned it back on and decided to turn when it read 6.5 km. My speed was very slow from the start but it went from bad to worse. If it had not been an out and back walk, I'd have given up well before completing the full distance. I had real trouble staying upright, partly due to the gale force wind blowing in some parts of the walk but also due to tiredness after the race the previous day. I was glad of the coat and polyprop gloves I had carried with me because the weather deteriorated into cold, wet and windy conditions. At one point I was doused by a wave lapping over the sea wall.

This training really hurt but at least I now seem to be a bit more aware of whether I am straight or not. It was a relief to get back to my car and galling to find I had walked a few hundred meters too far. I'm glad the Garmin was mucked up because the information it would show was an embarrassment. (We could be talking 10 min per km at the end). It was interesting to walk through town just prior to the world cup rugby match between South Africa and Wales.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Marton - Whanganui Relay

Saturday 10 September

I was in the team that won this event last year but two of our best walkers were not available this year so we were not expected to repeat that feat. We stayed the night with friends at Te Horo, about an hour north of Wellington and got up at 5:30 am to drive up to Marton. Philip was walking the 2nd and 7th legs and I was doing the 3rd and 6th legs as well as doing the 10th leg for another Scottish Harriers team.

Philip did a great walk, finishing 4 min ahead of the time our team organiser Kevin predicted for him and moving our team from 5th to 2nd place. My first leg started out with a steep down hill then was undulating. I have been only walking on the flat the past few months so was slowed on the uphill stretches but made up some time on the downhill. I finished the 7 km leg around 45 seconds slower than Kevin's prediction but had been unable to prevent the Taranaki team extending their lead to a few minutes.

Our team was still in second place when I started the 6th leg which was a largely flat 8 km stretch. I knew that the Trentham team could be close behind since they had brought two young boys to walk for them who were capable of speeds I had not achieved. After about 2 km I was passed by Stuart from Trentham. I managed to stay within 20 m of him until the last 500m but I didn't have any sprint left in me at the end as he did. (This was the only leg he did). It was very hot during this leg and I found it quite difficult. We were a bit behind Trentham when Philip took over but he soon put us back in front. Unfortunately we couldn't could them off in the last two legs so finished third overall. 66 km in 7:10.

One of our club members dropped something heavy onto his foot during the week and was unable to walk his designated leg. I agreed to do a third leg for their team that was more than an hour behind my own team. That meant waiting around a bit and seeing more of the other walking and running teams than I have seen in other years. I enjoyed that. It is a friendly, fun event through scenic valleys. I really wasn't looking forward to walking that third time. I imagined my legs would lock up and prevent me going any better than 7 min/km.

I tried to make sure I was upright and walking in an easy steady rhythm. I was feeling very relaxed and there was a gentle side breeze to keep me cool. I found I was feeling much looser than anticipated and I actually enjoyed that last 5.7 km. Philip took a couple of video clips of me during the leg using his cell phone. The quality of the clips was not great but I looked noticeably different to my other clips. My style looked a bit like John Leonard, one of our club members who has a great style and who never has warnings or penalties from judges. This was another illustration to me of the dangers of trying hard. Once there was no pressure on me in this leg I relaxed into a great technique. It is very heartening to know that I was able to put in to practice some of the things my pilates tutor and coach have been telling me.

I have an appointment to see a podiatrist on Wednesday to work on some issues with my feet that may be contributing to my style issues. I am feeling very positive about seeing some real improvement in the near future.

My overall result for the day was to walk 20.65 km in 2:11:47. That would give me a pb for half a marathon, even if the last 350 m took 2:30 min.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9 km Fartlek

There was a 10 km fartlek on my programme today but I already did an hour of pilates this morning, I was stiff after my 20 km walk yesterday and there was a strong wind blowing. I had quite a debate with myself - to train or not to train - that is the question. I know there are times when I should listen to my body rather than my coach but I wasn't sure if today was one of those. I decided not to risk getting into the habit of being lazy and went out, fully expecting to be quite slow.

During the first km I was quite tight in the groin but this loosened up after that. I thought I was walking into the wind for the first half but when I turned around I realised the wind was swirling a bit and was still from the side and in front at times. My heart rate showed the effort I put in. My overall result was not bad. I ran out of footpath at 4.5 km and didn't have the motivation or energy to do an extra km lap at some point so I cut the session back to 9 km.

I felt a bit nauseous for a few hours after this session. That could be a good thing since I couldn't face eating the chocolate bar I fancied.

1 km 6:15
2 km 3:12 + 3:05 = 6:17
3 km 3:18 + 2:59 = 6:17
4 km 3:17 + 3:04 = 6:21
5 km 3:22 + 3:10 = 6:32
6 km 3:29 + 3:02 = 6:31
7 km 3:26 + 3:12 = 6:38
8 km 3:36 + 3:02 = 6:38
9 km 3:37 + 2:55 = 6:32

Total time 58:05
Average HR 154

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

20 km Training Walk

This was a difficult walk in a strong cold northerly wind. I attempted to concentrate on technique and was glad to achieve a time that was only a couple of minutes slower than my walk on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race

This event is the second to last race on our club winter programme. I suspect I may be the only person who has completed each event in that programme so that could put me well into the lead. I didn't score well on the events when the winner is closest to the estimated time so I wanted a good result today.

I tried to concentrate on standing upright as discussed with Jim last night. I was happy with my time considering the moderate breeze that was blowing.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

12 km with 2 x 10 min at 2:10 half marathon pace

I didn't feel that I would do a good job of 20 km today so I decided to swap with Wednesday's session. Philip wanted to take more videos of me so we went to the track. Luckily it was open and there was only one sprinter training there. I set my watch to sound an alarm every ten minutes and did my fast sessions after 20 mins and again after 50 mins. I felt I was walking quite well although I definitely tired after the second sprint.

Unfortunately the videos show there is still plenty of room for improvement but I do think my style is looking a little better.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

20 km training walk

It was a sunny spring day with a cool light breeze. I managed to convince Philip to walk with me by promising to walk 7:30/km but found that around 7 min was a more comfortable pace after the first km (we didn't warm up before starting the watch). After a few km I was starting to leave Philip behind me but figured I would pick him up on the way back. We parked the car near a cafe overlooking the ocean near Island Bay and headed around the bays. I estimated that I should turn around after about 9 km which would be roughly at the bottom of the Ataturk memorial.

The scenery was stunning with the South Island mountains visible in the distance and the white capped waves crashing on the rugged rocky coastline. The footpath ran out after 7 km and I walked most of one lap on a very uneven track, opting for the road after nearly going over on my ankle. The road was narrow and I didn't feel safe so I turned back after 8 km. One of the laps was into a strong wind and I made an effort to really push into my feet. This turned out to be my fastest lap. My pilates tutor has been saying 'Less is more' and I keep reminding myself of this. Sometimes reducing my cadence and relaxing into a better technique is giving me a good speed for much less effort. By the time 15 km came around I was really starting to tire - my glutes aren't used to this effort.

My best result in a judged 20 km event is 2:14. I was very happy with completing today's walk in 2:23. I concentrated on technique and managed a pretty good pace at the same time.

Tomorrow I have another 20 km walk. I am sure Jim didn't intend me to do two long walks in a row but the one hour race last Sunday meant I didn't get the 20 km in last weekend. I'm off for a long hot bath in the hope of loosening up for tomorrow's effort.

Friday, September 2, 2011

6 km Fartlek

The forecast was for rain today and I wasn't looking forward to a hard session in the wet. Luckily it was cool and sunny with a reasonably strong southerly wind. I did a 1 km warm up before starting the sprint but struggled to keep the pace up for the second 500 m of the first lap. My second lap was actually faster than my first. When I relaxed on the slower lap and thought more about my technique I went almost as fast as during the sprint. I made an effort to slow down a bit more on the slower lap to try and ensure I could go the whole 6 km. I was a little slower on the last 2 km but pleased with my session overall.

My splits:

3:09 + 2:58 = 6:07
3:21 + 2:55 = 6:16
3:16 + 2:58 = 6:14
3:22 + 3:05 = 6:27
3:24 + 2:58 = 6:22

Average speed 6:16
Average HR 150 bpm

6 km

I had a pilates session from 8:00 - 9:00 am yesterday. The movements are subtle but they do seem to be waking up my postural muscles.

I didn't feel up to the effort required for the fartlek so I swapped with today's session, opting for a more gentle walk. My first km was slow but after that I got into an easy rhythm and found myself going faster than the previous day with far less effort. Let's hope I feel that good in my fartlek session today!