Thursday, October 27, 2011

4 x 1 Km

This was the last training session before Sunday's race. My legs had been feeling a little stiff today and my ankle a little sore following the tennis I played on Tuesday night. I had a 1 pm meeting scheduled so I couldn't walk until after walk. The wind has been really strong this week but fortunately it had abated today and conditions were very pleasant. I figured that 85% effort was around 6:45 min/km but perhaps I should have been trying to judge that by heart rate. I was feeling pretty comfortable so was very surprised to see the HR recorded in the first 500m. I certainly didn't feeling under any cardio stress and can't explain the high readings.

I keep walking slowly during the rest periods which I reduced to 2 min as I didn't feel I needed a longer break.

km 1 6:29
km 2 6:36
km 3 6:27
km 4 6:31

Avg pace 6:30/km, avg HR 155 bpm

Tuesday 25 October, 5 km Kickdown

I agreed to fill in for tennis doubles interclub on Tuesday night so I couldn't do the regular waterfront race. I decided to do a 5 km walk at lunchtime and to try to increase the speed over each km. The wind was strong and my start was very slow but my increase for the 2nd km was a bit too much. I managed another small increase in the 3rd km but dropped back for the next one. I went hard for the last km and achieved a good pace.

km 1 7:15
km 2 6:24
km 3 6:22
km 4 6:30
km 5 6:04

Avg pace 6:31/km, avg HR 148 bpm

Tennis was enjoyable despite (or maybe because of) the unpredictable gale-force winds. I had one narrow loss and one win.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday 24 - 15 km Training Walk

We had planned to walk at around 10:00 am on Sunday but when I opened the front door I discovered it had started raining. The forecast was for the rain to clear later in the day so we did some chores and headed out at around 2:30 pm. We drove down to Petone for a walk down the esplanade and along the Hutt river. We had quite a few interruptions in the first 5 km, to go back to the car to grab the camera, to give Philip a few opportunities to film me and to chat to a couple of other club members we came across on the way. I was not able to get into a rhythm and was very slow as a result. I was able to speed up on the way back to complete the 15 km in 1:53:21 for an average speed of 7:33/km and average HR of 126 bpm.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10 km Fartlek

I can't blame the weather for today's results. It was fine and not too windy. I was happy to go under 6 min for the first km but my first slower lap was too fast and I struggled to maintain that kind of pace. I was getting slow in kms 8 and 9 but I was determined to come in under 65 min so I started the last sprint 100 m early and managed to achieve that. Overall 1:04:52 for 6:29/km average.

1 km 5:51
2 km 3:10 + 3:07 = 6:17
3 km 3:27 + 3:06 = 6:33
4 km 3:23 + 3:04 = 6:27
5 km 3:23 + 3:03 = 6:26
6 km 3:22 + 3:07 = 6:29
7 km 3:24 + 3:09 = 6:33
8 km 3:37 + 3:11 = 6:48
9 km 3:50+ 3:20 = 7:10
10 km 3:23 + 3:00 = 6:23

Wednesday 19 October - 6 km Training Walk

I have yoga from 11 - 12 on Wednesdays and although I was tempted to walk after that, I decided I'd better go back to work. I ended up going out after work, thinking I might do the 800/200 workout I missed out last week. It was starting to rain when I got outside and there was a cold southerly wind. I didn't fancy the rest periods in this weather and I was struggling to get any speed up so I settled for a 6 km walk with a couple of 10 min pace sessions.

Total distance 6:28, total time 45:42 average pace 7:16

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race

I felt good during the walk today and pleased to see that I was able to speed up after the first km since I often go very fast at the start and don't have anything in reserve. My overall time of 30:07 is possibly the fastest I've done in a reasonably strong northerly wind. All my sub-30 minute times have been achieved in a light southerly wind. David Lonsdale (A grade judge) remarked that my technique looked good at the end which was encouraging.

I wore my new shoes and my orthotics so I should have been pretty stable in my feet today.

Monday, October 17, 2011

8 km Kickdown

Officially it was an optional day for training today but seeing as I have had very little racewalking in the past 9 days I chose to do the kickdown. I wanted to work up to some speed and thought this would be the ideal workout. I was also walking in my new orthotics for the first time.

I decided that 7 min/km pace would be an okay starting point but I was able to average 6:43/km for the first 2 km. I made a real effort to increase this for the next 2 km and achieved 6:25/km. My inexperience in this type of training session showed and I was not able to increase my speed for the next set, despite turning around to the wind behind me. I actually slipped back to 6:28/km.

I put on a sprint for the last set and averaged 6:20/km for an overall time of 51:53 and average speed of 6:28. I was happy with that.

set 1 6:43
set 2 6:25
set 3 6:28
set 4 6:20

Sunday 16 October - 2 Hour Training Walk

I had two hours to fill in Christchurch whilst Philip was in a meeting. It was immediately after lunch so I had no intention of walking fast. I started out walking around Hagley Park which was in good shape although the path had a few earthquake humps to watch out for. After a while I couldn't resist the urge to get as close to the centre of the city as possible. I was saddened to see the flowers and photographs of lost loved ones pinned to the barricade on the Bridge of Rememberance. A hotel that I stayed in a couple of years ago on business is in the process of being demolished. The Regional Council (ECAN) buildings I visited on that trip were fenced off so I wonder if they will survive. I was able to walk along Kilmore Street where the marathon used to start and finish and was pleased to see that the Town Hall and Conference Centre appeared to be not too badly damaged. Appearances can be deceiving though - I was told that a number of the buildings that seem to be okay from a distance are due to be demolished.

The backpackers hostel that we stayed in when we came down for nationals last year has been partly demolished but I was delighted that the lovely pub where we enjoyed a meal that trip survived. It appeared to be brick but I suspect now it may be veneer. There are three vacant lots full of bricks beside it where other buildings did not fare as well. It was sobering to see houses broken in the middle and the many vacant lots where demolitions have already occurred but great to see the resilience of Christchurch people.

My concentration was not on style or speed but I did complete 2 hours of racewalking which was well overdue.

Thursday 13 October - 17 km high country walk around the Clay Range

We had to drive up towards the skifield for this walk and then park the car. After only about 50m we had to take off our shoes and cross the Ryton River. It was not deep or wide but it was very cold. The walk was on a 4 wheel drive track in the hills and along a river valley. It was a lovely sunny day and I came back with traces of sunburn on my neck and arms. The highlight for me was Mystery Lake - a picturesque tarn that I could have been tempted to swim in if it had been summer. I was struck by the peace and the grandeur of the high country I would recommend these walks to others.

Wednesday 12 October - Peak Hill

This was an excellent walk to do to appreciate this district. The more you climbed up the more you could see of Lake Colleridge on one side and the Rakiaia River on the other. As you got even higher the sea became visible in the distance and of course there were the ever present snow capped mountains. The path was narrow and not easy to follow so progress was slow. We found a small rock to shelter behind out of the wind to enjoy our lunch and the excellent views. I will try to find a photograph taken from the top. The views were truly magnificent and I was so glad to have stumbled across such a great place to visit.

Tuesday 11 October - Round Hill valley walk

I had booked for us to stay at a high country station on the shores of Lake Colleridge. I found this through Google when searching for Canterbury walks. The situation was stunning with a large lake below and snow capped mountains around. The accommodation was basic and there was no television or radio reception.

We settled in then did a 1.5 hour walk around a small hill not far from our cabin. It was boggy in places and I managed to drench and dirty my brand new running shoes. The track was documented as taking 2.5 hours so it was good to know we could do it in 60% of that time. I particularly like the landscape around the back of the hill which was a delicate cover of mosses like tiny vegetable sheep.

Monday 10 October - Stony Bay - Akaroa

We started the day with a short walk to the seal colony. This was only 2.1 km but involved walking across a steep slope in a strong wind which was a challenge. I was glad of my walking pole. We saw a mother seal with two pups up on a ledge and another seal trying to get up to them. After I turned away Philip witnessed a small drama where another seal appeared to chase the would be interloper away.

We then picked up our packs and headed up the valley. This part of the walk was through a reserve and it was great to see the native bush regenerating through the gorse. The highlight was coming across a mug hanging from a branch above a stream inviting us to partake in the pure water. It tasted wonderful and even came chilled! Once again we had to climb to the top of the hill before descending back into Akaroa. I was pleased to get back to the car and head to visit my brother for dinner and a good sleep. The walk with the pack was 15.5 km in 4:53.

Sunday 9 October - Akaroa - Stony Bay

This is the first time I have walked with a pack on my back in over 20 years and it was a lot harder than I remembered. The walk began with a climb of about 500m. I wore my Garmin to get an idea of pace and heart rate but all it showed was that the pace was extremely slow (around 3 km per hour) and the heart rate never really got going (avg 92 bpm). We walked 17.5 km in around 6:23. I didn't stop the watch when we had photo stops or admired the view (they were fantastic) but did when we actually sat down. I was very pleased when we reached our cabin at the end of the day and we had the added bonus of an outdoor hot bath heated by a wood fire underneath. It did wonders for my tired limbs. There was no electricity in the hut and, together with other trampers, we listened to the rugby world cup quarter final between NZ and Argentina on Philip's small transistor radio.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tuesday - Friday

Friday Podiatrist

I made an appointment to see John to pick up some orthotics. When I showed him my new shoes he was surprised at the lack of support in them and not surprised to hear about my aggravated Achilles. I had depended on the advice of the assistant at the shoe shop who sounded knowledgeable but who actually wasn't. He told me he had given me their most stable shoe but John thought it was probably worse than the New Balance walking shoes I was replacing.

I went back to the shop and talked to the manager and now have a pair of Brookes shoes that are a lot firmer. My Achilles felt better in the walk back to the train so let's hope these shoes do the trick. After my experience with the New Balance shoes I decided to buy from the Shoe Clinic who give a 30 day guarantee, even if you have worn the shoes out and about.

I am off to Canterbury tomorrow for 8 days so I may not have a chance to add to this blog for a while. Philip and I will walk the Banks Peninsular walkway on Sunday and Monday then we will head to a high country farm on Tuesday for a few days. We will be walking but are unlikely to get much race walking in.

Thursday 15 km

Sunday was meant to be 20 km but I only did 12 km so my aim today was to do the 20 km. I went to work early and headed out at about 4:30 pm. The cold southerly wind was there again so I decided to repeat a 2 km out and back loop along Oriental Parade and thus avoid walking directly into the wind. It was just as well I did this since when I got to 12 km I realised that my Achilles tendon was becoming too sore to walk much more on. I turned around and completed the 3 km back to work, giving me the 15 km total. I averaged 7:05 per km and would have been under 7 min if the sore ankle had not slowed me down. At least that was quite a bit better than on Monday.


I have a regular 45 min yoga class on Wednesday's now which I believe is very beneficial. It was my son's 19th birthday and I had invited people for dinner so there was not time for me to fit in a walk.

Tuesday 5km Waterfront Race

There was a strong cold southerly blowing and I was tired from the 27 km walked in the previous two days. I knew I would have a slow time and thought anything under 32 min would be okay. It was disappointing to hear from David Lonsdale (an A grade judge) that I was lifting at the start of the race. The event is not judged but I have been making a real effort to have good technique and I will go for a much slower start in future.

Monday, October 3, 2011

15 km Training Walk

I decided to do a walk after work today despite the wind and rain. When I went to get changed I found I had left my Garmin watch at home today. That wasn't too much of a problem since the waterfront walk goes for 6.5 km and starts just under 1 km from my workplace. I maintained 7.5 min per km for most of the walk but tailed off in the last couple of km. I was happy enough with that effort given the race yesterday. I was very wet when I got back to work, despite walking with my raincoat on. Just as well I had a hot shower and dry clothes waiting for me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wellington Masters 10 km

I hadn't planned to race today but Masters Athletics struggles for support in Wellington and I like to turn up to races if I can. It was 20 km on my programme so I did another couple of very slow km after the race with the thought that I might do another 8 km later. With the All Blacks v Canada match and then the Warriers final this afternoon there really wasn't much chance I would get out again.

I found the race quite hard. My glutes were feel sore - I'm not sure if it was the unaccustomed tennis yesterday or just that I've finally found how to get these to do some work. They are even sorer now so I did have them working! The wind was strong on the way out and the times noticeably quicker on the way back. My time for the 10 km race was 64:17 with 32:16 for the first 5 km. I lost a bit of time on the way back when I told the leader he was going the wrong way and he convinced me he was right until we both had to turn back after 100 m or so.