Thursday, December 29, 2011

10 km Training Walk

I wanted to get my walk in early today so that there would be some time to do work around the house later in the day. I decided to start measuring the 10 km right from our place even though this meant race walking up some reasonably challenging slopes as well as the steep downhill into town. I decided to complete the 10 km on the flat and not to measure the uphill walk home.

My speed was up and down but not as slow as my last walk. It was cooler today with a watery sun trying to poke through the clouds. My average speed was 6:54/km with average HR of 143 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

10 km Training Walk

I was dressed and ready to do this walk yesterday. We dropped Philip's mother at the airport around 1:00 pm but I didn't feel like training in the heat of the day so we did some shopping then went and had a late lunch. I really didn't feel like walking after that so we didn't bother.

This morning I got up and made some blueberry pancakes. The plan was to walk leisurely the first few km down the hill towards Wellington and to start measuring the 10 km once we got onto the flat. I left it about 300 m or so before I turned my watch on because I was struggling to get up any speed. It was hot with a moderate northerly wind that was behind us most of the way. I never really found any speed or rhythm today and managed to average only 7:40 per km even though I was trying to do much better. My left ankle is feeling quite sore so I may try to see the doctor this week to see if I can have it scanned.

We ended up walking (not race-walking) back to town again before getting a bus home so probably walked around 18 km in total.

10 km Training Walk

Saturday 24 December - 3 x 2 km with 3 min rest, 2 x 1 km with 2 min rest

We dropped our friends off at the airport at 10:30 am then headed to the track for this workout. Philip was set to film me whilst I did all the hard work. I was surprised to find the track quite busy but the other users were happy to share. I started with a few laps in lane 8 to warm up and wondered if I would have a worthwhile session given how stiff I was at the start.

I was pleasantly surprised to complete my first 2 km in 11:41 but I was slow to get started again after the rest period. My next 2 km was 12:06 and the final one 12:14. I was a hot day and I found this session pretty hard. The first 1 km was 6:06 and the second 1 km 6:01 for a total of 48:08 for 8 km. I was pleased to have that one under my belt. I am sure these sessions are very beneficial but they call for a big effort!

I will add some photos and video clips here shortly.

3 X 2 km with 3 min rest + 2 x 1 km with 2 min rest

Thursday, December 22, 2011

15 km Training Walk

I was feeling pretty stiff and not very motivated about doing a long walk today. It was sunny but there was a strong southerly wind. I decided to relax and concentrate on pushing off my toe and not to worry too much about pace. I was also trying to keep my core strong and lifted. To my surprise I was managing to keep under 7 min/km. I expected this would slow down over the last few km so I tried to lift my effort a little in the return half with the tail wind. I was even more surprised to be able to increase my speed right to the end and to finish with an average pace of 6:55. I had told my colleague before I went out that I should do 15 km in 1:45 but would be likely to go closer to 2 hours. It was pleasing to be wrong on that count and to finish in 1:43:55.

15 km Training Walk

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 km Training Walk

I did try to include 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace in this walk but I was pretty much unsuccessful. My legs and the strong wind just didn't allow it to happen. I did a pretty good race the night before so I shouldn't be too disappointed.

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday 20 December - 5 km Waterfront Race

I struggled to get to the race on time so did not get any warm up. It showed in a slow first lap, also contributed to by a strong head wind. I was pleasantly surprised at my second lap and my overall pace to finish the 5 km in 30:01.

5 km Waterfront Race

Sunday, December 18, 2011

15 km Training Walk

Today was the Christmas lunch for the Scottish walkers. The arrangement was to meet at 9:00 am for a walk and to head to David Lonsdale's place for a barbeque after 11:00 am. I knew there would only be time for 15 km and my idea of arriving in time to do 5 km prior to meeting up with the others was not likely to happen. Sure enough, Philip and I only just managed to get to the starting point in Island Bay at 9:00 am. Five of us headed round to the back of the airport whilst a larger group headed in the opposite direction for a short walk followed by a long coffee stop at a cafe called 'The Bach'.

There was a strong cool southerly wind blowing which was largely helpful on the way out and slowed us down on the way back. I managed to catch my foot on some flax and trip over but fortunately only slightly grazed my hands. I managed an average pace of 7:23 which was not bad.

At David's some of the walking prizes were presented to those who missed the Scottish Athletics prize giving in November. I got the silver medal for the club walking championship for the third year - watch out Robyn - I'm aiming for the gold medal next season. I also got the trophy for the club 'All-rounder' competition in the winter. There were 12 races in this competition and the best 9 results were counted. Two other awards were a surprise - a gold medal for the club half marathon champs. I knew I won the Wellington Half Marathon but I didn't know the club awarded a medal for this event. I also got a trophy for contribution to walking for the past season, apparently because I entered all the races held over the season. I like to support the club as much as possible and it is nice to have this recognised.

15 km Training Walk

Saturday 17 December - Scottish Night of Miles

This is an annual event with the $10 per family entry fee going to the Mary Potter Hospice. Philip and I arrived just before 3:00 pm to help with registration and any other chores needed. The one mile walk was scheduled for 7:00 pm. It was cold and windy so I knew a good warm up was needed. It was great to see Quentin arrive to race and to see some young runners decide to give the walk a go. This race was a handicap on our club calendar. I usually do badly in such events - one previously good result can mean you get impossible handicaps forever more. I enjoy races with young Stuart and Andrew entered since they are faster than me but close enough for me to strive to catch them up. I came close to passing Andrew on the last lap but he narrowly held me out. I was please with my time of 9:11 for the mile. In the hurry to get to the track I forgot to take my Garmin.

I decided to also enter the handicap spiral race as a walker. Kevin and I started at the same time as 80+ runner Michael Browne. We completed one lap before the first runner started and were on about lap 5 when the last runner started. In this race competitors start in lane 8 and move over to the next lane each time they pass the start/finish lane. Most runners passed me in the last few laps but I did manage to finish ahead of a few people to finish the 3.4 km in 20:17. I felt good during that walk and not at all hampered by the previous race.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 km Training Walk

I had planned to do this walk yesterday but the weather and a busy schedule deterred me. There were no speed bursts specified in my programme but I decided to try a put in some faster efforts to give me a better average rate. I was lucky with the traffic lights at the start but not on the way back. It was quite hot out despite a reasonably strong southerly wind and I felt pretty comfortable throughout the walk. I managed an average pace of 6:38 for the first 11 km but those intersections and the hill on the last 500 m lowered the overall rate to 6:43.

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday 13 December - 5 km Waterfront Race

I was a bit delayed getting away from work so my hurried walk to the waterfront was quite a good warm up. As there were no walkers in front for me to chase, I set myself the target of passing some of the slower runners. I did pass some and managed to keep close behind one runner until 1 km from the end. I felt comfortable throughout the race and was happy with my time of 30:20 considering this was my 6th consecutive day of walking.

5 km Waterfront Race

Monday, December 12, 2011

5 x 1 km (2 min rec)

I was glad to have a short session after the long walk yesterday, even if it was intense. Ideally I would have liked to do 5:45 per km but anything around the 6 min mark would be good. I forgot my heartrate monitor strap today but that was not a problem. The weather was calm and slightly drizzly - perfect for walking. My first 500m was 3:10 so I tried to increase my speed for the second 500m to finish the first km in 6:08. The next 4 km were 5:55, 5:48, 5:55 and 6:07 for an average pace 0f 5:58. I was sweaty and tired afterwards having put in a good effort.

5 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catching Up

Sunday 11 December - 20 km Training Walk

Philip got me to drop him at the track at 8:30 am where he was officiating at the national Secondary School champs so I got an early start to my walk today. I parked near the French cafe at the bottom of the Ngaio Gorge thed walked out to the Ngauranga Gorge before turning to walk into town and around the bays. This out and back route would allow me to do 20 km with only a couple of road crossings. It was a perfect day for walking - overcast and calm. I wore a camelback today which is easier to walk with than my backpack and easier to drink from than grabbing the drink bottle. I got back to my starting point after 4.5 km and mentally calculated that with 15.5 km left to go, I should turn around after 12.75 km. That was wrong. Considering I have a honours degree in maths, my mental arithmetic should be better! I should have turned around at 12.25 so I ended up walking 21 km this morning. It wasn't as hard out there today as it was last Sunday but I was still feeling pretty fatigued for the last few km. I was pleased to average 7:28/km for the 21 km - that's much better than last week but still way below my capability. I have managed this pace for a whole marathon a number of times but that was before I got my glutes doing any of the work!

21km training walk

Saturday 10 December - 3 x 2 km with 3 min rest

My daughter had asked me to take her shopping this morning but I ended up buying more than she did. The one-hour of shopping extended to around 3 hours so it was 2 pm when I got home. I hadn't eaten since breakfast since I don't like to sprint on a full stomach so I was hoping that my late morning latte would be enough to keep me going. I didn't want to drive to a flat spot so I decided to do some laps outside a large resthome complex not too far from home. This is relatively flat and does not involve crossing roads. I was pleased to discover that it was around 600 m in length. It was very hot and sunny and I had decided not to carry water with me. I expected this workout to be difficult but wanted to give it a good go. I was pleased to see that I managed 12:22 for the first 2 km and even more pleased to manage 12:09 for the second 2 km. I was pretty drained after the second sprint so managed only 13:12 for the third 2 km. This made a total of 58 km for the past week - not a bad effort!

3 x 2 km with 30 sec rests

Friday 9 December - 12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

I had put in a good effort for the 15 km on Thursday and wasn't sure if I could manage the 12 km today. 2 km sprints didn't seem that much easier and I felt I would manage Sunday's 20 km better if I did only 6 km on Saturday rather than 12 km. The weather was good and I managed a better pace a the start than I had done the previous day. I decided to do my fast efforts early on - at the start of 3 km and 5 km, aiming for 6 min/km pace over these. I was pleased to maintain a pace of 6:40 over the first 10 km and delighted to average 6:45 for the full 12 km.

12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

Thursday, December 8, 2011

15 km Training Walk

We had our team Christmas lunch today so I was feeling pretty full when I headed out a few hours later, despite being restrained at the restaurant. I had a slight stitch for the first km or so but I was able to settle into a rhythm after that. The weather was cool with a light southerly wind with the threat of rain that didn't eventuate. I was pleased to see my average pace dropping down as I continued the walk and finished the 15 km in 1:49 for an average pace of 7:15. I am feeling a bit stiff afterwards and my left ankle is quite tender.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 km Waterfront Race - Tuesday

I was still feeling the effects of the 20 km on Sunday so I knew I would not achieve a sub-30 minute time this night. It had been pretty wet for most of the day but cleared up before the race. Unfortunately the heavens opened up as we were standing on the start line so it was pretty wet for the first 500 m or so. I wasn't able to keep up with John but I tried to keep him in my sights and did manage to close the distance a bit in the second half. I reached half way at 15:16 so was pleased to capitalise on the southerly wind and finish in 30:27.

Monday, December 5, 2011

20 km Training Walk - Sunday

The plan was to start out reasonably early in the day so that we would have most of the afternoon to do other things. We didn't get up until around 9:00 am so it was 10:30 before we finally got out the door and immediately we had to stop and put our raincoats on.

We live on a hill so there is a downhill at the start then undulations before we get to the big downhill to the Hutt Road. I had expected to get off to a slow start but to pick up speed once we got to the downhill. That didn't happen unfortunately.

As we were getting close to the city along the Hutt Road we saw a race walker coming towards us. We rarely come across other race walkers out training and were pleased to say 'Hello' to Alana Barber as she sped past us looking fresh and strong. By then the rain had stopped and I was able to put my coat in my backpack. I don't like training with a backpack on but I needed to carry water and a change of clothes in case we got drenched since we planned to catch a bus back home after the walk.

This was the first time I had walked from home to town wearing my GPS watch and I was surprised to find that the distance to my office was only around 7 km - I had previously estimated it to be 1 km further than that which means my speed had been less than I imagined when walking in over the years.

My legs felt stiff and heavy and I was struggling to get them moving. It was a good thing that Philip was with me because I felt tempted to cut the session short today. I needed to complete the 20 km to prove to myself that I can hold my core strong for all that time but I could not get any speed on this session. My heart rate remained very low throughout even though it was taking a huge effort for me to keep walking. Philip picked me up on my technique with about 3 km to go, showing I wasn't able to hold my shape as well as I intended. We finished the walk at the Maranui Surf Club which has a cafe with great food and a wonderful outlook over the sea. After a tasty lunch we walked a few km to Newtown from where we could catch our bus back to Khandallah.

The 20 km took 2:43 but I did do 4 races including 2 pb times in the previous 8 days so I guess I can be excused. I have 20 km to do each week for a while so I'm hoping that all the rest will be considerably better than this one.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I must have played the worst tennis ever in my interclub matches this morning. My head just wasn't in it, my timing off, first few steps to the ball at a snail's pace and the number of errors astronomical. To make matters worse my opponent was a good player who was quick around the court and made few unforced mistakes. The only good thing was that my singles and doubles were completed by just after 10:30 am so I was able to get to the race without a mad panic.

It turned out to be hot and sunny despite the brief shower that came over just as our tennis was starting. During the warm up it felt like the heat would take its toll and I would not do a good time. There were three walkers who were likely to finish ahead of me - Natasha Murrihi, Allanah Parker and Kevin Watson. I wanted to try and beat Kevin who is likely to be a close rival in our club's summer competition. I settled into third pace behind Kevin at the start but decided to pass him before I reached the start/finish line for the first time since I felt I could manage a quicker pace. My aim was for 2:24 laps so it was great to do the first 200 m in 1:11, the first 400 m in 2:16 and the first 1 km in 5:46. Unfortunately I missed hitting the lap button for three of the laps so I don't have a full break down. Allanah passed me after 1.5 laps and she passed Natasha a couple of laps after that to finish in first place.

I got a caution from Peter in my second lap which suggests that I was not walking well in the first 200 m and I received two more cautions within in the next two laps. With three laps to go I had one red card and a second one the next lap. I finished in third place in a time of 17:31 which was a 17 sec pb. I knew there was a good chance that a third card would come in and sure enough about 5 min after I finished, David informed me that I was disqualified.

It is clear that combining walking and tennis on the same day (or even on successive days) does not make for a good result for either sport. Tennis is a team sport and there are times I have to make myself available if other team members can't make it.

I may have got through the race without disqualification if I went a bit slower but I didn't feel strained at the speed I was doing and I don't want to always play safe. I won't know what I can achieve if I don't push the boundaries. I think today's issues were more in my head than anywhere else. I wan't concentrating as well as I needed to and I paid for it. I was pleased with the speed I achieved and feel that even better results will be possible in the future.

I will be put as the last finisher in our club competition as I was the only walker who was disqualified. I finished more than 30 sec ahead of Kevin but that counts for nothing. C'est la vie.

Friday, December 2, 2011

20 min With Stride Outs

I just wanted a gentle walk today since I have tennis in the morning followed by a 3 km race if I can get there. I really need to leave at around 11:00 am to get to the race in plenty of time (the race is scheduled for 12:20) but my tennis sometimes doesn't finish until 1 pm. Let's hope our matches are short tomorrow and that I'm able to go on first to play my singles otherwise I may not make the race. It's part of a regional series and included in our club's summer series so I'd like to get there if possible.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 km Training Walk

The weather today was fine and sunny with a moderate northerly wind. I was feeling pretty good - not too stiff in the legs after a fast 5 km on Tuesday but a little sore in the ankles after tennis practice last night.

I had planned to aim for 7 min kms and to concentrate on technique today. At the start it seemed like I may only manage 7:30 min/km and I thought that was okay given how I had struggled to go under 8 min when I was training in Motueka. I stopped at the 1.5 km mark to turn on the auto-lap function which I had turned off for the weekend's races. I was walking at a comfortable pace and realised that I was going to average well under 7 min/km. I was pleased to be able to maintain my pace into the head wind. The last km is always slow with 4 road crossings and an uphill at the end but I did achieve my adjusted goal of 6:45 /km.