Thursday, December 20, 2012

Big Catch Up

I have been away walking the Milford Track but I have been training and racing. It is writing this blog that I have been struggling to get to!

Wednesday 19 December - 18 km Training Walk

I was undecided at the start whether I would do the 20 km walk or the 12 km with 2 x 5 min at 20 km pace. I did one fast km from the 1.5 km mark then decided on doing the 20 km. I ran out of path after 9 km so turned around. I was averaging 6:55/km up to the 15 km mark which was good in the moderate wind. The next three km were difficult and I started to tie up so there was no point in doing the last 2 km. I put in a good effort and was pretty tired afterwards.

2:05:39  average pace 6:57 min/km  average HR 145 bpm

18 km Training Walk

Sunday 16 December - 3000 m Track Race

The race today was on a grass track and there was a strong wind blowing. It was meant to be a 5 km race but the organisers took pity and reduced it to 3000 m. I received two warnings and some valuable feedback from the judges.

18:44 average pace 6:17 per/km average HR 157 bpm

3000m Track Race on grass

Friday 14 December - 10 km Training Walk

The Garmin ran out of charge after 640m so I judged the 10 km on past experience.  I didn't start my normal watch so don't actually know how long it took me. There was a strong gale blowing and I struggled to make progress into it on the way back. This must be good for me - right?

Tuesday 10 December - Long Walk Home

I have been busy at work and not able to get out during the day as I often as usual. Walking home seemed a good solution but I wanted to do 10 km so I took a round about route. Khandallah is up the hill from town so I was not race walking the whole time.

10.62 km  1:24:06  average pace 7:55 min/km  average HR 125 bpm

Long Walk Home

Sunday 8 December - 17 km Training Walk

I walked into town from home. I knew it would not be a fast walk due the hilly start. The distance was a bit random stopping when I got to my lunch cafe.

17.34 km  2:12:16  average pace 7:38 min/km average HR 120 bpm

17 km Training Walk

Saturday 8 December - 5 km Road Race

Originally it was planned that I would do a 10 km record attempt this day since I clicked over into a new age group the day before. I called that off since I hadn't put in enough training and didn't want the officials to give up their time for a sub-par performance. I was quite pleased with my results over the 5 km, particularly finishing without getting any cards. 30:27 average pace 6:06 min/km, average HR 164 bpm

5 km Race

Thursday 6 December - 12 km Training Walk

1:22:49 average pace 6:54 min/km average HR 145 bpm

12 km Training Walk

Thursday 29 November - Sunday 2 December - Milford Track

There is no Garmin data for this walk. My sister invited her family to join her on this famous walk to help celebrate her 60th birthday. We chose the guided walk option with 10 of the 34 on the walk being in our group. (My sister was joined by her husband, her daughter, 3 sisters, 1 brother, god-daughter and two friends). We walked around 54 km over 3 days. It rains 200 days of the year in this area so we did well to have mostly fine weather.  The scenery was stunning and I have heaps of photos of watefalls.

Wednesday 28 November - 12 km Training Walk

I arrived in Queenstown, settled into the apartment where we were spending the night then headed off for my walk. I was keeping a good pace but ran out of footpath after about 3.5 km. I came across a walking track and decided to follow that. It was scenic but not flat so my pace slowed right up. It was hot and sunny and I stopped at a bar to beg for a glass of water on my way back.

1:29 average pace 7:25 min/km average HR 141 bpm

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday 27 November - 5 km Waterfront Race

30:47  average pace 6:09 min/km, average HR 161 bpm

5 km Waterfront Race

Sunday, November 25, 2012

15 km Training Walk

I wasn't out to set any records today - just to do the distance with a focus on my technique. I seemed to loosen up a bit after a couple of km but my pace was averaging 7:38 per km. There was a strong wind blowing which did limit my pace a bit. I completed 15 km in 1:54:31 with average HR 115 bpm.

15 km Training Walk

Saturday 24 November

5 km Race

I was scheduled to play this week's interclub tennis matches (doubles then singles) in the morning followed by a catch up match of my singles that were rained off last Saturday. I didn't expect to start the second match until 1:00 pm but fortunately we managed to squeeze the match in early and finished just before 1 pm.

I phoned Philip to check the time of the race and decided I could get there comfortably provided I did not go home to get my walking gear. I did the race in my tennis clothes and my tennis shoes which are heavier than the running shoes I normally walk in. I tried to walk comfortably and focus on technique and was pleased to see I did the first 500m in 3:02. There were 4 judges on the course which was 4 laps of a 1.25 km loop. It was good to finish the race in second place in a time of 31:14 and great to have no cards and only one warning (from Philip). In less than ideal gear and after playing three tennis matches, I thought this was a pretty good effort. There is no Garmin data since that was at home with the rest of my walking  gear.

Friday 23 November

12 km Training Walk

I needed to fit this walk and a yoga class in so decided to walk to work. This involves a couple of slow km at the start where there is some steeper terrain and carrying a bag on my back which makes it harder to stand straight. I was close to work after 6 km so had to do another 3 km before turning around and heading back to work.

My average pace was 7:55 min per km and average HR 116 bpm

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday 20 November

8 km Training Walk

It wasn't possible to get out at lunchtime and I finished work too late to make the waterfront race so I headed out for a walk at around 5:30 pm.  I started out steadily and tried to increase my effort through the workout. My overall pace was 6:52 min per km with an average HR of 141 bpm.

8 km Training Walk

Sunday 18 November

3000m Track Race

The track at Newtown Park is being reconstructed so this event was on a grass track at the Petone Recreation Ground. The race was an hour later than scheduled so I was well warmed up. I took the lead just before the 200m mark and tried to relax and maintain a good style. There were no judges so no feedback on what I looked like. I found the race hard and was pleased with my time of 18:07. My average HR was 161 bpm.

3000m Track Race

Thursday 15 November

8 km Training Walk

We met up with some other Scottish Walkers at Freyberg pool and did a very easy walk for around 3 km. I then picked up the pace on my own for an extra 500m then turned round to chase the others. I managed to catch them with about 1 km to go, completing 8 km at an average pace of 7:16 min/km. I couldn't find my HR monitor when I was rushing out this morning so there is no HR data.

8 km Training Walk

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 km Training Walk

Sunday 11 November

There was a drizzly rain and a strong wind but I was determined to get out for a walk. It was meant to be 8 km but I felt good at 4 km so kept going to turn around at 5 km. I was into the wind on the way back which was so strong I could hardly stand up straight.

This was a very leisurely walk as can be seen from the stats. I was pretty wet at the end but enjoyed the hot shower followed by a coffee and read of the paper.

Average pace 7:56 min/km, average HR 114 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Thursday, November 8, 2012

8 km Training Walk

It was a nice sunny day and I figured I would go out for a walk at lunchtime. Unfortunately an urgent task came along just at that time so it was nearly 6:00 pm before I was able to get out. I was tempted to flag it but not wanting to start a bad habit, I made the effort.

Having done mostly races recently, I wanted to do an easy walk at around 7 min/km. I did manage that pace but not as comfortably as I had hoped. My average pace was 6:58 and average HR 136 bpm.

I'm glad to have done some training today and looking forward to a walk with club members on Saturday.

8 km Training Walk

Tuesday 6 November - 5 km Waterfront Race

Usually southerly winds mean a good time with a homeward tail wind but this day it was hard work going into the wind at the start. I tried to remain relaxed and to maintain a steady pace. I got to the turn around in around 15:20 so didn't expect to get a time under 30 mins as I had the previous two weeks.

After some competition with a runner on the way back I crossed the line in 30:26, pleased to achieve a negative split. The runner thanked me for encouraging her to a better time.

Looking at the Garmin data I see that my heart rate briefly went up to 249 whilst I was walking into the wind. This is not something I've seen before. My average pace was 6:09 and average HR 169 bpm.

5 km Waterfront Race

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wellington Masters 10 km Walk

This is never a well-supported race so I wasn't expecting many walkers to be there. We arrived in time for me to go once around the block as a warm up. There was a cool breeze but the warm up was enough for me to be able to take my sweat shirt off.

I pulled away right from the start and was managing a good pace of around 6:06.  The first half of the race went quite well but the head wind on the return took it's toll. After 500m I passed Philip who was leading the other walkers on their way out. It wan't too long before my left hip was starting to hurt the way that it did in the race last Sunday. I tried to keep working towards a good time but it was not easy to find the motivation. I managed a bit of extra speed towards the end, finishing in 62:31. The other competitors agreed with my Garmin that the course was around 120m too long this year. The course is on uneven footpaths and a cambered road so it is too much to expect a great time here.

My average pace was 6:11 and average HR 160 bpm.

Wellington Masters 10 km Walk

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 km Waterfront Race

I didn't expect to walk today since it was the walkers turn to run the event. When I arrived there were plenty of helpers and I was encouraged to participate in the race. It was a warm, sunny evening with a moderate northerly wind. I decided to walk at a comfortable pace with a good effort. It was pleasing to be passing some of the runners early on and to get to the turn-around in 14:40.

I was battling the wind on the return leg and was 20 seconds slower, completing the 5 km in 29:40. This was a pleasing result given that I was pretty sore when I finished the half marathon on Sunday.

I forgot my Garmin today so there is no link to the race data.

The following video is for Theresa Large. My email won't allow me to send files bigger than 25 mb.

Sunday 28 October

Napier Half Marathon

It was good to catch up with many fellow race walkers before the start of this event. I planned to walk at 6:15 pace - the same plan as for the long distance champs. That pace put me in the lead female position from the start, behind Graeme, Eric and Harry who disappeared from sight before too long.

I completed the first 5 km in 30:48, almost 30 seconds ahead of schedule. The outward leg was into a moderately strong wind and I was making a good effort to maintain my pace. The second 5 km took 31:40, 25 sec behind schedule. The half way point came up in 64:46. I was relieved to turn with the wind behind me but it was clear I was going to struggle to maintain pace.

It was at the 14 km mark that Vanessa passed me and she pulled away from me within the next km or so.  I was hurting quite a bit but determined to work hard to maintain the second placing. My 15 km time was 1:33:33 which is a PB time by over 90 sec.  When I passed the 10 km walkers with about 4 km to go, it was a pleasant surprise to see Philip in the lead along with a female walker.

It was with some relief that I crossed the finish line in 2:14:14 - only 7 sec over my PB for the distance.  I was second woman, first in my age group and 6th overall. My average pace was 6:23 and average HR 160 bpm.

The sorest part of me was on both hips. I'm wondering if this is the top of the IT band.

Napier Half Marathon

Thursday 25 October

4 km Fartlek

This week I was to take it easy with one speed session to prepare for the race on Saturday.  I was walking into a strong wind on the way out and had the advantage of it behind me on the return. I was surprised at how much I loosened up during the session and was pleased with the outcome.

I was very slow over the first 500m but then amazingly quick on the next 500m. I don't know what happened here since I was trying to maintain an even effort.

My splits were:
3:15 + 3:03 = 6:18
3:04 + 2:52 = 5:56
3:02 + 2:42 = 5:44

Overall pace 6:03 (I was not wearing my HR monitor)

4 km Fartlek

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Long Distance Championships

Sunday 21 October - Palmerston North

We decided to try out our new tent and sleep in the camping ground the night before the race. Unfortunately it was very close to the speedway track which was very loud until about 10:30 pm. I slept pretty well despite the rain and wind through the night.

The rain had stopped by the time I got to the race venue and there was plenty of time for a good warm up.  The start went well and my first km was faster than intended but not overly so. I was managing to keep under my target pace of 6:15 despite the strong wind.  I had a couple of warnings on lap 4 and some more the following lap. I forgot to check the board for a few laps and when I finally did check it was to see two bent knee signs against my name. I was relieved to go past the chief judge another time but that was short lived when he came across and withdrew me on the other side of the track just before the start/finish for 9 km.

I felt I had been walking well and I had lots of energy left so was pretty frustrated at not even getting to half way. I made a few disparaging remarks about the judges which I am sure they will forgive me for. The video clips here are not that convincing so I have to agree with their decisions and go back to the drawing board to work on the problems with Jim's help.

Long Distance Championships

The following videos are mostly for Jim (my coach) to analyse so he can tell me how to correct my technique.  I am walking into the wind on the more distant clips.

Friday 19 October

3 x 1 km @ 85% effort

It is never easy to determine was 85% effort is so I aimed to achieve a reasonable pace without going all out. The splits were 6:07, 5:58, 5:47 for an overall pace of 5:57 and average HR 162 bpm. My recoveries were 2 min. I am looking forward to doing some 3 km races on the track before too long because I am sure my pb of 17:48 will be well bettered.

3 x 1 km @ 85% effort

Tuesday 16 October

5 km Waterfront Race

This was the final event in the club's winter all-rounder series for walkers. I wanted to get a good time without over-exerting myself. I am writing this so long after the event that I can only remember that my result was much better than I expected. I finished the 5 km in 29:53 for an average pace of 5:59 and average HR 168 bpm.

5 km Waterfront Race

Sunday, October 14, 2012

10 km Training Walk

It was rainy when we first got up but the forecast was for the weather to clear later in the day. We had a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes and headed out just after midday. We drove down to Lower Hutt parked the car and headed up to the river bank. We walked into a strong wind for the first two km then along the Petone esplanade. There was a wind surfer and a kite surfer in the turbulent sea which were great to watch.

We shared the path with an event involving walkers, runners and cyclists. I was mistaken for the leading walker and was applauded by some of the other walkers, despite my lack of a number.

It was good to have the wind behind me for the last two km. My total time for the 10 km was 1:07:02 for an average pace of 6:41 and an average HR of 145 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Saturday, October 13, 2012

15 km and 10 km

Thursday 11 October - 15 km Kickdown

I decided to split this into 3 x 4 km + 3 km. The paces I aimed for were 7:00, 6:45, 6:30 and 6:15.  The weather was fine but with a strong head wind for most of the return journey.  I was feeling pretty good thanks to the massage Philip gave me on Tuesday and managed a consistent pace at the start. The wind was behind me on the second 4 km and I found myself walking faster than I intended. I slowed a bit for the second half of that leg, wanting to ensure I was able to pick up the pace further. I worked hard at the start of the third leg, determined to find more speed, despite walking into a strong wind. I was amazed at how fresh and good I felt at that point. The wind was at my side for some of the last lap but the last km was once again into the wind. I had plenty of energy left to increase the pace again for a very pleasing workout overall.

The pace splits I achieved were: 6:56, 6:41, 6:21, 6:09.
I completed the 15 km in 1:38:20 for an overall average pace of 6:33 and average HR 147. The half splits were 51:06 and 47:14 - I don't think I've ever had such a big negative split. It does make me consider starting conservatively in the race next Sunday.

15 km Kickdown

Tuesday 9 October - 10 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

At the start I was still feeling stiff from the two long walks at the weekend so I wasn't sure how the session would go and whether I would find any speed for the faster laps.  After the first 500 m I settled into a reasonable pace and felt pretty good. I managed a 5:51 min km for my first fast lap starting at 3.5 km. That was with a fairly strong tail wind. I started the second fast spell at the 8 km mark, completing that km in 6:02 without the benefit of the wind.

My overall time was 66:02 for an average pace of 6:36 min/km and average HR 152 bpm.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two longer walks

Sunday 7 October - 20 km Training Walk

I knew that it would be difficult to get a good pace on long walks two days in a row and that proved to be the case. I walked into town from home which is always slow with the uphills of the first 2 kms. The wind was blowing in the opposite direction from the previous day which meant I was walking into the wind most of the time.

There were plenty of people out enjoying the fine day. With the radio for company I maintained a steady speed and tried to concentrate on technique. I made a few stops along the way at the water fountains. I am using my glutamis medius much more than I used to and it has been getting a bit sore. I did enjoy a long hot bath when I got home.

My average pace was 7:42 and average HR 113 bpm.

20 km Training Walk

Saturday 6 October - 15 km Training Walk

This was the walk I planned for Thursday. The heaven's opened up when I was about to get changed and not long after that I received an urgent task to do at work.  We were celebrating my son's 20th birthday that night so walking after work was not an option.

Friday was a similar story and I didn't manage to get a walk in that day either. That meant I was determined to go out on Saturday. I considered trying to do the 4 x 2 km sprints then finishing off with 7 km to make up the 15 km but there was a strong wind and I wasn't feeling up to doing sprints.

I made a good effort and was pleased to average 6:53 min/km with an average HR of 138 bpm.

15 km Training Walk

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

10 km Fartlek - a training PB

Walking 24 km on Sunday had left me a little stiff so an intensive workout  such as a fartlek was likely to be a stretch.  I walked quietly for the 500 m or so down to the waterfront before starting.

The first km which is meant to be at sprint pace was into a strong wind and was a rather slow 6:26. I clearly warmed up after that because my other sprints into the wind were done in 3:05. I achieved some great sprint times with the wind behind me and although I was starting to tire after about 8 km it was obvious a good time was possible.  I maintained a good effort and completed the 10 km in 61:29 which is my third best ever 10 km time. Not a bad effort on a windy day only two days after a long workout. That's an average pace of 6:09 and average HR of 163 bpm.

The splits are:
3:23 + 2:50 = 6:13
3:10 + 2:44 = 5:54
3:19 + 3:05 = 6:24
3:11 + 3:05 = 6:16
3:17 + 2:50 = 6:07
3:04 + 2:51 = 5:55
3:09 + 2:54 = 6:03
3:06 + 2:57 = 6:03
3:15 + 2:52 = 6:07

10 km Fartlek

Monday, October 1, 2012

Recent Training

Sunday 30 September - 24 km Training Walk

The day was fine but with a very strong blustery wind. Fortunately the wind was behind me most of the time but the slower laps indicate either hills or walking into the wind. I started out pretty slow and got into a better pace once I got down onto the flat.  It was pleasing to find I had some energy left after the 20 km point and was quite comfortable for the last 4 km. My average pace was a modest 7:31 and average HR 118 bpm.

24 km Training Walk

Saturday 29 September - Tennis Doubles and Singles 

I planned to do my final training session for the week this afternoon (3 km fartlek + 5 x 400m). I had an early start to the day when my daughter phoned at around 7 am. We arrived at tennis before 8:30 and got into our doubles match at around 8:45 am.  It was a very close match and we narrowly lost the first set, won the second set in a tie-breaker and finally managed to win the third set after around 21/2 hours.

My singles started after midday and I didn't start well. The score was 3-0 to my opponent in quick order. I lost the first set 6-6 and managed to win the second set 6-4.  The third set just wasn't going my way and I was 5-1 down and facing match points at 15-40. From there I managed to win the next 6 games to take the set and the match 7-5. After nearly 5 hours of tennis, I didn't have energy left for walking sprints.

Instead, Philip and I had a gentle stroll through the botanical gardens, enjoying the wonderful tulips, azaleas and rhododendrons.

Thursday 27 September - 10 km Training Walk

I was a bit too busy to walk at lunchtime so I went out just after 4:30 pm. I wanted to catch the 6 pm train which was a great incentive for a faster pace. I tried to remain relaxed with a good technique and never felt like I was walking hard. I was pleased with the time I achieved, 60:03 which was all at what I hope will be my 20 km pace. Average pace 6:18 min/km, average HR 150 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

8 km Training Walk

Tuesday 26 September

It was a fine day with a bit of wind. I did about a 1 km warm-up while waiting for my Garmin to pick up the satellites. I started slowly but managed a reasonable pace after a km. I was pleased to average 6:35 min/km with a focus on good technique.

8 km Training Walk

Sunday, September 23, 2012

10 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

It was another beautiful sunny day. I tried to get my son to run with me this morning but he didn't wake up until well after I finished. The streets were busy with people out enjoying the day.  I started out slowly but after 2 km decided to try a faster lap. I was pleased to manage that in 6:09 and did the next after turning with the wind behind me at 5 km. That was a 6:06 km. I suspect that speed is quicker than my 20 km pace. My overall pace was 6:54 and average HR 138 bpm. I was pleased with this workout after such a good effort the previous day.

10 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

Saturday 22 September - 8 km Handicap Race

Another Personal Best

I turned up to this race an hour early so went to have a coffee and read the paper - probably not the ideal preparation for an event. My handicap had me starting last - more than 18 minutes after 86 year old Peter Tearle.  It's a big ask to catch up that sort of lead and I resigned myself to finishing at the back of the field. It was great to see 500 m times of under 3 mins coming up and before the first turn around I passed John who started a minute ahead of me. I could see Kevin and Bob in the distance and passed both of them by the 4 km mark.

Once I rounded the corner I could see Jeff, Rachel and Peter in the distance and managed to pass these three before the second turn around. Daphne and Andrea had a good lead on me and with only 1.5 km to go  it seemed unlikely I could catch them.  I passed Andrea about 500 m from the end and could see Daphne closing on the finish. I was walking well but not able make up that distance before Daphne finished.  I didn't win the cup but did win a bottle of wine for the fastest time of the day of 47.28, an average pace of 5:56.  My average HR was 168 bpm.

My programme had me walking 6 x 1 km today. I figure my times were almost as good as I would have done even with the rest intervals:
5:41, 5:40, 6:00, 5:58, 6:12, 6:04, 6:12, 5:41.

8 km Handicap Race

Thursday 20 September - 12 km Training Walk

I was meant to do 15 km kickdown today but my legs were feeling pretty tight and I wasn't confident of getting up much speed. In the morning I dropped Philip at the airport and then parked the car at the end or Oriental Parade, about a 3.5 km walk to work. I had a busy day at work so decided to do my training after work, carrying my backpack as far as the car and then carrying on. I tried to keep increasing my pace and managed quite well with the help of a tail wind on the return.

3 km average paces were: 7:29, 6:58, 6:43, 6:38. Overall pace 6:53 and average HR 138.

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday 18 September - 20 km Training Walk

I was driving back from Hamilton on Sunday when I would normally have done this walk so when Tuesday was such a beautiful day I decided to head out for a very long lunch break.

My pace wasn't as good as I wanted since my legs were feeling pretty stiff but I felt pretty comfortable and concentrated on a good technique. My average pace was 7:14 and average HR 123 bpm.

20 km Training Walk

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two walks from last week

Friday 14 September - 8 km Training Walk

I played a social game of squash in the early afternoon against a reserve for another team.

I felt I would not do a good job of the sprints on my programme and I wanted to explore the river in the opposite direction.

I tried to keep a steady pace even though it was quite slow. I walked 8.64 km in 1:02:42 for an average pace of 7:16 and an average HR of 129 bpm.

8 km Training Walk

Thursday 13 September - 15 km  Kickdown

When I later checked my programme I found that it was only meant to be a 10 km kickdown this week and 15 km next week. I was in Hamilton supporting my team at a squash tournament. We had a team of 7 for 5 places and I am the weakest player so it would take a major injury or illness for me to be put on the court. That meant I could put a good effort into my training.

The Waikato river runs right through the city and has a walkway along the side. I was able to walk 7 km down the river enjoying the lovely gardens of the riverside homes. The path was largely flat but some of the slower times reflect the steeper sections. I was slower than I had planned but I did manage a series of increases in pace. Towards the end the path became steep and my legs tied up so I decided to treat the last 2 km as a warm down.

My average pace each 3 km were 7:25, 7:02, 6:48, 6:38 with 6:38 for the 13th km. My average heart rate was 140 bpm.

15 km Kickdown

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

12 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

I got changed just after midday but needed to complete some work before going out. The lovely sunny day faded by the time I went out at 2:30 pm. I was glad that I ditched my sunglasses and left my long sleeved top on.

There was a strong southerly wind blowing which both hindered and helped my pace. I started out at an easy pace and left my fast stints until I turned to have the wind at my back. The weather was closing in fast so there was a strong incentive for me to keep up a good pace.

At one point hail stones started to fall but thankfully they stopped before I had to endure any pain.  I was pleased with my time of 1:19:09 for an average pace of 6:35. I couldn't find my heart rate monitor strap this morning. It is probably still in the car from Sunday's walk.

My two fast legs gave me kms of 6:10 and 5:56 (wind assisted), somewhat faster than 20 km pace.

12 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

Sunday, September 9, 2012

20 km Training Walk

I was tired from my efforts in the race yesterday and knew that my pace today would be limited. It was a fine day but with very strong north westerly winds.

The plan was for me to walk from home into town and around the bays to finish at Island Bay. That route keep the wind at my back at much as possible. Jim had encouraged me to use the hills for training so I didn't drive down to the flat before starting out.

As expected, I struggled today and only managed an average of 8:00/km with average HR 111 bpm. I was pleased when I got to the cafe at Island Bay to meet with Philip and enjoyed the soak in the spa that we called in for on our way home.

20 km Training Walk

Saturday 8 September  - Marton - Whanganui Relay Race

I was allocated the 9th lap. This is the one that support cars are not allowed to follow so I was curious to find what it was like.  After around 500m there was a long downhill that allowed me to get up a great pace.  I completed my 8.5 km with an average pace of 5:58/km, assisted greatly by the considerable downhill element.

I went on to attempt to complete the 15 km on my programme but had to get Philip to pick me up for a bathroom stop then later cut my walk short when steady rain set in.

Marton - Whanganui relay

Thursday 6 September - 3 x 2 km + 2 x 1 km with 2 min rests

Once again I was feeling tight when I went out but was pleasantly surprised with what I managed to achieve. The first two legs were in to a moderate wind so not surprisingly my pace was better coming back. I had a longer break before the last km for a bathroom stop.

My splits were: 12:11, 11:58, 11:55, 6:02, 6:00

3 x 2 km 2 x 1 km with 2 min rests

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

10 km Kickdown

This is my first training session after the road champs and the beginning of my training for the Long Distance champs at Labour weekend. I asked Jim for more of these sessions after my drop off in speed during the race on Saturday. My aim today was to average 7:20, 7:00, 6:40 and 6:20.

At the start I found it hard to achieve 7:20 pace so I expected to struggle to increase pace as planned. Fortunately I did warm up and was able to get the increases even with head winds on the return.

My 2.5 km splits were: 17:52, 17:22, 16:16, 15:21 or average paces of 7:09, 6:57, 6:30, 6:09. My overall time was 1:06:57, average pace 6:41 and average HR 137 bpm.

I could probably aim to start a bit faster for a better average overall but I felt really good after this workout so the slower start seems to suit me.

10 km Kickdown

Saturday 1 September - NZ 10 km Road Championship

The race was scheduled to start at 2:50 so I had a good breakfast and another meal at 11:00 am even though I wasn't hungry.  We took Jim to Mt Victoria to get a good view around the city and harbour then headed to the venue before 1:00 pm.

I made sure I got everything organised and had a good warm up before the race. The wind was getting up which pretty much ruled out getting a PB so my main concern was to get past the judges. Despite that I made a good start, averaging better than 6 min/km for the first 3 km. I had a few warnings early on and one card by 5 km.  Two laps later another card appeared. Jim kept reminding me to stand up straight and tuck my butt under. I was grateful to get to the end without being pulled off and very pleased when no late cards arrived. My time of 1:02:07 is probably my best at a national road champs though well over my PB. Average pace 6:13 min/km and average HR 157 bpm. The Garmin did not cope well on this course. My splits from the timekeeper were:
5:50, 6:00, 6:06, 6:12, 6:12, 6:18, 6:18, 6:26, 6:26, 6:19

10 km NZ Road Championship

Thursday 30 August - 3 km Fartlek

This was a chance for Jim to give me some feedback on my technique.  We found a spot near a favourite cafe where I could do some small laps. I  warmed up for a short time then went into the workout. I had to avoid walkers, runners, dogs, pushchairs and bikes so it was hard to maintain an even pace. The amount of instructions I heard whilst walking made me think my technique was as bad as ever but afterwards Jim assured me I was much better and he was just tweaking. Overall time 19:16, average pace 6:25, average HR 161 bpm.

My splits were:
3:31 + 3:01 = 6:32
3:28 + 3:05 = 6:33

Not great speed but I didn't want to go flat out two days before a big race.

3 km Fartlek

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

8 km Training Walk including 5 km waterfront race

Tuesday 28 August

I walked 2 km before the race started and was pleased with the pace I achieved. I wasn't planning on racing hard due to the national road champs on Saturday and was quite surprised to cross the line in 31:08. I kept walking for another km to finish the 8 km, averaging 6:28 overall with an average HR 153 bpm.

8 km Training Walk Including 5 km Race

Sunday, August 26, 2012

1 Hour Race - 10 km Track Race

I change age groups this December and today was my last opportunity to try for a gold standard in my current age group. I have been disqualified at this event the previous two years but did achieve a silver standard at Newton Park earlier this year. I had to complete 9.8 km in the hour and and only managed a bit more that 9.6 km in the past.

We arrived at the track in plenty of time and I did a 2 km warm-up, afraid that my still sore back might be an issue if without a good warm-up. I tried to achieve a steady pace at the start and managed to get to 5 km in just on 30 mins. For the first 3 or 4 km I was keeping around 15 seconds under 6 min/km pace so I was disappointed to be slowing down so soon.

My first warning came from my husband at around 6 km and one from another judge a couple of laps later.  My first card (bent knee) appeared at 8 km. when the 10 min warning was called I was at the 8.2 km mark, 4 laps away from achieving my goal. Despite temptation to give up on my goal I tried to push my pace and managed to do a few laps at around 2:24. The 2 minute call came when I passed the start/finish line and I put in a sprint down the back straight and was very relieved when I passed the 200 m mark prior to the 1 hour. (That sprint picked me up a lifting card but it was worth it).

I slowed down immediately after passing the 9.8 km mark and put my marker down at the 1 hour call. I didn't feel much like going the extra 185 m to finish the 10 km but knew it was madness not to. I was slow to get going again but completed the 10 km in 61:14. That is a PB for 10 km on the track and an improvement on my Wellington age group record.

I had hoped to go under the hour for 10 km today but it wasn't meant to be. Philip pointed out that I walk in the middle of the lane instead of close to the inside edge, costing me around 2 m a lap.  A wind catching me on one of the corners may also have contributed to my slower than hoped for time.

I set my Garmin to auto lap each time I passed the start/finish line. It does not measure the track distance very accurately but is a fair reflection of my pace.  My average pace was 6:07 per km and average HR 161 bpm.

1 Hour / 10 km Track Race

Friday, August 24, 2012

3 km Fartlek + 4 x 1 km

I was busy in meetings yesterday which meant I couldn't get out and train in the middle of the day. It was getting cold when we finished at 4:30 pm and I couldn't get myself motivated to go out.  I decided to do my sprint session today after my yoga class instead.

There was a noticeable head wind when I started walking and I struggled to get any speed going. Things improved as I warmed up and I averaged 6:12 for the 3 km. ( 6:24, 3:11 + 2:58 = 6:09, 3:12 + 2:52 = 6:04)

My heart rate had dropped to around 100 after 2 min so I started into the 1 km sprints. The first km was average, despite the rest and the tail wind. The second km was excellent but I couldn't keep that up. (6:06, 5:48, 6:16, 6:01). Overall I completed the 7 km in 42:50 for an average pace of 6:07 and an average heart rate of 150 bpm.

3 km Fartlek and 4 x 1 km

My squash team qualified to compete in the national teams competition next month so we have been doing extra training. This sport doesn't come naturally to me and I have been struggling to hit the ball properly but putting in a good effort. My back was a bit sore after training on Sunday and a bit more sore after my interclub match on Wednesday night.  It felt okay during yoga on Wednesday and today.  I figured that walking wouldn't hurt it and didn't notice any discomfort during this workout.

Almost as soon as I was back in the office it was clear that I was mistaken on this one. My afternoon was a bit uncomfortable and I ended up putting on the back brace that I had in my drawer. (I have used it a few times to limit sideways movement of my hips when out training). I now have a hot water bottle against my lower back which is quite sore.

Tuesday 22 August - 8 km Training Walk

I was trying to keep a good technique and a steady pace during this session. I was happy with my overall time of 52:41 for an average pace of 6:35 and an average heart rate of 150 bpm.

8 km Training Walk

Sunday 19 August - 10 km Training Walk

After a good race the previous day I was expecting to average around 7:30/km on this walk.  We parked the car near a favourite cafe and walked 2.5 km in one direction and back then the same in the opposite direction. I was pleased to complete the 10 km in 109:50 for an average pace of 6:59 and an average heart rate of 138 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wellington 10 km Championship - new PB

Earlier in the week I had been thinking I must check out the start time of today's race.  On about Thursday Philip told me that he had contacted David Lonsdale and organised to be a judge. David had said to arrive by 9:00 am. I assumed that meant the race started at 10:00 am and wasn't particularly concerned when there were no other cars there at 8:55.

I went across to the local golf club to use the toilet and decided we should look around the other side of the course since we had seen people come over from there. Sure enough, everyone else had parked on that side and the start/finish line was there. I soon discovered the start time was 9:30 and I had barely enough time to go back to the car to pick up my Garmin and drinks before the start.

Knowing that I walk best after a 2 km warm up, I was pretty rattled by my lack of preparation for this race. I knew that I would not be competitive against Natasha who is well under half my age and regularly completes 10 km in under 60 minutes.  It was important not to be disqualified today since this race is one of the three club championship races. I have won the other two races but a DQ in this race would potentially put me out of contention. That meant my priority was firstly to finish without disqualification and secondly to better my current PB of 61:00.

From the start my muscles felt a little stiff and sore - partly due to my increased activity on the squash court I think. It seemed too much to expect to get a good time so I tried to keep a steady pace and a good technique.  The race was 8 laps of 1.25 km. I finished the first lap in 7:15, under 6 min/km pace. The second lap took 7:23 and the third a similar time which was a pretty good start.

At the 5 km mark which was completed in 30:30, I had one penalty on the board. A second penalty was displayed at 6.25 km.  In my mind I flagged the idea of getting a PB time and really concentrated on being upright and pushing off my back toe. I was quite surprised to look at my watch near the end of the final lap to see a time under 59 minutes. I put on a bit of extra speed and completed the race in 60:35, a 25 sec PB. Luckily no more cards arrived so my result stands.

I was second woman in the Wellington champs and will get the club champion trophy at the prize giving later in the year.  I am hoping I will feel more comfortable in the road champs in a couple of weeks time. Perhaps going under the hour might be possible. If I can repeat this pace next Sunday then I should achieve a gold standard in the one-hour race - another of my goals for this season.

The judges thought the cambour on the section of the course where I received my cards might be a factor but the cards came from the two most experienced judges so I'm not convinced. I will have to walk better than this in the nationals.

My watch measured the course as 160 m short but I am assured the course has been certified. Just before the far turn, the course goes under a roof for around 20 m and I suspect the Garmin loses signal momentarily. My average pace was 6:04 and average HR 163 bpm.

Wellington 10 km Championship

Friday, August 17, 2012

3 x 2 km + 4 x 500 m - Thursday 16 August

I had a 5 set game of squash on Wednesday night and was feeling a bit stiff on Thursday. I knew 2 km sprints would be hard and I put off going out until after 2:30 pm. The weather was fine, calm and not too hot. The first sprint was slow but my times improved after that. I cut the recovery times back from 2 mins to 1.5 mins between the 500s so I could get back to work a little quicker.  I was very pleased with what I achieved which was much better than expected.

My splits were:  12:29, 12:03, 11:52, 2:54, 2:54, 2:54, 2:55. My overall time for 8 km was 48:06 for an average pace of 6:01 and average HR 156  bpm.

2 x 3 km 4 x 500 m

Tuesday 14 August - 12 km Training Walk with 2 x 5 min @ 20 km pace

Conditions were pretty good but I took a while to get going and left my faster efforts until 7 km and 10.5 km.  I took 1:23:29 for an average pace of 6:59 and average HR 131 bpm. It was not one of my better sessions but it was all that I could manage. With Wellington champs on Saturday a slower session might be a good thing.

12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 20 km pace

Sunday, August 12, 2012

15 km Training Walk

I wasn't sure how I would go today since my glute was still sore after the race and a long game of squash yesterday.  We watched the 50 km walk last night then got up early and viewed a recording of the women's 20 km walk. It's an inspiration to see the best in the world and I reckon I walked better for that.

It was fantastic to see Quentin (Rew) do a 3 minute PB in the 50 km and to finish in 30th place out of over 60 walkers.

It had rained for most of the morning but lucky for me the weather cleared and I completed about 10 km before another shower came over. I concentrated a smooth technique and tried to get more push into my back toe. My pace was better than I expected, averaging 6:45/km in the first half and 6:53 overall. I was pleased with my time of 1:43:12. (Average HR 133 bpm).

15 km Training Walk

Saturday 11 August

12 km Walk (including  5 km Turkey Trot)

The turkey trot is won by the walker whose time is closest to their estimate. No watches are allowed to be used during the event. I had a sore glute and a squash match later in the day so I didn't want to go at sprint speed.  I decided to go for an easy pace and estimated 32:07. Before long I was out in front and could not hear any of the walkers behind me. I aimed for a  relaxed and smooth technique, making an effort to ensure I was standing up tall. I tried to keep an even pace and was quite surprised to find I completed the 5 km in 31:00. That's 6:10 pace with what felt like moderate-easy effort.

An official had transported my Garmin to the finish line so I put that on and headed back towards the start. There was another 7 km to do to complete the workout I missed earlier in the week - 12 km with 2 x 5 km @ 20 km pace. It was a stunning day with a cloudless, bright-blue sky and a flat sea. The South Island's snowed-capped Kaikoura mountains were visible in the distance making the coast so beautiful. A large number of Wellingtonians were out enjoying day, including a few who decided to celebrate the day with a skinny-dip!

I had already done 31 min at 20 km pace so was not worried about pace on my return. That was just as well since my body could only manage a very sedentary average pace of 7:45. Overall the 12 km took 85:13, an average of 7:06. I did not bother with the heart rate monitor.

Friday 10 August

3 km Fartlek + 4 x 1 km

I hadn't walked for two days so I was determined to get out on Friday. I wasn't feeling in great shape so thought it would be difficult to get a sprint pace. (I was suffering from 'squash bum' after playing matches on consecutive nights). I completed the fartlek in 18:35 then walked slowly for a 4 min rest interval. So far - pretty good! My 1 km sprints started well but fatigue was setting in for the last two of them. 

Fartlek: 6:04, 3:08 + 3:00 = 6:08, 3:22 + 3:01 = 6:23
Sprints: 6:00, 6:03, 6:16, 6:18

Average pace over 7 km: 6:10 
Average HR: 151 bpm

Tuesday 8 August

5 km Waterfront Race

I was trying to meet an end-of-day deadline at work today so couldn't  take my normal two-hour lunch break to go training. I decided to make Saturday's race into my 12 km training and to do the first of the 5 km waterfront races for the 2012/13 season. 

I was feeling good this night so pushed myself a bit and was pleased to come in just under 30 min (29:58). There was a light drizzle falling but minimal wind and not many other people around - great conditions for walking.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

20 km Training Walk

I got up at 7:00 am this morning and mixed up a double mixture of blueberry pancake mix to take round to Bart's place. The plan was to have a shared breakfast then watch the Olympic Men's 20 km Walk which Bart recorded during the night.

We watched the exciting finish of the men's 10,000m then the race walk.  The course looked so narrow and crowded for the first 8 km or so. We managed to spot Peter Wrigley from our Scottish Athletics club just once or twice even though the judges were pretty active with their warnings. I enjoyed watching the race. It was pretty tactical and a good example of the risks of going too hard early in the race.

After the race ended we headed home to get ready for this training session.  We parked the car near the bus station, planning to walk round the bays to Island Bay then catch the bus back to town after lunch at one of our favourite cafes. The streets were crowded with people taking advantage of a lovely day but every one was considerate and I wasn't held up. Philip went a different route to me at the start and I had to work hard to catch him up. I was averaging around 6:35 at the 8 km mark but lost my momentum when I had to stop a few minutes for traffic lights on a main road.  I kept trying to keep a reasonable pace and managed to finish in a few seconds over 2:20 - my best 20 km training session by about 2.5 mins. Perhaps I was a bit inspired by the walking I had viewed earlier in the day.  Average pace 7:00/km, average HR 136 bpm.

20 km Training Walk

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 x 2 km + 4 x 500 m with 2 min recovery

This was always going to be a demanding workout the following day after a 10 km fartlek. In order to keep Saturday free from training I resolved to see what I could do on limited recovery. I decided that anything better than 6:30/km would be okay. The first 500m was exactly that pace but I managed to improve to do 12:34 for the first 2 km and 12:24 for the second. I was walking well in the third lap when I realised that my watch was not ticking over. I restarted it, thinking that the only impact would be to tire by walking an extra hundred metres or so but unfortunately the first 500m of the lap was recorded as 4:03. I believe a minute less than that is a better reflection of my pace so that's how I will report it, 12:05 for the third lap. I was pretty tired after that so the 500s were very ordinary times: 3:06, 3:06, 3:05, 3:10. Total time for 8 km: 49:30. Average pace 6:11. Average HR 154 bpm.

3 x 2 km 4 x 500 m with 2 min recovery

Thursday, August 2, 2012

10 km Fartlek

I was feeling a bit stiff after last night's squash and wasn't confident that I would get the speed I was looking for today. There was a noticeable breeze but it was not windy by Wellington standards. My first km was a bit slow but I did manage some better pace in some of the 500m sprints.  I stopped to use the toilet at the 6.5 km mark and had a slow sprint leg after restarting.  I was happy with my overall time of 1:03:21 for an average pace of 6:20 and average HR 152 bpm.
My splits were:
3:15 + 2:54 = 6:09
3:21 + 3:00 = 6:21
3:20 + 3:00 = 6:20
3:17 + 3:03 = 6:20
3:23 + 2:57 = 6:20
3:18 + 3:11 = 6:29
3:23 + 3:01 = 6:24
3:17 + 3:00 = 6:17
3:22 + 3:06 = 6:28

10 km Fartlek

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 20 km pace

I decided my 20 km pace is 6:20 which means I was looking for 3:10 per 500m in my fast stretches. I did my first fast set at the 1 km mark (my 2nd km took 6:06) whilst I was fresh and my second fast set at the 3 km mark (6:08 for the 4th km). It was drizzling with rain but not windy - pretty good conditions for walking really. I wanted to get back as quickly as possible so decided to do a faster 5 min every second km. (6:26, 6:23, 6:22, 6:50). I didn't achieve this in the last km due to the road crossings but I was happy with my overall time of 1:19:00 for an average pace of 6:35 and an average HR of 149 bpm. This is my best 12 km training time by almost 2 min.

12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 20 km pace

Sunday, July 29, 2012

20 km Training Walk

It's over a month since I've done this distance. I was tired from my sprints yesterday and the fluctuating heart rate shows that I was trying to push myself to get a reasonable pace. I averaged 7:22 / km for the first 10 km but was slowed by the wind on the return journey for an overall time of 2:31:37, an average pace of 7:34 and an average HR of 129 bpm.

It was a lovely day and there were lots of people out walking, running and cycling which made for a congested path.

20 km Training Walk

Saturday, July 28, 2012

3 km Fartlek, 4 min rec, 5 x 400 m with 2 min recovery

I spent 3 hours this morning walking around the streets of Khandallah delivering a Green Party newsletter so I wasn't sure if I would manage any speed in this workout.

A football match was happening in the middle of the track as I did my training. A few runners were doing workouts too so I didn't feel out of place.  My fartlek felt like hard work and I thought my first slower 500 m seemed a bit slow so I was pleased to finish the 3 km in under 18 min.

I haven't done 400 m reps for a couple of years so didn't know how well I would do on these. I hoped to get close to 2:00 laps but was quite happy enough with averaging 2:16 given my other walking today.

My splits were:
3:11 + 2 :58 = 6:09
3:09 + 2:54 = 6:03
3 km in 17:58

2:15, 2:15, 2:17, 2:15, 2:18

5 km in 29:17 for an average pace of 5:51 and average HR 156 bpm.

3 km Fartlek and 5 x 400 m

Friday, July 27, 2012

6 x 1 km with 2 min Recovery

Thursday 26 July

This session was on last week's programme but I didn't manage to fit it in. Jim had given me a very light week this week so I decided to give this one a go.  I was hoping to achieve something under 6 min / km, possibly closer to 5:45.

The previous night I had a squash training session of about 40 minutes of squash drills which tends to be pretty tiring for the glutes. I'm not sure if that was the reason but I struggled to get comfortable in this session. My arms felt heavy and achy and each 500m seemed to take an age. I had an extra long break after 2 km to visit the toilets in a local cafe but I wasn't any better after that. There was a bit of wind on the return legs but I know that wouldn't have bothered me on a good day.

I completed the 6 km in 36:48 for an average pace of 6:08 and average HR of 150 bpm. My splits were 6:05, 6:01, 6:07, 5:57, 6:23, 6:14

6 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

10 km Training Walk

Although it was a showery day it wasn't raining when I went out and I only felt a few drops of rain during my walk. The wind was not significant so conditions were great for walking.

I tried to concentrate on holding my back foot and pushing off that back toe. I tried to be relaxed but to keep a steady pace. I was pleased to see I was averaging 6:30 pace, about 10 sec/km faster than what I can usually achieve in training. I did make an effort to try and maintain this pace but noticed a drop off in the last km. My time for the 10 km was 65:15 for an average pace of 6:31 and average HR of 160 bpm. My heart rate did something really odd at the start, going up as high as 240. I have never seen it that high before and felt fine at the time.

10 km Training Walk

Sunday 22 July - Masters 6.4 km Road Race

The course for this race includes a steep section that is pushing the limit of my ability to maintain a legal style. It's an unjudged event but I still try to racewalk correctly. I do enjoy the fast downhill section which to some extent makes up for the steep climb.

Ian and John were close behind me on the first lap and John passed me towards the end of the steepest section. As the slope levelled out I increased my speed to regain the lead then took advantage of the downhill to pull away. After that I walked on my own apart from being passed by the runners after my second lap.

I was still recovering from my cold and my butt was a bit sore after my squash match the day before so I didn't go hard out. I finished first in a time of 41:30 with an average pace of 6:32 and an average HR of 160 bpm.  Along with Barbara and Ian we were the first club team and each received a beanie to go along with my bottle of wine for winning.

We enjoyed a chat and a hot lunch in the Olympic clubrooms whilst waiting for the prizegiving.

Wellington Masters 6.4 km

Saturday 21 July - Cancelled training

My squash team were playing a couple of ties this weekend to select a team to represent our district in the national D grade teams competition in September. I was not scheduled to play since I am not a first choice player for the team. Unfortunately our number two player was injured on Friday night and by late morning on Saturday decided she would not be able to play that day.

I got a phone call just as we arrived at the Newtown Park track where I planned to do 3 km fartlek followed by 5 x 400m. It did not make any sense to train before a squash match so I had to cancel my training session. This is one I have not done before and I was looking forward to finding out how I would go. Fortunately it is in my programme for next week so I will still get to give it a try.

Luckily my team mates had the squash tie sewn up before I took the court so the outcome of my match mattered only to my grading. I put up a reasonable performance but lost in 3 sets. Now that the team is off to nationals in Hamilton on 12 - 16 September I will need to fit in at least 3 squash sessions a week.

I didn't get to do my 6 x 1 km on Friday due to pressures of work so I'm hoping to squeeze that into my 'easy' week next week.

Wednesday 18 July - 12 km Training Walk

This session was meant to include 2 x 5 min at 20 km pace but I was just recovering from my sore throat and had not been sleeping well so decided completing 12 km would be effort enough. I took the first three days of the week off work, something I haven't done in the past 15 years. I don't remember having a throat so sore since I was a child. Luckily it went away without me having to see a doctor or take antibiotics.

I wasn't trying to take it easy but just did what I could and the 12 km took 1:35:02 for an average pace of 7:55 and an average HR of 117. I figured I did well to complete the distance with no adverse effects. It was a lovely day and after my walk I went to the zoo with my sister and her granddaughter.

12 km Training Walk

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekend Races

Sunday 15 July - Harry Kerr Relay

My throat was now really sore and I could barely make a sound when I got to Mt Smart Stadium to join my team.  I learned that Bob, who I was following, had a hamstring injury and may need to pull out early. That meant I would have to finish his laps as well as doing my own 10 km. I had thought I might struggle to do 10 km but a sore throat is not as disabling as a sore leg.

The Auckland A team members were all capable of going under 60 minutes so we knew our team was in a different class. Auckland B was the only other team in the judged division, with four teams in the unjudged division. We were about 350 m ahead of Auckland B after leg 1 and this reduced to about 300 m during Bob's leg.  I started warming up when Bob started then went inside to keep warm for a while.  I warmed up some more once I learned that Bob was slowing noticeably and it soon become obvious that he would need to stop. I took over at 7.2 km, needing to walk another 7 laps before my own leg started. I concentrated on increasing the distance between myself and the Auckland B walker rather than my actual pace, mindful that I wanted to have enough energy in the tank to finish the full 12.8 km without slowing too much. I managed to lap the third Auckland B walker a few laps after she started and then twice more before I completed my laps. I timed myself over my first 25 laps at 64:09 which I thought was good considering the race the previous day, my sore throat and having to walk the extra 2.8 km. I don't know what my official 10 km time was but it would have been quite a bit slower than that.

I didn't wear my Garmin for this event. I find it a distraction on the track. I don't remember to hit the lap button every time I cross the start/finish and worry that I might get a card when concentrating on my watch rather than my technique. There were 6 or so judges on the track but no board operating and it was only a couple of hours after the finish that I found out I received one penalty. I did receive several warnings including one for lifting but the chief judge was very positive about my improved technique.

Saturday 14 July - 10 km Road Race

The second club championship race was scheduled on the same weekend as the Harry Kerr relay. I requested that the race be moved to another date but the committee decided to leave that date as set. Missing a club championship race is the equivalent of giving up any chance of winning a medal so I decided to race two days in a row.

The plan was to race this one pretty easy - more of a training walk. Once again we were very lucky with the weather. It was a drizzly day but I managed to finish the event without getting wet at all. I started out in third position behind Ian and John and managed to get to the front after two or three laps. Fraser passed me not long after that but he only did 5 km so I found myself in the lead after he finished. John had passed Ian and was not too far behind me so I needed to keep up a reasonable pace to stay ahead of him. I was happy to finish in 66:26 with no cards or warnings, especially when my Garmin tells me the distance was 10.16 km.  I started to develop a sore throat on Friday and was pleased that it had not caused me much problem during the event, apart from needing to take a drink when it got dry.

10 km Road Race

Friday, July 13, 2012

Two Training Sessions

Thursday 12 July -  2 x 2 km + 3 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

I was walking into a moderate wind for the 2 km laps which I found slowed me down quite a lot. With two races this weekend I didn't push too hard but I made a good effort.  Walking the short legs with the wind behind me was much easier. My splits were:  12:38, 12:04, 5:51, 5:55, 6:03 for a total time of 42:37, an average pace of 6:05 and average HR 156 bpm.

2 x 2 km 3 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Tuesday 10 July - 12 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

I walked at a pretty easy pace apart from my fast stretches which were 6:07/km and 6:04/km. There was quite a strong wind but I enjoyed being out on a fine winter's day next to our scenic harbour.  My total time was 1:21:43,  average pace 6:49 and average HR around 150 bpm. I forgot to turn my Garmin off for part of my return to work which was not racewalking.

12 km with 2 x 6 min @ 20 km pace

Sunday, July 8, 2012

16 km Training Walk

The day was fine. cool and calm. We drove to Kilbirnie to watch a young friend play in a national futsal tournament then set out to walk from there.

I decided to walk around the peninsular - pretty much the reverse of an old half marathon course from years ago. I don't walk this way often because of the need to walk on the road for a large part of the way. It's really scenic, starting in the harbour and going over the Pass of Branda towards the open sea.

Philip walked with me for the first 4 km then stopped at a cafe, planning to meet me back at the car. After going around the peninsular I walked through the airport and was a km or two away from my starting point when the 16 km was up. I phoned Philip to pick me up and we went to a favourite cafe for a late lunch.

I enjoyed this walk today. The pace was an easy 7:19 km and average HR  133 bpm.

16 km Training Walk

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7 x 1 km with 2 min Recovery

I had been looking forward to this session after average 6 min/km in last Friday's speed work. I was hoping to better this by around 10 seconds.

I visited the dentist on Thursday morning and ended up having a difficult extraction that left me with stitches and on antibiotics. The dentist advised that I took it easy on Friday so I deferred my training to day.

We stayed up until about 2:30 am to watch the Wimbledon semi-final and had a bit of a late start to the day. I went out to walk just before mid-day. Since I am often slow to warm up in my sprints I walked 1.5 km before starting but  struggled to do better than 7:30 pace.

I put in a reasonable effort today but this is not shown by my results. It was an achievement to even complete the workout! I will go for an easy 16 km tomorrow and hope to pick up over next week once the drugs get out of my system.

My splits were: 6:15, 6:07, 6:06, 6:10, 6:09, 6:17, 6:26 for a total time of 43:30, an average pace of 6:13 and average HR of 153 bpm.

7 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

12 km with 2 x 5 min @ 20 km pace

I was feeling the effects of a pretty intense workout yesterday so I decided to take it easy today. I was slightly pushed for time so had an incentive not to be too slow.

I was surprised to find I was averaging around 6:45 even though my pace felt easy. I started one fast leg at the 2.5 km mark into a light wind. At the 6 km mark was average pace was 6:39 but I was tiring. My second fast leg was from the 8 km mark.  I managed maintain a reasonable pace to the end for an overall time of 1:20:59, average pace 6:45 and average HR 148 bpm. I was pleased with this and felt my form was good but I'm feeling quite tired now!

12 km with 2x 5 min @ 20 km

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

10 km Fartlek

One of my team scheduled a meeting for 1:00 pm - clearly not someone who knows my habit of long training walks in my lunch break. Never mind, I went out at 11:00 am instead which was a good move considering the number of school holiday scooters I had to dodge. I did not feel great out there today - a bit stiff after Sunday's walk I guess. My first 'sprint' km was pretty slow so that was not a good sign. Fortunately all the 500m sprints except the last were 3:00 or less which was my goal. The slower laps were sometimes a bit too slow but my overall time of 63:47 was pleasing. I can think of a number of races where my result was worse than this. My splits are below. Average heart rate 155 bpm, average pace 6:22/km.

3:27 + 2:56 = 6:24
3:12 + 2:56 = 6:08
3:28 + 3:00 = 6:28
3:20 + 3:00 = 6:20
3:24 + 2:56 = 6:20
3:23 + 2:59 = 6:22
3:24 + 2:55 = 6:19
3:29 + 2:59 = 6:28
3:22 + 3:05 = 6:27

10 km Fartlek

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Workout Reports

Sunday 1 July - 16 km Training Walk

It was a cold but calm day - great conditions for walking. We drove into town and left the car near the bus depot. The plan was to walk 16 km to a cafe in Island Bay, have a leisurely lunch and read of the paper then catch the bus back into town and drive home.  After a good sprint session on Friday and a day off on Saturday I thought I would manage a good speed but it took all my effort to average 7:19. I think that the cold weather had ceased up my muscles. The harbour was stunning this morning and the open sea beautiful. We are so lucky to have such a great place to walk! My total time for 16 km was 1:57:04 for an average pace of 7:19 and average HR of 134 bpm.
16 km Training Walk

Friday 29 June - 3 x 2 km + 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

I did this workout in error the previous Friday when I was meant to do 5 x 1 km @ 80% effort. That day I held back and averaged 6:15/km so I was determined to do better than that this time.  I felt pretty good on the first two laps and was pleased to finish 4 km in 23:30. The return laps were into a strong wind which slowed me down significantly. I worked really hard, determined to average under 6 min/km and completed the 8 km in 47:59 - right on target! I had forgotten to hunt out my heart rate monitor so there is no HR reading for this workout.

3 x 2 km 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Tuesday 26 June - 10 km Training Walk

This was a recovery walk after achieving a PB in the half marathon two days previously. (I realised my 20 km time in that event was 2:07:40 which is 2:06 better than my best time but not judged). My aim was for a gentle walk with good technique. It was a lovely day and I enjoyed my walk. It surprised me that I was quite loose despite the recent race. I must have left my heart rate monitor in my gear bag from the race when I put it away and didn't have time to hunt it out before heading to the train to get to work so there is no HR reading. My total time was 1:10:53 for an average pace of 7:05. It's not a great time but I had expected I could be slower than that.

10 km Training Walk

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Goal Achieved - Wellington Half Marathon

The weather yesterday was pretty awful with heavy rain and gale-force winds. The forecast was for a southerly change with showers so it was nice to go to the start line in the dry. In this event walkers and runners start at the same time with walkers instructed to line up behind the runners. Since race records are taken from gun time not net time
I considered trying to get up to the front. This is a risky thing to do because your opponents could be starting several minutes behind you and could have a quicker net time without ever passing you.

I was a bit fatigued from my week's training and didn't think I was likely to get a good time so I picked a starting position near the 2:10 mark with some other walkers. It took almost 30 seconds to reach the start line where I started my Garmin.  Walking felt relaxed and easy at the start so I was surprised to find I was doing 6 min pace. My aim was to average 6:20/km and I knew this fast start might tell on me later. I got to the 5 km mark in 30:23 and the halfway point in just over 65 mins.

The wind was at our backs for most of the return journey. I was feeling tired but was motivated to work hard since I knew our team would be pushed to beat the Taranaki walkers and every second could count. With 3 km to go I realised that I would get a PB time by going under 20 min which helped me to lift my pace a bit. My son was at the finish to cheer me in for a gun time of 2:14:42 and a net time of 2:14:04. (Average HR 157.) This is a PB of around 2 min and a 1:30 improvement in my age group record for this race. Bettering the record was one of the goals I wrote down for the winter season. The improvement would have been greater if I had believed in myself and started up the front. I am in this group for another 5 years so I will just have to go for an even better time next year!

Wellington Half Marathon

Friday 22 June - 3 x 2 km + 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

With a race on Sunday I didn't want to go 100% on this workout but I felt bad about missing the 10 km on Thursday so wanted to make a reasonable effort. I said to myself 6:15 when I started but I was actually thinking 3:15 per 500m or 13 min per 2 km. I was pleased when my first 2 km was less than that and managed to get faster as I warmed up and then had the wind behind me for the last 4 km. My splits were: 12:46, 12:11, 12:07, 6:04, 6:10 for an average pace of 6:10 and average HR 157 bpm.

I was pretty tired when I got back to the office and it occurred to me that Jim had written down 16 km for Sunday so hadn't realised I was doing the half marathon. He probably would have given me something a bit less strenuous. I should have checked that one out. (I have just checked the training programme and found that my eye had slipped forward to the following week. I was supposed to do 5 x 1 km @ 85%. Duh! Jim did have the Half Marathon in there. Luckily he's given me a lighter week next week so I can get some energy back.)
3 x 2 min 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rest Day

I had a hectic day at work today with several meetings. Fitting a training walk in was going to be tricky, the weather was not appealing and my right hamstring was not feeling good. Everything lined up for me to give training a miss today but I probably walked around 6 km going between my car, work and meetings.

Wednesday 20 June - 10 km Fartlek

My first km was not fast, probably since I did not have time to warm up before starting. The next few fast 500s were pretty good but I wasn't able to maintain that pace right through. I was roped in to play squash that night since one of the players in my team was sick. Trying to save some energy for squash and some for the half marathon on Sunday meant I did not give 100% effort. In an effort to save time I headed back to work over the last km and ended up going around in circles to complete the last 500m which was the slowest of all laps. My overall time was 1:05:47 with an average pace of 6:35 and average HR 154 bpm

10 Km Fartlek

Tuesday 19 June - 12 Km Training Walk

It was cold and raining and my legs were sore I think from Monday's yoga class or possibly Sunday's squash training so I decided a longer slower walk was a better option. I put my raincoat on and headed out. I was pleased to see my pace was better than 7:15 - at other times I struggled to do better than 8 min/km when I've felt like this. I managed a pretty consistent pace throughout and finished the 12 km in 1:26:15 for an average pace of 7:11 and average HR of 142 bpm

12 km Training Walk

Sunday, June 17, 2012

10 km Road Race - Club Champs #1

It rained heavily through Friday night and I envisaged a soggy walk on Saturday morning. There was some rain during the drive down to Upper Hutt and a shower before the start of the race.  I expected to see Alana and Natasha at this event and was disappointed to find they were not there and neither was Peter Baillie who is injured.  That meant that I took the lead in the first few steps of the race and remained in front throughout. I probably went out too hard, my watch recording the first 5 km in 29:44.  The wind came up in the second half of the race but that didn't really explain my drop off in pace.  I was pleased with my overall time but would have liked to have a more even split between the two halves. I will need to work harder on the kick-down training sessions!

There were only three judges for this event and two of those usually compete but were injured. I was shown two warnings but did not receive any cards and at the end of the race was given the judge's award for the best style. That was very pleasing given the effort I have put into improving my style but I know there is still more work to do on this.

My total time was 1:01:41, average pace 6:10, average HR 162 bpm. The next walker finished over 3 minutes behind me.

The splits from my watch were
5:45, 5:54, 6:00, 5:55, 6:10 (29:44 for 1st 5 km)
6:20, 6:14, 6:19, 6:16, 6:22 (31:31 for 2nd 5 km)
29:44 + 31:31 + 0:25 (My watch measured the course to be 10.06 km)

10 km Road Race (Club Champs #1)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back on Line - The Big Catch Up

The PC went on the blink and I've been busy so it just wasn't possible to update this blog. I have still been training and competing and will now attempt to get things up to date.

Wednesday 13 June - 4 x 1 km with 2 min rest intervals

This was meant to be 4 x 800 m but getting to the track is difficult so it was easier to do 1 km reps along the footpath.  My programme said 85% effort and I figured that if I was going well I should be able to do 1 km in 5:40 so 6:00 km or even 6:05 would be quite good.  I was happy to achieve an average of 6:01.

The splits were 6:05, 5:55, 5:56, 6:04

4 x 1 km with 2 min rest intervals

Saturday 9 June - 15 km National Championship

We drove up to New Plymouth on Thursday to give us plenty of time to recover from the 5 hour drive before the race on Saturday. We were lucky to have generous friends to stay with from our time of living in this  city.

I planned not to go out too hard in this race but did try to stay on the back of a group that I thought I might be able to keep up with. This lead me to doing 30:30 for the first 5 km which was a bit ahead of my goal of 6:10 per km.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to hold that pace and the group gradually went out of sight.  With about 4 laps to go I noticed Sue Hoskin in the distance and tried to increase my pace but dropped the idea of catching up when I went past the board after 13 km and saw I had two red cards. I did want to achieve a PB and managed to knock 69 seconds of my time from last year, completing the event in 5th place in 1:35:18.  I had hoped for a couple of minutes faster but at least I was not DQ'd.

15 km National Championships

The video below was taken by my hosts approximately 3 km into the race.

Wednesday 6 June - 10 km

I left my GPS watch at home this day so I used a bit of guess work as to where the 5 km turn around point was. I estimated that I was walking at around 7:30 min/km pace and completed the walk in 1:14:13.  I remember thinking that the distance was likely to have been nearer to 10.5 km.

Sunday 3 June - leg 2 of Aurora Marathon

This was a handicap race with the start time based on the competitors estimated time. Leeane did a good job of the first half marathon, finishing about 6 mins faster than her estimate.  I was quite surprised at the pace I achieved early in my leg, probably due to being motivated to catch up to the walkers ahead of me (a couple of these turned out to be runners).  I enjoyed the scenic walk through the valley and was grateful that my leg was relatively flat compared to the first leg.  I did enjoy the steep downhill section near the end where I passed quite a number of walkers. In this event competitors finishing too much faster than their estimate are disqualified. I found out later that this rule was applied to the solo competitors but not to the teams. It looks like the winners of the pairs must have beaten their estimate by a considerable amount since they were some way ahead of me and we were 11 minutes quicker than our estimate. I completed my half of the marathon in 2:19:59.

Aurora Marathon - Lap Two

Friday 1 June - 10 km Kickdown

In my previous two attempts at this workout I started out too fast, made my first increase too much and then struggled to increase in the last half of the workout.  I set myself the target of averaging 7:20, 7:00, 6:40 and 6:20. I found the first half of the workout very easy and surprised myslef with what I was able to achieve in the second half. the total time was 1:06:59 with average pace 6:42 and average HR 149 bpm. My splits were:

2.5 km  18:16  (average 7:18)
5.0 km  17:20  (average 6:56)
7.5 km  16:09  (average 6:28)
10 km   15:14  (average 6:06)

Wednesday 30 May - 10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

Tuesday 29 May - 12 km Training Walk

I have been carrying a sore right hamstring for quite some time which tends to make me slow to warm up. I was pleased to achieve an average pace of 6:47 for this workout and to find that I am no longer fatiguing at the 7 - 8 km mark as I had been previously. My average HR was 141 bpm.

12 km Training Walk 

Sunday 27 May - 20 km Training Walk

The weather forecast wasn't good and there was a strong northerly wind blowing. Philip and I drove down to the Hutt Road to get onto the flat and headed south into town, round the bays to Kilbernie through to Lyall Bay and round the coast to Island Bay. It started to shower about an hour into the walk so buy the time we reached the cafe at Island Bay we were cold and hungry and stopped 1.4 km short of our intended distance. We had a nice lunch, a long read of the Sunday paper then caught the bus back to our car.

20 km Training Walk

Wednesday 23 May - 5 km Fartlek

I was grateful for a light week after having two full on programmes the previous two weeks.  This workout felt pretty good and I was pleased with the pace.  Overall time 30:38, average pace 6:09, average HR 149 bpm.

The splits were:
3:17 + 2:52 = 6:09
3:20 + 2:53 = 6:13
3:16 + 3:01 = 6:17
3:09 + 2:54 = 6:03

5 km Fartlek

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 km Training Walk

It was another lovely day. I walked down to the waterfront before my watch picked up the satellites which was a good place to start my walk. I aim to average 6:45/km on these walks but, as usual the first km was over 7 min (7:08). I managed to settle into a good easy pace but slowed down considerably after the turn-around. My average at the half -way point was around 6:42 but the final average pace was 6:49. My right hamstring is feeling pretty sore so I guess that's not too bad. I started straight back into my work when I got back into the office, forgetting about my 2:30 meeting which I had to turn up to unshowered and in my walking gear. Oops, not what I would want to do!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eikeden Relay - leg 5 - 7.5 km

It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. Our team, 'Scottish A' started off in fourth place but moved up to second after Natasha's leg. We were about 1:10 under our estimated time before Peter started but he exceeded expectations and put us 1:20 up. Alana did a great 10 km walk, also bettering the estimate.

I wasn't feeling great before I started but was pleased with my first lap which was under 6 min/km.  I knew I was slowing but thought the 30:08 5 km was a good effort. It's my second best time for a judged 5 km and there were no cards or warnings at this stage.  My glutes were tiring but I pushed on and was a little concerned when the bell didn't ring at the end of the next lap. Fortunately I could see Natasha getting ready when I drew level with the start finish line and Alana confirmed that I was on my last lap. Thanks goodness!

I had hoped to average near 6:00/km but managed only 6:08. I could not be disappointed though since there were no cards and no official warnings (one judge had mentioned that my knees were beginning to soften). For the last two years I have been sinned binned for receiving more than two cards. It's great to be no longer a sinner!

Philip took some film very near the end of my last lap which I hope to put up here tonight. I was tiring so it wasn't my best but it still shows a big improvement in my technique.

Eikeden Relay - 7.5 km

Friday, May 18, 2012

2 x 2 km, 3 x 1 km

It was great weather for walking but I had to dig deep for today's workout as this was my fourth training day in a row. I was pleased with the results I achieved and looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.

12:17, 12:07, 6:11, 6:01, 6:08
Average pace 6:06, average heart rate 151 bpm

2 x 3 km, 3 x 1 km, 2 min rest intervals

Thursday 17 May - 10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

My glutes were aching when I started out but I pushed hard and managed to warm up to a reasonable pace. My fast sections were at the 2 km and 4 km marks. It was a good workout with an average pace of 6:37 and average HR of 149 bpm

10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

!0 km Fartlek

My first two walks this week were pretty slow so I was very surprised to manage the first km today in 5:37. I had a tail wind and the rain had pretty much stopped for the first 4 km.  I was walking well but felt the effects of the wind once I turned back. The rain became quite heavy and I began to get cold. I could feel my muscles tightening up and decided not to sprint in the last few km for fear of becoming injured.
3:21 + 2:53 = 6:14
3:14 + 2:59 = 6:13
3:11 + 2:54 = 6:05
3:11 + 3:14 = 6:25
3:19 + 3:06 = 6:25
3:25 + 3:13 = 6:38
6:52, 7:25, 7:38

Total time 1:05:35. Average pace 6:33, average HR 152 bpm

10 km Fartlek

Tuesday 15 May - 12 km Training Walk

This walk was difficult but at least I averaged a better speed than on Sunday.  I still seem to be fatiguing after about 8 km. Surely I will become conditioned soon. Total time 1:30:55, average pace 6:35, average heart rate 122bpm.

12 km Training Walk

Sunday, May 13, 2012

20 km Training Walk

The weather forecast for today was pretty awful. In the early hours of the morning I listened to strong winds and heavy rain and was not looking forward to this walk. When I headed off from home at 11:00 am the rain had cleared but it was still cold and windy. I was surprised at how slow I was walking and seemed to do better when I was down on the flat. Philip joined me near the 12 km mark and we walked the last 8 km together. I'm not sure how I managed to be so slow but assume that doing the distance was beneficial despite the lack of speed.

20 km Training Walk

Saturday 12 May - Chocolate Race

I was scheduled to do 4 x 2 km sprints but did a 6 km race followed by a 2 km warm down instead. I estimated a time of 36:25 based on my result in the last 6 km race.  I started in 5th place and passed John during the downhill on the first leg. We were not allowed to wear watches but they called out our times at the end of the first 3 km leg. I was surprised to hear 17:47 since I didn't feel that I was working that hard. I was sure that I would slow on the next lap so wasn't too concerned about being ahead of my estimate. On the second downhill I caught up to Peter Baillie who has not walked for over six months and managed to pass him. About 500 m from the finish I also passed Natasha which was even more of a surprise. I continued on at a good pace only to find I finished in 35:54, 31 seconds faster than my estimate.

Two walkers managed to complete the race in exactly their estimated times so I suspect my result will be one of the worst. We all got a small chocolate bar and the winners got a block of chocolate for their prize.

Friday 12 May - 10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 k pace

It was raining a bit when I went out but I hate fast walking with a coat on so I decided to take a chance on getting wet. The wind was not too bad and I decided to do both fast spells on the outward leg in case the wind was worse on the way back.  I was really pleased with the pace I was getting on the non-sprint sections. This could have been due to me being pushed for time to get back to the office and have a shower in time to meet the 1:30 lunch date I had with Philip. My time for the 10 km was 1:05:07 which is better than one or two 10 km race times I have achieved. Average HR 144 bpm.

10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace