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