Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Running the elements

 For the last two track sessions I rather settled for 300s on the basis that the ever present Lancashire gusts would have least effect on the time and effort by doing the 100 recovery on the back straight into the wind.  But I felt I had to bite the bullet today and revert to a longer rep; settling for 1K efforts with 200 interval recovery. 5 reps  to be done in total.  5 K of effort.
 In a perfect world, the track designer for Seedhill, Nelson would have had  say conifers planted
years back when the track had been put down.  Planted strategically as at Longford Park, Stretford to create a natural barrier against the elements.  But as we know it's not a perfect world and the track must be one of the most open around.  
 Back in that perfect world  it should of course be possible to run the K reps at 5K pace at best, 10K pace at worst. This means targetting at least 4.16 but I calculated adding 5% allowing for the conditions and Sunday's race; pushing the target back to 4.30 approx.   Perhaps 5% is too generous an allowance? You tell me!
 Quite clearly it depends on whether the reps are done solo, in pairs or in a group.  Solo there is no one to hide behind.  In a pair of similar ability it's  clearly best alternate leading into the wind.  In a group similarly the pace can be shared. 
  I recall pace sharing in a race on the Fylde coast one year; the Windmill Half Marathon, in which each individual in a group of 6 took it in turn to lead as we headed back into a gale blasted by sand off the Lytham beach.   A running chain gang!
  But back to today,   was that 5% correct?   Well, just about but based on the average.
            4.35        4.35       4.30      4.25       4.23
 Another race this weekend. The SALE 5.  Second in the Manchester Park Race Grand Prix.  It's on Monday so that gives me one more following today's reps compared to last week. Nice one. Looking forward to 4 days relaxed running.
  Speaking of "relaxed", in "running the elements"  today  I was particularly keen to stay relaxed, maintain good form in order to save energy.  I may have leant into the wind a tad but generally I'm trying to not run "like a question mark" which seems to be the case with many super veterans with heads down looking at their feet, backs bent, arms redundant.
  I've often stated there are "no marks for style" in races but quite clearly the arm action of even some of the UK's best runners, sorry Charlotte P.,  you would not want young beginners to copy.
Not so much a nice rhythmical pendulum action with the arms rather than "run trying to punch yourself on the chin with alternate fists".  Not good.
 Many readers will remember the extremely versatile New Zealander ROD DIXON.  Olympic Bronze medallist over 1500 metres in 1972  he later ran 2:08;59 in winning the New York City marathon.   As director of coaching with the Los Angeles Marathon he has produced several neat videos including one which deals with use of the arms.  Put on a pair of gloves before watching....


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