Monday, 12 January 2015

A New Plan, Loving Hills And The Fabled Magpies

The start of a new 5km training plan had me both excited and nervous.

I was most certainly looking forward to the new challenge and variety but a part of me wondered how I would cope with the increased miles. The first week alone would see me clocking up a record distance.

Feeling that I have built a decent sort of foundation to do this kind of plan, I see it as a step in the right direction if I want to run a better 5km.

The week started on Tuesday with a 5km easy run which I ran on a new course that I had plotted on Strava, it included one short, but steep hill which found me out a little. It prompted me to work on my hill running technique which was much needed. 

Wednesday was a fun session. Having come from a sporting background that involves more speed and interval work, I enjoy those type of sessions. This week included 5 x 400’s at a mile pace. The break in between is the time it takes you to walk or jog 400 metres. I mainly walked but will make sure it is a jog in future sessions to gain maximum benefit.

Thursday’s run was another 5km easy run, I deliberately designed a route with a couple of decent inclines in it. After reading up on hill technique, I was keen to try it.

I am happy to report it went extra well. I concentrated on a point at eye level and not on the top of the hill, I also increased my arm cadence to help my legs keep going. I am now enjoying the hills (I never thought I would say that).

After a rest day Friday, it was to be another easy 5km on Saturday. I was unable to partake in Parkrun as I couldn’t hang around long enough.

I did manage to get there for a little bit and enjoy one of my other favourite things, photography. Here is a link to my shots from the Sandon Point Parkrun #88 - Sandon Point Parkrun #88 Photos.

I chose to run that very Parkrun course later in the evening as my 5km easy run. I registered a 30:54 effort. Way outside my PR of 27:55 but it was only a “conversational pace” type run.

I am finding the task of finishing a 5km run to be nowhere near as daunting as it was six weeks ago. I enjoy it and am always looking forward to the next one.

On Saturday morning I flew to Melbourne which will be my home for the next three weeks where I am working at the Australian Tennis Open. 

Despite some days at work being very long, I cannot wait to tackle some unfamiliar surroundings and new courses. I also plan to try and run a couple of Parkruns and also have my eye on one or two fun runs as well while I am there.

My first run was an 8km easy run on a route that I basically made as I went along. I warmed up from near where I am staying in Collingwood and started my 8km near Victoria Park at a place called Dights Falls.
A sunset run by the Yarra River.

Following a cycle path, I wound my way along the Yarra River and crossed it with a nice little step workout in the middle of the run. It was then a beautiful sunset trundle up some nice hills where I turned around and headed back to finish at Victoria Park, the home of the Collingwood Magpies AFL team.

Running along the banks of the Yarra.
It is actually said that the name of the club was inspired by the magpies from Dights Falls (well so Wikipedia says).

I carried an old GoPro camera on the run and shot a few pics while I was moving, they are the ones you see on this blog.
The gates at Victoria Park

In total, the run took me 55:29, the good thing being that I felt great after it and am certain that I can go a lot further. Bearing in mind that I had been on a flight and walked around 5km already through the day, I was happy.

I will definitely be revisiting that route if I get the chance.

Sunset through the posts, Victoria Park
My weekly totals were all the highest figures I have achieved so far. 33.6km in 3 hours 56 minutes with an elevation of 237 metres.

Next week will see a very similar pattern with the only change being a 30 minute tempo run in place of the 5 x 400’s. I cannot wait to get into it.

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