Saturday, May 31, 2008

(Almost) Going the Distance

Long run day today.

The route was similar to my last long run but I tacked on a 'prologue' west of Dominion Road to bump the distance up. The ending was a bit different too cutting through the cute little Centennial Park down my road.

Naming the route a safari was overstating the truth a little but Cornwall Park does have some animals - sheep, cows and a few tame roosters.

Here is a brief breakdown of the run:
0 - 2km : Suburban Balmoral/Sandringham Streets. Basically flat.
2 - 6km : Leafy Epsom Suburbs. Some very nice looking houses here and quite pleasant running conditions. Slightly rolling terrain.
6 - 10km : Entering One Tree Hill/Cornwall Park. My favourite section has got to be the Twin Oak Drive with dirt trail adjacent to the road. Love running this stretch.
10 - 12km : Intestinal fortitude required for heading up One Tree Hill. Some shuffling ensues but I didn't stop. Great view.
12 - 14.5km : Nice and flat heading out the park. Got to do the Twin Oak track again!
14.5km - 19.1 km : Suburban streets. Some downhill. Welcome relief after that climb :)

Kept the pace very relaxed and did the 19.1km in 1:37:07. This is around 5:05 min/km.

That'd have me doing the half marathon distance (21.1km) somewhere around 1:47-1:48. Not too bad considering the hill and still gearing up to that distance.

Check out the elevation.
max: 154m
min: 40m
ascent: 126m
descent: 124m

The hill climb had my running turn into a sort of shuffling part up but I got a second wind from the downwards part. Wasn't easy at all.

This sort of distance is really new territory for me and my body is still getting used to the idea. Actually I think its more my legs that start feeling it near the end the breathing is still OK. Need to watch fatigue setting in and maintaining good running style.

In other news for May I did a total of 96.1km in training and racing.

For June I'm going to mix it up with one long run/week, some hills, and some tempo runs. My next 10km race (Run Auckland 5) is in 3 weeks so need to balance the longer distance training with shorter speedy runs. Looking forward to it.

I hope training with these hill climbs is going to pay off come race time.

Rest day tomorrow - yay!

It's Queen's Birthday (a public holiday) here in New Zealand on Monday so may plan to go for a shorter run. Depends on a weather a little though and what the "organiser of non work time" (aka wife) has to say about it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Halfway Down Dominion Road

"Dominion Road is bending, under it's own weight,
shining like a strip cut from a sheet metal plate 'cause its just been raining"
-- Dominion Road, The Mutton Birds

According to NZ band The Mutton Birds The Mutton Birds
Dominion Road goes shiny after it rains and they weren't wrong this morning.

Same route as my first foray into early morning running. Time today was 35:47 (4:45min/km) and feel pretty good afterwards. Now time to go to work...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Training Tunes

In my last 10km race noticed that many of the other runnings race with Ipods. One woman had actually duct taped her bud head phones onto her ears which made me laugh and wish I had a camera. :)

Personally I tend to race unplugged both because I listen to my breathing as a good gauge on pace and its too easy to get distracted listening to music when you should be overtaking and not bumping into people.

Going for a training run is a bit different and listening to music relaxing and a good distraction.

I find the ipod shuffle quite good for running although the headphones aren't the most secure (guess thats why the duct tape is useful)

In terms of mixes I normally just go with PodRunner which is a weekly podcast "Workout music for runners, cyclists, spinners, walkers, or anyone who needs fixed-tempo exercise mixes". Obviously as a podcast the mix is fresh each week and there is some catchy stuff.

Sometimes I'll also pick some eclectic stuff out of my library : U2, Beastie Boys, Rammstein, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk. Anything Trance is great too for a run at a steady pace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Running in the Dark

I headed out the door at 5.45am this morning for run around the block - well the block bordered by Dominion, Mt. Albert, Mt. Eden, and Balmoral roads and reasonably well lit.

I have worked out this is about the only time I can get some proper training in. When I get home from work my wife and son don't really appreciate me heading out again.

It was pretty cold but conditions were good quite clear. Don't get too hot and sweaty in the morning which is a plus.

Was thinking part way through that at this time of morning the footpaths should be pretty much deserted but I counted six other nutters out running in the dark.

Anyway the route I took is:

35:25 which is around 4:45 min/km. My "normal" training pace times are coming down a bit from around 5min/km - fitness getting better I guess which is encouraging.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Run Auckland Race 4

While the weather was very nice I'll just say that combining hills with a head cold isn't much fun. Provisional results are in and considering how crap I was feeling last night a pretty good time in 43:14 (Placing me 21st out of 69 in my group 30-39 Men. Getting into the top third of the field which is something I wouldn't have thought a year ago when I was struggling to run longer than 5 minutes at a time).

Aside from the hills the most interesting part of this run was the coastal walkway with the tide coming in. I think this was a slight change from last years run auckland and therefore the course was probably only around 9.4km. Still Run Auckland Race 1 was about 10.5km so I guess it evens out.

Whilst I didn't have a camera with me today here is a good photo I found on Flickr. The coastal walkway is the stretch on the right.

Run Auckland Race 5 is almost a month away and I'm going to train hard out for this. The half is then shortly after on 13 July.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A River Runs Through It

Took in the track along the Whakatane river after work on Wednesday. Very nice indeed.

Did this in 51:42 so just a tad under 5min/km pace. No hurry though enough time for that in Sunday's upcoming race.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

der lange Lauf

That would be "the long run" in German.

As part of Run Auckland have a half marathon scheduled in Run Auckland Race 6 which is coming up quick in around 7 weeks time (13 July). I went laufen (to run) on Saturday past after reading this was the key to getting prepared for a longer than normal event.

The route headed through Epsom, Royal Oak and up into One Tree Hill/Cornwall Park. There was a hill climb in there somewhere. Really nice day and quite a lot of people running up the hill.

It was good to get back to run around One Tree Hill having run here when I initially took up jogging last year before shifting to Mt. Eden. The track along Twin Oak Drive is a great place to run - really getting back to nature.

The run itself was around 82 minutes / 16.4km. Going to initially keep the long runs at a slow pace until I hit the half distance of 21.1 km. Next run will aim for around 18-19km. Then gradually work on speed. Not much of a scientific plan but seems reasonable to me.

This Sunday is Run Auckland 4 so the next long run will be the weekend after.

Down to Whakatane today and will be taking my gear. Going to try and take in that river side run this time...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

On Location in Whakatane

Recently I have been down in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region with my work for a power company commissioning a geothermal station in Kawerau. I have been flying down on a Tuesday morning and coming back on Thursday and overnighting in Whakatane. Needless to say commissioning is a busy time.

While work is busy this week I took my running gear along in the hope of sneaking in a run. I managed a 6km loop at dusk one day through the town and took in a short section along the picturesque river. Somewhere around 4:45min/km pace but wasn't really counting - just a nice run to switch off.

I have since found out there is a track actually along the river which I will be trying out next week.

Whakatane itself is pretty for a small town and the restaurants have some great seafood dishes. There has to be some perks for working away from home.

Next Sunday sees Run Auckland Race 4 at Milford on Auckland's north shore. There are some hills apparently but I'll be eating those for breakfast :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Run Auckland Race 3

Flat, fast, and furious?

Provisional results in : 42:49 placed 22/66 in 30-39 men. A PB and quite pleased with the time compared to the last race!!! :)

The course itself was 4 laps of this scenic route. Dead flat aside from judder bars and traffic islands.

Course map is here:

View Interactive Map on