Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Once a week now, I get up put on my running gear, ride 8-9 km to Princes Park in Carlton, then I do a run 3.2km round the park and then I get on my bike ride through the CBD and back home via the Yarra Boulevard approx 15km or so.

Why? Why not run around the parks in my hometown burb of Kew? Simple, Kew is hilly, Brunswick is flat.

I would love to see the 7 degree olympic events, where the athletics track from bend to bend is situated on a 7 degree incline. That would actually probably be the only way 800m could be made worse.

But the point is that even though in my adult years, I have the seemingly ability to run any long distance I decide to, which I couldn't do as an adolescent, the endurance is far more mental than physical which consists of just plodding along for 1 hour, 2 hours etc. My body needs a lot of retraining and rebuilding just to run fast, at some kind of pace.

The other difference from adolescence is that I used to run between March to September, and take the whole summer off any formal notion of running, and do no cycling at all.

So trying to run with my non-athletes body at some kind of respectible pace in hotter, dryer conditions than I ever opted into in Ballarat is proving interesting. A whole new experience.

I can now mentally push myself up to a pace where getting overtaken around the park is rare, and if it happened I would expect that the person would be in the last 100-50m of their total distance doing the strong finish.

But I don't feel like an athlete. My legs don't do the work for me, mentally I have to be on top of my back muscles to keep me in proper posture not slouching. But running on the flat allows me to actually experience all the muscles at work and give me a sense of progress, where running on Kew's hills whilst I'm sure is good for mental resilliance and fitness is a confusing array of shifting postures and stride lengths. Destroying rythm as you hit the seeming walls and seeming freefalls of the steep inclines and downhill slopes.

Then heres the interesting part to doing a middle distance like 3km as it relates to the 800m, pushing my self to run hard over 3km is how I train for my 'off' distance in the 800m, yes, so if I do a hard first or second lap, this middle distance pace is the relaxed aerobic pace you use to give you a rolling start or 'comfortable' finish.

As yet, both my aerobic and anaerobic fitness are lacking, and particularly my legs muscles structure aren't fully transformed for running vs. cycling, so I have a ways to go.

One thing I can say about commuting to a better park for exercise is that it proves just how reliable kevlar-puncture proof road tires are. I haven't had to face a flat induced 9km walk home yet.

No comments: