Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Gods of Centennial Park

Those of you that run Centennial Park will no doubt be familiar with Movie Studios taking over sections of the park for months to create, build and shoot on sets that usually see 10-20secs of air time in these so called 'blockbusters'.

Right now, you may catch a glimpse of Margot Robbie and Rose Byrne over near the off leash dog section near the Rotunda not far from the main cafe. I unfortunately haven't as yet but I'm told they have been filming Peter Rabbit there. After seeing Margot Robbie in the Wolf of Wall Street, I'm not quite sure where the rabbit will fit in but interestingly, her on screen husband in that movie - The Wolf himself filmed The Great Gatsby in the same location plus just outside the Robertson St Gates. This was the scene where they drove out of his estate gates and it lasted all of 10secs in that movie.

A week or so ago I spotted The Gods of Egypt on Foxtel so I taped it and have since watched it. Now these guys took over a grassed area not far from the Hotdog trailer kiosk down the middle road of the park and they were there for 4-5mths. A massive timber set build saw a small Egyptian market place township spring up where they would film. Gerard Butler the main character so it sounded like it had hype, budget and who knows perhaps some hope!

Unfortunately not, I am sad to say. Wow what a disaster from go to wo. Not sure where to start. Brian Brown as the Greek God father, Geoffrey Rush as Grandada - Ra, the guy from Game of Thrones who is bonking his sister (Jaime Lanister) and a host of others looking for a ticket to Hollywood glory. Ouch!

So it got me wondering, they would have made more money filming 'The Gods of Centennial Park'. The heroics I have seen take place over the years inside that fence is nothing short of epic Greek status. We have Olympians, City to Surf winners, CEO's and captains of industry. We have nurses and doctors, surgeons & lawyers. We have retirees who refuse to slow down. There are former champions who still run the white fence with today's demographic oblivious as to who they are nor what they achieved in their day.

I would have enjoyed watching that more than Aussies trying to speak with an American accent and failing. I wonder what these new age Centennial Park running Gods would be called?

- The God/dess of the coaching squad switch.
- The God/dess of the 364 day training schedule (the 365th being a Park Run)
- The God/dess of the 2hr stand around warm up and 3hr cool down
- The God/dess of the training PB. Their best work is done around that white fence

And so on.

My week was far from God like. In fact I struggled most of it with a virus and still carrying a niggle/injury in my TFL (around the hip). I still have some good fitness but it's hurting more than it should.

Mon: 12km at 4:30 pace
Tue: AM: 5km  PM: 12km with 4 x Busby lakes (1450m) in 4:45's.
Wed: 7km (feeling off to run again)
Thur: 14km Hurts with Pyramid - 400/800/1200/1600/1200/800/400m - not bad but my pubic bone and TFL / adductors were hurting at the end which JFen chatted to me about (Osteitis Pubis)
Fri: Rest day
Sat: Decided to try a marathon pace run on the footpath in the park. 21.1km half marathon in 3:45's for 79:20 which IF I was feeling comfortable at the end, would have been a confidence boost but I was struggling a bit so glad to finish. 24km in total.
Sun: Slightly hungover after a concert in the Vines at the Hunter Valley. Not really amongst the vines, Crammed into a grassed ampitheatre around a bunch of drunken yobbos. Oh yeah ok I was soon one of those. Not as bad as my mate Errol who somehow forgot to eat - rookie.

Total for the week: 74km

Dragon, James Reyne, Psuedo Echo, Icehouse (and every stripclub's mate - Knollsy)

 5yrs old already.

Greta ventured over to Lake Wanaka in NZ over the weekend to take out their Run Swim event with her swimming mate Kate. This event sees teams running in the gear they swim in and swimming in the gear they run in. Continuous alternation of swimming (4km) and running (15km) taking 2hr 49mins.

Finally - annoying people of the week:

* The person who clearly sees me push the pedestrian light walk button but somehow feels they will have a better shot at it and proceeds to start pushing it again - and again - and again!

* Further to this, why is it that when we all get the green man go ahead to cross a busy city street, do we feel the need to charge off at awkward haphazard angles that immediately put us on a collision course with pretty much everyone coming toward us? Surely there should be white dotted lines where we stay left and get it done alot smoother.

* The dog owner who's dog has never chased or bitten them ever so s/he's not sure why suddenly they have latched onto a complete stranger's leg.

* People who reverse park as though they're driving a 747

* Grown men on skateboards.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Naked in Queensland

It's been two weeks since my last post. Time really does fly past and I struggle to get to post more often. But in reality, time moves at the same pace as every other week. It's more a matter of how I move to the beat it emits and as such it's a prioritising issue. I'm sure the few of you that indulge won't mind.

Naked in Queensland. A bold title but for a runner, being naked is not all about the drunken nudie run. I went away for a work trip from Mon-Thur and left my Garmin and running sunnies at home. Doesn't sound to serious but for someone who lives and breathes by the garmin, this was a big deal when I opened my suitcase and the revelation exposed. On the sunglass front, Qld was experiencing similar weather to Sydney (just 10deg and 90% humidity higher) so the sunnies weren't always needed anyway.

So what to do. Click onto Strava. Did I have an account? Do I just press go? and so on I considered my options. Back in the 80's and 90's and some of the naughties, it was all about best possible pace guessing, getting in the car and measuring courses and then simply doing the time. No second by second analysis of what the elevation was like, pollution levels, calories lost and so on.

And this was how I ran for 4 days (7 runs). And it was surprisingly refreshing. I surged when I liked, for as long as I wished and I cruised for the rest. The humidity hurt anyway so I did what I could. Not a high quality training week but it was my second at 120km.

The previous week was my first of the new block: 120km as follows:

Mon 6th Mar: 12km at 4:45 pace
Tue 7th: AM: 4km  PM: 15.5km incl 6 x 1km (3:08, 07, 09, 06,06,01) off 5:30min cycles so pretty generous there.
Wed 8th: 16km steady
Thur 9th: My regular CP Monna F. One of the least furthest distances of the last few years. 5.9km overall for the 20mins. 13.5km total
Fri 10th: 7km easy
Sat 11th: 12km tempo in the park incl 2 long climbs of Loch Ave. 42:30 at 3:32 pace so pretty happy with that. 16km in total. PM: slow 4km.
Sun 12th: 32km in the park easy. Legs tired as usual.

Total 120km:

Mon 13th: 12km jog at Maroochydore in the heat. Roughly 4:50 pace
Tue 14th: AM: 5km around the Novotel Twin Waters lake. Very sticky. PM: 14km along the river in Brisbane with some 5min surges. Total 60mins
Wed 15th: AM: 6km Botanic Gardens / PM: 13km at Surfers just jogging.
Thur 16th: 9km easy to Burleigh heads and back
Fri 17th: 7km easy in Cent Park
Sat 18th: 16km tempo with Barts around his hilly loop. Same time as 2 weeks ago 58:40. 19km then 5km jog later in the day
Sun 19th: 30km Striders StAR - Edgecliff to Watson's Bay and along the coast. Very hilly and after yesterday hurt like hell.

Total 120km

Hoping to consolidate with a few more weeks like these but including some quality fast stuff.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Penske File

I have just finished a role and am about to start another. The frustrating situation is that for the past 4 weeks, I have been taken off the road (I am a BDM) and given desk duties that has seen my hips tighten up, my brain overworked (not that hard some would say) from staring at a computer and has basically forced me to be stuck while I await the transition. My running training has also suffered .

Yes I could have walked but I wanted to end on good terms given the details around the new company and their competition with the old one. So I have sucked it up and turned up every day to make calls, answer queries and manage the handover. But for the time allocated at that desk vs what I needed to do, it was by far tipped in the favour of having a lot of spare time.

How to best get through this I wondered. Hang on, I know. The new guys are paying for me to do an online course necessary for a successful career progression with them. Why wait I pondered as I logged on, and started the course at around the 3rd day of my final 4 week tenure. And as I sit here on my last day and quite obviously very busy, I am reflecting on the fact that I have been able to get through all 10 reading topics, end of section review tests and have started the assignment. I have turned a 26week course into potentially a 6-8 week one and this has made the time go a lot quicker than it would have otherwise.

The secret - and this was conveyed by George off Seinfeld – always look busy, hold a pen in your hand and let out the occasional exasperation so that everyone immediately feels confident you are head down working hard.

George did an amazing job of this in the episode “The Barber” during the 5th season. He wasn’t sure if he had landed a job and as such decided to just turn up on the Monday. He was quickly given the Penske file with instructions that he would know what to do with it. Suffice to say he didn’t and by the time his new boss returned from a 2week leave, he had achieved nothing. My example is not exactly like George’s but it highlights the office mentality that enforced my decision years ago to find roles that suited me more. Out meeting people, relationship building etc. If you’re in an office, try it one day. Just walk around quickly, shaking your head, pen and paper in hand and see if you can go a whole day of this and not actually do achieve anything. You will definitely reach 10 000 steps if nothing else.

And if you’re a manager, director etc. your job is to now try and spot the George in your office and catch them out. I dare you.

This leads me to what other nuances / personalities exist in the office. You all may be able to provide some interesting ones but to kick start things:

• The water cooler dude: This is the preferred meeting place for all runners, triathletes, adventure racers and part time astronauts to take 30mins to fill a small cup of ice water and convey to all that visit the cooler just how hard their latest weekend sporting feat was and just how much better they could have gone if that one piece of equipment hadn’t let them down or that hurricane appeared suddenly.
•  The sick puppy: They will call in sick when they’re not so that they can go do something fun, but when they are actually sick they decide to just come in anyway and fester all day achieving nothing anyway. (think Enda)
• The fundraiser: They will hit you up for $1000 so that they can take 6 weeks off and run to Dubbo and back to raise money for a dog that is trying to get an ear transplant.
• The kitchen loiterer: Do they actually have a desk or office? Because you wouldn’t know with the copious time they spend in the kitchen chatting, making coffee, eating cake – probably baking a cake for that matter.

Please add to this as I’m sure there are many many more that I have forgotten about over the years and hope to forget more so now that I am back outside with the new role.

As mentioned, my running has suffered somewhat since joining the ranks of the rest of the workforce and working a full office day (plus 1hr drive either way mind you). The state 10 000m (remember if it’s on a track, you use metres not kms), was not a great result and the 14km equaliser 2 days later sealed the fate of my legs for the next week. Absolutely stuffed.

This week I have managed a few decent runs
Mon: 10km easy around Lane Cove
Tue: 12km with 4 x broken miles thrown in. 1km hard (3:11-18), 300m easy then 300m hard. Total reps were 2km as I used the extra 400m to round out the 7min rolling cycles. This kept me quite honest in my pace as I tried to run hard but still recover with the 2 easier stretches. In all, I faded a few secs the 4th one finishing 8km in 28:05 which I was pretty happy with considering how my legs felt.
Wed: 10km easy again around Lane Cove
Thur: AM: 9.5km CP. Too tired to do a session. PM: 4.5km jog as that was all I had time for.
Fri: 6km in Cent Park coaching
Sat: Start of a solid weekend and hopefully a resurgence. Took Jaden over to Bart's place and left him to watch TV with the kids. Then after 1km warmup, Barts and I too off on his infamous 16km hilly loop of Willoughby and Castle Cove. There are the downhills but some of the ups hurt this time but we managed to finish in a tick over 58mins which was very pleasing for me. Barts looked tired enough so I don't think he was laying up for me. 1km cool down - 18km
Sun: 30km with Ray, Barts and an online athlete David H. Started conservatively which was fine with me given the hills around Balmain then Barts asked us how many hours we wanted to be out there for and proceeded to speed up. It was Ray who had the freshest legs so when he left us at 22km, we struggled home to average 4:30 for the 30km - 2hr 15min. Stuffed the rest of the day.

Total 100km for the week. The aim is now 120km for the next 4-6 weeks.

Until next time.

Monday, 27 February 2017

ANSW State 10 000m

If you think running 12.5 laps around a track is intense, try it twice in a row with tired legs, lack of track conditioning and very muggy conditions. This is what I faced last Friday night out at Homebush as a few of us backed up 6 days post 5000m to race the state 10k track. My pre race goal was sub 33mins.

Start time was scheduled for 9pm so it does make for a late night. Rejoov Runners had myself, Andy Heydon, Eoin Reville and John Bartlett lining up. We accounted for a 1/4 of the men's field for both Open and Masters combined. That's the non-attraction of this event compared to the 5000m with a bunch of different grades.

Also in attendance and clearly looking extremely disappointed with being a spectator was Tom Highnam who is still out with an Achilles injury and quite comfortable taking on the role of chief Coopers tester / lap counter. Thx Tommy.

The race almost didn't happen. Barts and I were halfway through our 1km warm up when every single light, scoreboard and timing clock in the stadium went black. And I mean pitch black. And just before the start of the 3km steeple chase which was lucky. Barts and I trotted back to the stands and as the jokes started flowing and we all reached for our iPhone torches, order was restored and the show went on.

Barts and I launched from our respective different starting positions. Great reflexes shown by both of us right there but Matt Cox quickly scooped us up and went on to lap us multiple times.

Through 1km in 3:10, 2km in 6:20 and feeling ok but uncomfortable. It was too quick for my current form but hey what the heck. Then Sean Bowes came past and took Barts and 2 others with him as I faded immediately. 3km in 9:38, 5km in 16:20 (which was already a fade) and things were looking grim already. Thoughts of stepping off were front and centre. I could blame the blister that has been killing me all week but which for the first time I couldn't actually feel anymore. I could do a Jeet and step on the inside rail OR I could just battle through and run whatever I could. Barts was already 18-20secs ahead and well on his way to claiming the 37sec handicap bet we had on. Eoin was struggling a bit but Andy was running quite well 200m behind me. this gap was created in the first 3km and I reckon if we looked closely at the splits from then on, he may have run a quicker 7km by a few secs. Watching him cross past me on the other side of the track gave me something to do each lap as I tried to hold his progression off. The new goal was now sub 34mins but also just to get this done and go home.

Although we didn't really comment on it beforehand, the weather was a factor. Nearly everyone in the field faded from what they should have run. Guys who almost broke 15mins the previous week both pulling out or running over 33mins. The conditions were very muggy as we narrowly avoided the storm that chase us all the way home in the car. Sweat pouring off us all and the legs suffering as a result of both the 5000m 6 days earlier and the humidity.

I crossed in 33:41 a minute behind Barts and 30secs ahead of Andy who finished strong. Eoin a lap after that.

The week that was:

Mon: 12km easy
Tue: 10km with 5 x 800m reps in 2:36 - 2:45 off 200m recovery jog
Wed: 8km slow
Thur: no run (blister put me out)
Fri: State 10 000m - total 12km
Sat: Easy 5km non motivational jog
Sun: Equaliser 14km run with the Striders. Started with the front guys then eased back to jog it in for 4th place and a touch over 59mins. Rough and wet down in the bush. Total 24km

Total for the week: 71km. This needs to come up big time but just waiting to finish up in my current role so I can get back into a better training schedule.

This below was posted a few weeks back by one of the Hurts guys - Charlie Diezell and it makes for a great read. Quite clever and most will relate:


Thursday, 23 February 2017

ANSW State 5000m

Exciting debut for Rejoov Runners as we took our club up a notch and affiliated with Athletics NSW for the 2017 summer and winter seasons. This enables members to race on the track and around the cross country and road circuit under an athletic club banner for points, medals and just some good ole club camaraderie.

Last Friday night, 10 of us hit the track out at Homebush for the state 5000m with several others coming out to cheer us on. Comparing stadiums out there would have been quite funny as an observer would be looking down on Stadium Australia and watching around 30 - 40 000 people cheer the wanderers and Sydney FC on then casually tilt their head a bit to view perhaps 100 people watching 6 grades of mens and 2 of womens racing 12.5 laps around a track.

We have seen on TV recently what the Nitro athletics is capable of. The idea is to excite the public more to get involved, get interested and get registered with an athletic club. ANSW has wisely opened up registrations to recreational clubs recently and as such Rejoov has jumped on board, currently boasting 18 registered athletes inside the last 3weeks. Not bad. The likes of Tom Highnam, Barts, Nick Roberts, Jerome, Eoin, Jeet, Matt Wacher, Scott O'Connor, Erika, Maya and a few others have joined Greta and I in the bright Orange (men) and pink (girls) tops.

Now ANSW need to go to up another level and try and work out how to make these events more exciting. We saw with Nitro how everyone was on the track cheering their runners on and it looked great. The other night, I was told to get off the track after my race. I explained that we are a new club and that we need to ensure our brand new runners who have never seen a track before were ok and felt supported. Nope "get off" I mean really. These officials have not changed for 20yrs so it is up to ANSW to now manage through some further changes with an outcome directed towards bums on seats.

Outside all of that the night was a success from a Rejoov perspective. It kick started with Matt Wacher running an old man PB (over 40) of 18:42. Matt looked at times uncomfortable but very determined. That is Homebush for you. If we are going to battle Parramatta Rd, soccer matches, parking etc, then it better bloody well count.

Next up were Eoin and Jeet who took off together and were seemingly in comfortable form when suddenly Jeet stumbled off the inside track rail, remained upright but looked like he had sustained a rolled ankle. Jeet battled on and finished in 17:29 (down on his latest form) but sure enough after a trip to the medic, he was told it was a grade 2 sprain. Many travel deep into the mountains and bush to get those. Jeet managed it on a beautifully manicured tartan track. Rest up mate. Eoin continued on to record a respectable 17:01.

The Men's C grade was next with myself and Nick Roberts lining up to crack the 16min barrier by as much as we could. The times for the previous races were quite respectable (winner of D grade: 15:40) so the pressure was on. The gun went and we were off. I started from the forward position wide start line and we all met up after 100m where I immediately found myself in last place. "Uh oh here we go" I thought as we ran through the first 200m in 33sec.

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But as usual all the bunnies started slowing and the pace settled somewhat. Nick was way upfront having a crack which was good to see. I concentrated on trying to feel comfortable through to at least 3km but whilst trying to maintain pace. 3:06 through 1km, 6:12 at 2km and 9:22 through 3km still battling with a few guys around me and slowly winding Nick back in.

Around this point recently in park runs, the wheels have fallen off but here on the track, you find a rhythm of sorts that only comes from the monotony of lapping repeatedly. This rhythm helps to sustain pace luckily - to a certain degree. I caught Nick by around 4km (12:36) and with 1 lap to go, I made my move and passed him for the race home. I still had energy but the legs were hurting. I just kept surging until I crossed with 15:52. Although no where near a PB, it was good to be back under 16mins and a solid stepping stone for what's to come this year. Nick crossed 1sec behind after a late surge to try and recapture his position. He has a lot of good PBs to come the way he is tracking.

The girls B grade were up next with Greta aiming fro sub 19mins and two brand newbies to the track - Silpa and Wendy (from our morning Centennial Park squad) debuting. Seeing these girls running around embodied the whole purpose of involving more recreational runners in this format. At times they both looked like they were hurting but then they would find some energy and surge. Both stayed within arms distance most of the way and finished well under their PBs - well done girls. Greta a few minutes further up also ran strongly for her current form (ankle injury) to record a solid 18:46 which although is a minute or so off her PB, is a great indication that she is not ready to hang up the track shoes quite yet. 

Then the big gun himself John (Barts) Bartlett was up for the B grade (we don't have anyone fast enough for A grade mens YET). Barts took off and immediately went to the............
back......... but the pace was on and he did well to keep in touch amongst a fast moving younger field. 3mins even at 1km was already 6secs up on my time. I had tried to get 18secs out of him for a $20 bet (me to get within 18secs) but he wanted 15secs the shark so the best was off. He bowled along and even picked up a place and finished strongly. I was thinking at the 4km mark that I might be within 10secs of him but he kept pace and ended up with 15:35 which is pretty solid also for where he has been at lately. The 18sec bet was a perfect prediction BTW.

And finally our only A grade representative took off. Erika Jordan fresh off her Sun Run win recently was geared up to try and break her 18:30 PB and boy did she work hard at it (see pics below). She smashed it running just shy of sub 18mins with 18:01 - well done champ.

All in all it was a fantastic night apart from Jeet's injury which he is currently recovering from and should be out running again within the next 2 weeks hopefully.

Next up the state 10 000m tomorrow night (was supposed to write this days ago so it has crept up fast).

Interestingly I wonder why as soon as we all step onto a track, the distances cease to be known as 5km or 10km. They're now 5000m and 10 000m. I suppose it just sounds sexier.

My week that was:

Mon 13th: 12km easy
Tue 14th: 10.3km tempo /fartlek in CP with Rejoov. 4 lap course along the white fence from the café, left across the road and up the hill to the Woollahra gates, left across the top to Paddo gates and then back down the hill to the café. Averaged just under 9mins per lap. 10km in 34:48 (35:50 finish). Felt strong for a change and hopeful of a sub 16min if not 15:50 this Friday. Over 50 people there this morning and all running really well. Total 13km
Wed 15th: 8km easy
Thur 16th: 8km easy
Fri 17th: 7km easy
Sat 18th: State 5000m - total 11km
Sun 19th: 22.5km in the park with the hurts guys - easy pace. Big blister as a result for some strange reason. Ouch.

81.5km total for the week. Not a lot of mileage at the moment but that's the way it is with finishing up at my current role and being sidelined to the office in Lane Cove West.

Happy running


Monday, 13 February 2017

Much better week - still HOT though!

I won't go on about it. It's still hot and us runners are all suffering through our sessions and long runs. Hopefully the temps can decrease for upcoming events such as the Orange running festival and Six foot track.

Last week was at least consistent which is a change. 3 good speed sessions, a long run and the other massage runs s a mate called them once.

Mon 6th Feb: 15km at 4:25 pace feeling okay. Calf 100%

Tue 7th: 12km with Rejoov - 1 x 2km effort in 6:20 on a wet sluggish white fence with a float recovery (12:05 for the lap), few mins rest then 2 x 1km hill loops off 2mins rest. 3:10 and 3:17. Finally 6 x 200m hill repeats / jog back down. All in all a great session with variety and almost 50 of us going all over the place. Looked great.

Wed 8th: Easy 10km (all the time I had)

Thur 9th: Hot day so I got out with Robin at midday and ran a descending pyramid on Tantallon oval Lane Cove. Barefoot on half smooth, half rough surface. Robin bolted and ran a more outside line to me (my garmin was showing 400m per lap) so his first 2 reps were pretty impressive in that heat.

2km: 6:24  (Robin probably at least 8 secs quicker with distance adjustment)
1.6km: 5mins even

Then I started evening things up as he slightly faded and I managed to hold pace for the remaining efforts.

1.2km: 4:45
800m 2:30
400m: 67secs.

All with reducing recoveries as we went. It was a solid workout considering the heat.
Total 13km

Fri 10th: 5km Coogee beach with swim

Sat 11th: Met up with Enda at 6am to get our session done before I needed to coach the Rejoov set and before the hottest day of summer launched well and truly.
4km warm up, then 3 x half Monna Fartlek 10min efforts (surge at 5-10km race pace and float at half-marathon pace). 2.92, 2.95 and 2.95km for the 3 of these with Enda not far behind after learning quickly that the floats were to be quick not just a jog. Total 16km

Sun 12th: Striders StAR from Balmoral Beach. Just Charlie Low and myself to start with Ray Wareham appearing early on at the Spit bridge. We ran the very steep hills and staircases conservatively cautious of the heat and distance. I had 2 gels which proved to be advantageous as I didn't suffer as I did the week before. My left toe did however give me some grief which worried me so one to watch there.

Ended up with 29km and 100km for the week.

Some pics from the week's sessions:

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

HOT in the city

Hottest summer since 1896. No that's not it. The most number of 35deg plus days? I can't keep track of the nightly weather record reporting but I do know that it has been pretty damn warm this summer. The real hot days also seem to fall on the exact day that you have been planning an extra hard speed session, or an extra long, long run or even a race. Luckily my recent Knapsack 41km was an exception. If I ran that in conditions similar to last Sunday - 6 laps at best!

So I'm trying to reflect whether I am currently fit, slow or somewhere in between. I have shown a few glimpses of speed of late but a lot of my runs are done pretty slowly it seems lately as I struggle around in the 30+ deg sunshine. Everything feels lethargic, requiring more energy than normal. "Dad can you get me a drink?" "Sorry mate, too far to the fridge and it will just affect my run later."

Maybe not quite that extreme but close. Yesterday morning we had some relief where the rain drizzled on us in the park first thing and the temp hovered around a cooler 24-25deg. And the legs responded well (for a short while anyway). We also had almost 50 people show up to our Rejoov Tues set which on a rainy day is unheard of. The relief it seems is very welcome. Short lived I see as the mercury is expected to shoot over 40deg from Fri to Sun this week.

So here are a few benefits of running in the heat from what I have gleaned from my experience and the net.

1. It can make you more fit. There have been studies that show that training in hot weather increases your fitness level. It’s been compared to altitude training… Your body learns how to work out at a more intense level, so when you are in “normal” conditions, it feels easier. (Note: some research says this only happens if you work out for at least an hour in hot conditions so stay out there folks).

2. It can help make your body more efficient. For runners (long distance in particular), efficiency is what makes us faster. Running in the heat helps make our bodies more efficient, which is always a bonus. Basically, the hot weather requires the body to increase its blood flow. Since it expands its volume, it can pump more blood out to vital organs… this helps make our hearts more efficient (which is why runners have such low heart rates usually).

3. It helps you build your mental fitness. Running in the heat can be really challenging. But one of added benefits is that it can make you mentally tougher. If I can make it through a tough workout when it’s really hot, then you can surely draw on this feeling as you start to feel it during a cool weather race.

4. Heat helps you vary your runs. Instead of running your normal route (under the sun), find a new way to go that may incorporate a swim, some shade, regular bubbler stops and the like. Whatever it is, heat will help you get creative so you can still get your run done without getting sick.

5. You learn how to sweat better. The point of sweating is to regulate your body temperature better. The better you sweat, the cooler you are. So definitely an added bonus that your body becomes more efficient at handling hot weather after training in it.

6. A really good excuse to stand around the water cooler all day telling your workmates how good you are. Ok perhaps you don't necessarily need the heat for this one.

Last week was a bit of a write off. My right calf knot refused to budge early on so I backed off, massaged it and over the course of a few days it disappeared. No need to race off to a physio for an expensive diagnosis. No needles required nor special ointment or a trip to a psychic to ask them about it. Simple rest and active recovery. (I'm certainly not recommending you do not see a health care professional but in the first instance of a niggle, rest is the main ingredient).

Mon Jan 30th: No run day off - limping around after possibly over exerting in yesterday's CP run.
Tue 31st: 10km very easy with the Rejoov squad. Tried to run a 3/4 pace tempo but pulled up short and took up the role assistant coach for the 400m reps.
Wed 1st Feb: 7km very very gingerly
Thur 2nd: 8km at 4:40 pace. Knot starting to shift
Fri 3rd: Morning Rejoov squad cycle which involved some fast half laps. Legs always feel heavy afterwards. PM: 8km again at 4:40 pace. No more pain. Left one slightly flared up. Wow that Knapsack really knocked them around.
Sat 4th: Had already decided not to race Sun Run or Striders 10km so I joined the Rejoov Sat session which was 2 x white fence laps at tempo/threshold pace. First one wasn't too shabby with a 12:08 (average 3:23) lap / 3mins rest / then a good first 1km with new recruit (50yr old Ben) who kept me honest through in 3:19 before we both slowed incrementally in the heat and I ended up with 12:38 for the 2nd lap with Ben 20secs behind. He has enthusiasm and strength that is really paying dividends.'
Total 11km
Sun 5th: Met Renee, Jeet and Eoin at the Striders Rose Bay long run StAR and yep - it was hot yet again. But we headed off on what was supposed to have been 29km. Unfortunately at the time I again steered the crew the wrong way thinking I knew the way and we chopped off a 2-3km Bronte section. It was getting hot already and I remarked that I think they would be thanking me later for that.

We made our way via Bondi Beach, along the coast to Watson's Bay, chopped off another 1-2km section and crawled our way along the inner harbour foreshore (great boardwalk) stopping practically every 200m at a bubbler, tap or fishpond for a drink.  Then arriving back at Lynne Park for 25km hard done. The good part was that we were all in the same boat and were okay with just cruising along as best we could. The splash into the harbour afterwards was well worth it - including the look on Jeet's face just before he made the perilous 1m leap (AKA Tom Highnam style).

Total for the week: 69km which was not too bad considering.

Events coming up / entered already:

* State track 5000m on Feb 18th. Goal time - 15:40. Expected time sub 16
* Striders March 10km - hoping for low to mid 33's at least weather dependent
* Canberra in early April
* UTA 22km Friday 18th May

Rejoov is well a truly gearing up for a great winter ANSW season with our men's team including:

Tom H, Barts, Jeet, Scotty O, Eoin, myself, Matt Wacher and Jesse (our new Rejoov young gun)

The women need some more recruits with Greta, Erika, Jenny Doak and Maya the four so far.

Let us know if keen. I'm also planning a NOOSA run camp during winter so stay tuned for this one.