The Song Remains The Same

Of the alarm that is. Whether it’s school holidays or not, a 5:30am alarm still goes off at 5:30am. And I like it that way. Get to see the sunrise, get a head start on the day, increased productivity etc. etc. That’s the way I’ve been rolling for this last week, the first week of school holidays in my role as a school teacher. I’ve been using this ‘holiday’ from school to focus on some home improvement jobs that have been neglected in the past few months so it’s not really a holiday at all, just a different work focus. I’m not ‘holidaying’ from running anytime soon either.

Job 1 has been replacing the back verandah at Huia Park after a hailstorm peppered it in September 2022. 15 minutes of mother nature + 10 years of UV degradation = one insurance claim + several months of procrastination + 2 days of labour for my Dad and I to get it back to normal. Job 2 has been starting to plant approximately 250 plants in the backyard that Dad has propagated over the summer. Gives the garden a more full look and is a 3-4 year investment until full maturity. Thanks Dad for the plants and your help. Job 3. Clean the gutters. Job 4. Get the Triton serviced and new tyres fitted.

Completing these jobs could be seen as a way of distracting me from preparing for my running or robbing me the opportunity of going on a climbing or kayaking trip. Can’t you put those jobs off for another school holidays? Yeah probably, but what’s the greater return of investment:
– a four day outdoor trip + relaxing and watching lots of sport on TV each day and running lots
– getting these jobs done now so the plants can get growing and continually having a sense of purpose each day through the school holidays and fitting my training in and around that (i.e. staying in somewhat of a routine).

I argue the second option. The precedence for this second option being the better of the two is that through my time as a student at school I enjoyed the school holidays most where there was a project to complete over the two weeks whilst going to footy training as per normal. The other precedent is that of Ceres at Portsea, the famous training camp of Percy Cerutty (coach of Herb Elliot and to some degree John Landy as well). At Ceres aspiring athletes would stay with Cerutty, do some training but also spend their time working on projects in the garden or the backyard. Much like at Huia Park. So, having two reasons to believe that spending my holidays at home is a good decision means my belief is a a lot stronger and that’s all that really matters.

Now, what training have I been getting up to then in the last week of school/first week of school holidays since I last logged online? Quite a bit. I’m not getting up at 5:30am to play tiddly-winks.

The week of 10/4-16/4 I ran 180km’s with almost 4000m of elevation. My Tuesday 400m session on the road at Warren’s Gorge was a highlight as I whacked on an extra 4 flat 400m’s after the 8 I’d done up the small hill as per usual. These extra 4 were all done at 2:50/km pace meaning I’d dropped under the magical 3:00/km barrier I seem to rant on about whenever I go for a crack at running a fast 5km. Another highlight of this training week was the amount of elevation I covered between Saturday and Sunday’s training runs in and near Belair (having travelled back to Adelaide for a family obligation).

One week at 180km with 4000m elevation is good, and great when considering the recent weekly load has been high but everything resets come the Monday 17th April (this week). So far, things have continued steadily as I progress through the aforementioned jobs list during school holidays. It’s easy to stay in a routine and keep the km’s ticking over I suppose AND THAT’S ANOTHER REASON why I am enjoying staying at Huia Park for the holidays. To keep it fresh, I threw in a run up to Mt.Brown on Wednesday which was good going uphill but the alternative downhill approach I took dragged on a bit too much so in future I reckon I’ll stick to an out and back style approach on the same track with Mt.Brown.

Same elevation and time and distance as my previous Wednesday mid-week long run of the fire track out at Dutchman’s but this route has a different style (up then down, not updownupdownupdown forever) more specific to the course in Austria, hence a better training route.

Introducing Mt.Brown, and running up Tilley’s Hill Road on the previous Saturday is an example of what I’ll be doing over the next month. Locating different hills, other than Dutchman’s, with similar gradients to that of the course in Austria for the World Champs, and just session’ing them to get more weekly elevation and to keep my mind fresh. Mt. Remarkable and Alligator Gorge Rd are two alternative hills I’m hoping to get to in this block.

On the mention of the World Champs it is now official that I’ll be heading there in early June to compete in the Short Trail Course on June 8th. The race website is here, and my specific course is here. To celebrate, here’s a link to a podcast I recorded talking a little bit about the upcoming championships. If you’re reading this though you probably know the story already so it may not be worth your time…But hey, while I’m here, thanks for listening to it or thanks for reading this blog! I appreciate the support and will be putting it to good use over the next month or so.

The course and elevation profile for the World Champs.

2 responses to “The Song Remains The Same”

  1. Elevation, elevation, elevation….keep on training Frase.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] you’ll know it’s the end of the school holidays now. (If not, get yourself up to speed here). I’m happy to report that they were successful on all fronts. Mum asked me how my […]


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