Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not My Fault After All!

....cold & windy at Chev track today, but not to be deterred by any sort of weather, I set out to do the following program:

Program : 6 x 400m each in 1:55. ...3 minutes between repeats.

After the usual 15 minutes warm-up, drills & strides, I set off on the first 400m & all hopes of doing 1:55 were dashed with a time of 2:18, but having put all my trust in Ewen that this was what I could/had to do, I ran the next 5x400m.....but it was all a disastrous, mortal funk & I was left in a wail of woe! I even sent a text message after 3 repeats begging to be allowed to stop, but the reply was short, sharp & direct: "Keep at it!" And of course I did & tried even harder to meet the seemingly impossible deadline of 1:55 for each 400m. I was thinking: "How could this 'old boiler' have gone off the boil so quickly?"

Back home my blood ran cold at the very thought of having to relay the results to Ewen. I was ruined, undone & beyond remedy.... but the mail must go out!

Times for 6 x 400m were :- 2:18; 2:20; 2:16; 2:17; 2:20; 2:17

I waited fearfully for a formidable 'dressing down', only to receive a reply that he - the superlative coach - had made a mistake! The time for each 400m should have been 2:25 not 1:55!! So, after all...I did a very good session!

His days are numbered!!


  1. As someone who helps other people with their training, I find this a a fascinating incident.

    It is tempting to make light of it and have a bit of a laugh at Ewen's expense, but it raises a couple of bigger issues.

    For one thing, it certainly goes to show the big responsibility that we coach types have in getting the right numbers out of our magical training pace calculators. We do need to be careful.

    The other issue is that of the athlete's repsonsibility. I think it is important for athletes to have a good understanding of their capabilities and to know what is a reasonable time to be expected for a given distance and given training objective. 400s are, by definition, close to maximal effort, so if he asks you to do something 30 seconds faster than you have done before, alarm bells should go off before even starting the session.

    So all in all, I think at least three people have got something out of this. (I'm including myself because it is a good warning to make sure I double check prescribed paces that I prepare for others).

    Well, at least you certainly got a hard workout!

  2. So sorry old boiler! I can hear that "not 1:55!!!!" from down here. Glad I live 2 hours away - I've got time to find a well hidden wombat hole in which to hide.

    Interesting reading Steve's comment. 1:55 was only 5 seconds outside your 400m PB at the AIS track, so impossible to do a set of them on the grass at Chev. But... because you pushed yourself, you ended up doing quite a good session. Well done blondie!

  3. The 'old boiler' agrees with all of the above & is still able to get a laugh out of it!

  4. The wombat is living on borrowed time. LL, what session would you like ME to set HIM? "Something can be arranged."

  5. Mission Accomplished LL!

    I've got an idea for Ewen's training for Saturday morning...maybe... ;)

  6. Great, Speedygeoff & Aki! Preferably something painful & protracted!

  7. Poor LL but isn't it nice to know the coach is human and willing to acknowledge his foul up knowing that we would all read about it. I think that shows you two have a trusting relationship.


  8. I think it was all a cunning plan to get your times down. Glad you survived.. maybe Ewen won't!

  9. Gotta say, you were probably belting out that first rep chasing that time, so to hold on and do such a consistent session was pretty impressive.

  10. Oh Gosh! Thanks everyone! I'm feeling so good about this now!!

  11. LL

    "Painful and Protracted" that sounds like my marriage ;)

  12. Tee hee - you have to watch that Ewen - there is method in his madness! Well done on your perseverance! In fact you ended up beating his intended time every single set - woo hoo! Great session!