The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Saturday, June 30, 2007

40 minutes - upper middle pace

Once again, little time for running. So did a quick 41 minute run. The right leg was sore behind the knee. Right knee felt sore at the front. Right hip really stiff. Stomach pains, chest pains, shoulder pains, headache. Can you tell I've got a Monday deadline for a book? Lovely thing stress.

Did no running Thursday or Friday.

Speaking of writing, if you pick up the brand new, just-out-this-week Tokyo Time Out, have a look at pages 22-25. It's written by me, and I had a lot of fun writing it. Some of my friends wrote other sections of the book, too.

Oh, and AUSTRALIA WON THE RUGBY!!!! Against New Zealand. We weren't meant to but we did. Great stuff.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Oda Field

Ran the 5km time trial at Oda Field on Wednesday night. 18.03. Felt uninspired before the run, and I think I've got an old stomach ailment back. I had to go out the night before for a colleague's going away party, but I limited myself to two half pints. I guess the late(ish) night still had an effect. Since the run I've felt really tired and worn out. The heat maybe?
Also, I realised post run, when I was trying to work out what time I had done (my watch didn't stop) that I was saying I had finished about 20 or so meters behind Jay. I'll put that down to being a bit tired and out of it, I was more like 150-200 meters behind Jay. He was a speck in the distance.

So my plan to take off 11 seconds each time I run the 5km has been thrown into disarray. I think I'll actually go back to plan A - which is to run a 5km doing steady 1.23 laps. That should see me break 17.30 on a good night. A 4 second improvement is better than a failed attempt at 17.22 that exhausts me after 7 laps.

Knees were fine, but I've got a tendon (?) strain behind my right knee on the inside. Hurts at low speed, fine running fast. Oh, and I'm still getting intermittent chest pains.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A very nice keirin poster

A couple of days back I posted a picture of a Raleigh bicycle spotted in London by a friend of mine. Turns out it's owned by a visitor to this blog. So I thought I'd check out his blog, and I was quite impressed by the fixed gear bicycles (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) featured on this page:
  • Keirin Ad
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    Monday, June 25, 2007

    93 minutes. Middle pace

    I had a horrible run today. My right leg hurt behind my knee (I keep getting this pain). But worse, I got stitch, which hung around for 45 minutes, then morphed into shoulder pain. I finished feeling better than I started, but it wasn't fun. The leg pain would seem to have ben caused by not stretching after my 40-minute run on Saturday, because I had to race off to work.

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    Bikes spotted in London

    A friend of mine sent me these. The red Raleigh with the Colnago Star (?) fork is an interesting look.


    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    40 minutes

    I'm flat out with work, so yesterday I could only fit in a 40 minute run.


    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Design Museum London - Fixed Wheel Bikes

    To celebrate the Tour de France arrriving in London, the Design Museum London is showing a selection of fixed gear bicycles.

    Nike bicycle designer Ben Wilson has curated an exhibition of 'fixies' from the early days of cycling (when there was no such thing as gears) to the most recent examples of both racing and street fixed wheel bikes.

    Wilson is giving a lecture on fixed gear bicycles at 3.30pm on July 8. I wish I could be there for it.

    (Photos: Ben Wilson)


    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Oda Field - stomach cramps

    Only did 2 runs at Oda Field last night. The plan was 1,200; 1,000; 800; 600; 400; 200. I just missed the start of the 1,200 but ran it midfield. I had an OK run in the 1,000 (but forgot my watch - no time), then my stomach started feeling bad in the 800, but I ran OK, but I knew the 600 would be tough. Somehow I figured going out even harder would make me forget the stomach pain, so I raced to the front in the 600, but at exactly the 400m mark I had to pull out. I couldn't line up for the last two. Not sure why I had the pain, I hadn't eaten since 1pm. Maybe I had drunk too much water near the race time.

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    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    The Puma bike - a waste of time and money

    The Puma bike was designed by a 28-year-old grafitti artist "Murawaka" and 26-year-old Keigo Kamide who would appear to know nothing about bikes. The 8-speed he bike is heavy, fragile, soft and spongey as an overboiled ramen noodle, and looks ridiculous. Kamide made some of the parts out of special Kutani ceramic - a method guaranteed to ensure that the first time you drop this bike, something will snap.

    The bikes are being auctioned, with the proceeds going to an earthquake charity. But save yourself the time and trouble bidding and just give the charity your money.


    Monday, June 18, 2007

    95 minutes - taking it easy

    I did my 90 minute course slowly today - but stopped the watch at 95 minutes. So I wasn't really running that much slower - I guess taking 5 minutes longer is the difference between pushing it and not pushing it.

    I've got a heartrate watch, which I never wear, but Steve, if you've got a target heartrate for me (155-160 bpm?) I can try to hit that next time.

    Knees were OK today. A couple of minor twinges and aches.


    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Doing the right thing

    I've been told by many people at Namban (in particular Brett and Steve) that I need to do some slow runs. So today I did the right thing. One hour at a canter. I drifted off into that world runners go to when they don't have to concentrate. A very pleasant run.


    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    My goals for 2007

    I was thinking last night about the times I'd like to set this year. I think (I emphasise 'think') the times I'm aiming for are achievable.

    400m - 1min
    1km - 3min
    1 mile - 5min
    5km - 17min
    10km - 35min

    The hardest on the list is either the 5km time or the 400m time. But the 5km is my favorite event, so I'll have fun trying to get it.

    A long term goal, should my knees ever fully recover, is a sub 3 hour marathon. But that's probably a 2008/9 goal.


    Friday, June 15, 2007

    1 hr fast

    Felt good again tonight. Did a quick hour.


    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Oda Field - with a cold

    I'm tired and run down. I dragged myself to Oda Field tonight to see if my lethargy was all in my head. I guess it sort of was because I ripped through my first 1,200 in 3.55. Then I ran a 400 in 1.06. But then i tried to do another 1,200 and packed it in after 800 meters. I just didn't feel like it.

    Now my glands are up in my neck and I feel really tired. I've felt a bit tired since last week. I ran Wednesday then missed four days, ran an easy hour Monday, missed yesterday then ran today.

    Oh, and the 400 meters made my right hip hurt.

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    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Cool Kalavinka

    This guy thought of a great idea for his Kalavinka. It appears to be unpainted (although I hope it is treated in some way to prevent rust) and he has made a feature of the welds. The bike looks tough - battleship grey with minimal gold. The choice of components is good. A new style Rolls Due saddle (pity about the angle), gold spoke nipples (understated but very nice touch) and Thompson seatpost in silver with gold bolts. One of the better bikes I've seen, and truly original.


    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    Progression of the mens world 10km record

    Interesting that in the decade that EPO became widely available, the world 10km record for men dropped by 45 seconds. Now, this is definitely not to say that the people setting world records were taking EPO - simply that to beat someone on EPO it might have meant running a whole lot faster than before. Perhaps it has nothing to do with drugs, maybe training took a giant leap forward during this period?

    Time reduction (in seconds)
    1970-1980 - 16.90
    1980-1990 - 14.27
    1990-2000 - 45.48
    2000-2005 - 05.22


    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Tonight we did 6 x 1,000m at Oda Field

    But I turned up late, so I only did two efforts with my club mates.

    Ran a 3.23 to get settled in.

    Then a 3.17.

    Then had to do four by myself: 3.22, 3.27, 3.22, 3.27.

    I really tried on the last one, I was gutted it was so slow.

    (I edited some of these times. I think my brain was frazzled when I first wrote them!)

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    Monday, June 04, 2007

    97 minutes - slow

    I've been told by people at my running club it's time to get some long, slow miles in over the next two months. And my wife was told she has to tell me off if I go too fast. So we did the obvious thing - we ran together.

    We ran up the Sumidagawa from Suitengumae to Minami-senju and back. The weather was perfect, my knees lasted, and we tucked into some natto with tofu on our return. Perfect.


    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Bikes spotted in Tokyo

    I feel like I've got a real treat for fixie lovers this time. I've spotted some really nice bikes, including the bike that wins many people's vote for best bike in Tokyo-the grey Bridgestone carbonfibre bike. It's about ¥1,000,000 worth of bike - and, no, I didn't add an extra '0' by mistake.

    First though, a black Kalavinka with Spinergy wheels and Suntour Superbe Pro parts. It's a rare thing to see a Suntour Superbe Pro headset. Good to see he's running Nitto bars, with the exception of the wheels, seat and seatpost this bike is pure mid-1980s. A nice machine

    Second is this Gan Well Pro. It looked very new - a rare instance of someone buying a brand new keirin frame soley for the purpose of showing off on the streets of Tokyo. It's got a classy old Nitto stem though. Nice bike...

    Now, guess who's jumped onto the fixie bandwagon. None other than fashion designer Paul Smith. Although, to be fair to Smith, he used to race and this bike is well made and features Campagnolo Record parts throughout (except the cog - why do people cut costs on such a small and cheap but important part?) and Brooks leather handlebar tape and seat. At ¥600,000 this bike is overpriced, but the bike is very good quality, so it's more than a fashion statement.

    But this is the pricey one. It's a Bridgestone frame with Corima wheels. In a way I don't like seeing a bike like this get used on the road. It's good enough to race at the Olympics, but it's getting slowly destroyed on the streets of Shibuya. But at the end of the day it's getting ridden and making someone very happy. So if someone wants to spend ¥1,000,000 on a bike to ride to work on I guess I should be happy for them.

    Not a fixie, but a nice frame. A black Amadana, made by one of Tokyo's better frame builders.

    I've always fancied getting a Bomber Pro if only for the cool name

    And finally, this green "Inzist Bicycle" - no, I've never heard of it either... Here's some information on the frame (if you can read Japanese)

    Click on the tag "Bicycles" below for more keirin bikes