The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

17.51 for 5km

I did the Namban Rengo club time trial tonight. I turned up late (I can never get there from work on time) but I jumped in with the guys who had started and ran with them for 6 laps before doing the other 6 and a half by myself. 17.51 is OK. It's 18 seconds off my last TT and I had very poor preparation for this run (involving late nights and beer).

I seem to run a lot of 5kms around this pace - my 5 best times on the track are 17.33, 17.45, 17.49, 17.51, 17.51

On April 21 I'm running a 10km in Adelaide and I want to go under 36 minutes for the first time.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A few "pisto bike" spotted in Shibuya and Meguro

A few bikes I spotted yesterday...

The stem caught my eye on this one...

A Nitto I've never seen before

Now here's some friends who obviously shop together, matching white trispoke wheels

There's not too many Quark frames in Japan

A faux Louis Vuitton pad on the crossbar, nice. Remember, accessorizing is everything.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Running well again

Since the last blog entry I managed a 1 hour medium/fast run on Friday night and a medium paced 90 minute run today.

I've entered a 10km mountain run in Australia on March 21, so I'm glad I'm able to do some long runs now - it's a good time for my knees to come good.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Getting some good training in

My knees being the way they are I tend to take my opportunities for good training as and when they come. So I'm pleased to have been able to do two weeks of good training.

Last week, I did the duathlon as well as a fast one hour run and a fast 45 minute run (I found the fast runs hurt my knees a lot less than slow runs - a feeling backed by research done by Stanford University).

This week I did a 6hr 30min mountain walk on Monday and a 90-minute medium-pace run on Wednesday.

I always rest a day between runs and stretch and ice after runs. I'm also doing all my running in a pair of old, worn out racing flats that have lost their padding - so I'm virtually running barefoot. I can feel everything on the ground. It makes me land on my midfoot to front foot area and take care to land as smoothly as possible. Crazy? Maybe, but my knees have not felt this good in months.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tokyo Marathon 東京マラソン

Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland won today's Tokyo Marathon in 2.07.23. Rothlin, a World Championships bronze medalist, left everyone behind in the last 6km, chased by dark horse Arata Fujiwara, who took second in 2.08.40. Third was Julius Gitahi of Kenya in 2:08:57.

With the exception of Fujiwara, however, most of the Japanese runners will be disappointed: Toshinari Suwa's 4th place in 2.09.16, and Satoshi Irufune's 5th place did not earn them a place on Japan's Olympic team.

Last year's winner, Daniel Njenga, who runs for Yakult (second in this photo) could only managed 13th.

My Namban Rengo club mates all ran well, with amazing performances by Ed, Christian, Rie, Mika, Paddy and Bob (see photos below) and another good run by Steve.

Ed was flying. And thanks to his "Edo" T-shirt, he was getting a lot of cheers.

Christian was running fast - and went through 25km and 31km looking equally fresh. He finished in 2.49!

Bob came through in a great time and even had energy left to wave.

Brett and Omar were taking it "easy" for them - sitting on 3 hour pace.

Gerard - were you taking it a bit easy through 25km? You seemed to step on the gas soon after. Gerard is the yellow spec in the distance - too quick for my camera skills.

Gareth was smiling at 25km, but the smile had gone at 31.

Mika made a 3.09 look easy.

Paddy came past so quickly I nearly missed him. He ran an awesome 2.58.

Satohi looked strong, and found energy to wave.

The big crowds of runners didn't start until most of the Nambanners had passed.

Some more pictures of the front runners...

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Operación Puerto reopened

It was interesting to see that the investigation Operación Puerto has reopened not only in Spain but in Italy too.

Those of you who don't know the background might like to read this:

The athletes who might be shown to be involved include cyclists, soccer players and other top athletes, including runners.

One name to keep an eye on is Miguel Angel Peraita, who has some interesting connections in the running world.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good luck to all those running Tokyo marathon!

Ganbatte to all of you who are running 42.195 kilometers this Sunday.

(Note: article on Mara Yamauchi has been removed)

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Calfman" Duathlon at Showa Kinen park, Tokyo

Today, I ran the Calfman Duathlon (カーフマン・デュアスロン) in a park in Tokyo's west. The conditions were quite bad - snow and ice on the ground - the transition area looked like a mudbath. But the organisers did a great job of making the roads rideable.

I competed in the "Challenge" category, which Harriers runner (and occasional Namban Rengo runner) Taro Agui won - mainly thanks to two brilliant runs, although his bike leg was pretty good too.

I'm not sure where I finished, but I'd guess about 60th. I set out slowly, not knowing how much a 5km run, 30km cycle, 5km run might hurt. In the end I was glad I took it easy at the start. I spent most of the race catching people, or running with people about my pace.

It kind of fell apart at the second transition. I reached down to pull my wet socks into my wet running shoes and my calf muscle spasmed. I tried the other and that went too, so I had to stop, stretch, then try again, but my socks were very wet, so they were sticking in my shoe. I tried and tried again. In the end I kind of crammed my foot in as best I could, then headed off. But I completely forgot I'd left my helmet on! So I doubled back to get rid of that. I must have lost 3 or 4 minutes.

The first 2km of the run felt bad. Really bad. My legs were really stiff and sore. But soon I got back into the groove, picked up a few places, and by the last couple of kilometres I was doing alright again.

It was a well-organised and fun day. They have a kids race and a novice race, so people of all abilities can enter. I just hope next year is warm and dry.

Having some trouble getting on the bike and going

I had an enjoyable battle with the guy in the green jersey - but he got me in the end

There were a few guys who didn't run so well, but could time trial really well. They made us look like we were standing still.

The women set off 2 minutes ahead of us. I caught some, but the first woman finished 5 minutes ahead of me.

Tiring, I'm a yellow-helmeted spec in the distance. At this point I had cramp in both calf muscles.

"One lap to go?"

The officials did really well to clear the roads of snow and ice - the rest of the park looked like this

It's not every race you get a snowman lining the road

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Calfman" Duathlon tomorrow - and so much could go wrong

Tomorrow, I compete in my second ever duathlon. For those who don't know the word, a duathlon involves running, cycling, then running. So at 11am tomorrow I have to run 5km, cycle 30km, then run another 5km around Showa Kinen park in west Tokyo.

The problem is, right now it's snowing. A bit of snow doesn't matter much when you're running, but for cyclists it's deadly. Worse still is the possibility of ice.

Also, I did a bit of hard training last week and it has made my ITB knee pain flare up again.

That's the bits that were out of my control, but it gets worse...

...I've decided to use a pair of super-fast tyres, which means if rain leaves the roads slippery and gritty I have a greater chance of puncturing them or sliding on a corner.

On top of that I've gone and done perhaps the silliest thing ever - bought new cycling shoes for the race, which I haven't had a chance to try out.

So if tomorrow doesn't end in disaster and I manage to finish in one piece, skin and knee intact, I'll be happy.

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