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Six at Six

I used to have more speed (taking
over from JB in the 1976
Pakenham to Healesville Relay)
A long run had been my plan for today, but the vagaries of washing machine repair scheduling and other commitments ruled out getting enough free consecutive hours for such a run.  As an alternative, I decided to run the weekly Six at Six (6@6) race held in Gosford every Wednesday evening for many years.  It requires five laps around a 1.2km circuit of mixed surface and involves one short sharp concave hill that knocks the stuffing out of you in each lap.  For some years now, Terrigal Trotters has had "ownership" of the event, but responsibility usually falls to one individual, at present Suzy, to manage it each week and publish results.  It is very low key, but provides a good opportunity to develop some speed endurance and for friendly rivalry.  More recently, a number of parents have been bringing their children along to run some, or all, of the laps, so a family atmosphere has developed, and hopefully, some junior athletic interest kindled.

I only got in one track training session before getting injured when initially preparing for this year's Melbourne Marathon.  It may not have been the cause of the injury, but the coincidence of track training and injuries for me in the last ten years is pretty damning.  As an alternative, I have decided to experiment with running the 6@6 as my speed work, even though Wednesday night is not optimal in my training week.  Of course, there was a time previously when I ran 6@6 regularly, but I gave it away when I got injured, so I'm not overly confident it will be a sustainable training option.

Anyway, I drove into the start this evening, arriving an hour before the race, and ran an easy 10km amongst the evening peak hour traffic as a warm-up.  I have vowed to myself that I'm going to warm-up properly before any faster running in my marathon quest, and the extra kilometres won't do my weekly mileage any harm.  It was a worrying that my right arch became a little painful in the last few kilometres, but I decided to run the race anyway.  Only about eight runners turned up, and I was soon well behind the leaders as we climbed the hill for the first time.  I tried to settle into a comfortable pace and completed my 6km in 25:44.  It wasn't a fast time (I really need to be running well under 24 minutes), but it was faster than I expected, and I was pleased that each lap was a little faster than the one before.

I think the long warm-up worked well for me, and I don't feel like I have aggravated any injuries, so I'm hoping to incorporate it into my weekly training program henceforward.