nedeľa, 9. októbra 2016

Marathoning + data, practice and perseverance (part 1)

From https://ico.org.uk
This post has been long in the making. It started in October 2012, when I started to wonder how much preparation and training help to reach a marathon goal. Common sense would refuse such a question, but my Fall marathon in 2012 was such a disappointment, I started to doubt:


yearmonthplacetime90d/km180d/km
2011OctoberKosice03:48:50363450.2
2012AprilBratislava03:42:23254601.7
2012OctoberKosice03:52:17465644.0

I intended to finish at 3:30, but hit a crisis at 31st kilometre, had to walk for a few, and then finished ignominiously at 3:52. However, I did improve my personal best next Spring, when I ran the marathon at 03:39:44 after running 463, respectively 480 km in the 180 and 90 days preceding the run.

I guess my belief in training very hard took another hit, when I managed to finish Two Oceans 56-ultra at 6:00:48 with some (clocked) 160 km in the preceding 6 months. I played soccer regularly, and ran infrequently, so that time looked far too good. 

I put the "training does not help" theory to the test in Fall 2014. I finished at 4:25, and felt I should quit running. Instead, I put the data together:


yearmonthplacetimepace/min/km90d/km180d/km
2011OctoberKosice03:48:5005:25363450.2
2012AprilBratislava03:42:2305:16254601.7
2012OctoberKosice03:52:1705:30465644.0
2013MarchBratislava03:39:4405:12465480.0
2014AprilCape Town06:00:4806:27125163.0
2014OctoberKosice04:25:3506:184969.6

It clearly struck me my pace correlated negatively amount of training I put in: the corr. coefficient for 90d was -0.83 and -0.89 for 180d. Perhaps training does help, after all?

I managed to put in 170 km in the 90-day lead up to Kosice 2015, and barely made my way to the finish line at 5:36/km (3:55:57). Much better, but I felt 3:50 should have been met easily. Then came a similarly lukewarm Bratislava 2016: 03:51:39 at 5:29/km after 242, respectively 286 km.  I did feel I trained enough to finish at 3:45 (or better), but lost my way after half-way mark. (Does it help or does it not?)

I put in some training later in the spring, had a usually quiet (lazy) summer, an okay run-up to the race. I started wondering  about my goal pace the before the race. I had all this data:


yearmonthplacetimepace/min/km90d/km180d/km
2011OctoberKosice03:48:5005:25363450.2
2012AprilBratislava03:42:2305:16254601.7
2012OctoberKosice03:52:1705:30465644.0
2013MarchBratislava03:39:4405:12465480.0
2014AprilCape Town06:00:4806:27125163.0
2014OctoberKosice04:25:3506:184969.6
2015OctoberKosice03:55:5705:36186285.5
2016AprilBratislava03:51:3905:29242286.4
2016OctoberKosice??210520.0

The 90-day aggregate was nothing special (it was better in April), but the 180-day seemed quite decent. I also recalled I had been able to put in a 32k long run at 5:33/km, and had felt good at the end of it. In the end, I went for 5:19/km, which should result in 3:45, my third best result.

In spite of some difficulties (part 2), I finished with my personal best 3:38:30, at 5:11/km, and negative(!) splits. (This also confirmed that 180-d aggregate is a much better predictor of race pace.)

To be continued.

piatok, 9. septembra 2016

Opening, Advice & Congratulations



It's remarkable how people shape the form of ceremonies. When Sapo spoke at the opening Academy Assembly, he was in his measured and insightful mode. His main point about the need to make our own decisions based on the self-knowledge, and not just take advice that might be offered liberally, was a profound one. Philosoraptor notwithstanding. (A cynic might say he closed the last niche for educators – since we are neither providers, nor custodians of knowledge, and decisions need to be taken independently, what should we do? Let's leave this challenge unanswered for now.)
 
And what about art? Francis recited a poem (and thus ensured the existence of the Spoken Word club), and David Králik came up with another of his musical masterpieces. Sing along to a well-known tune:

Happy birthday to us,
Happy birthday to us,
Happy birthday LEAF Academy,
Happy birthday to us.

If you think this is not grand enough, you might disregard the fact we are not so fond of glitter and spotlights. And do not be surprised to read the Academy absolutely loved it.

štvrtok, 11. augusta 2016

Shoggothing



A shoggothing pretender.

How would one name an object of a post-apocalyptic appearance with a niche use, and utterly unfashionable in the traditional sense? A shoggothing.
There is no doubt shoggothings have their use. Take a gas mask. Great for a field training, military, anti-globalist demonstrations, but in the main it is an awful, space-occupying oddity with of a China Miéville nightmare. In short, a true shoggothing.
If you require a Slovak rendering it’s straightforward: šogotina.