Wednesday: Club Run & Lessons learnt from Saturday

Time: 7.10pm
Route: Cycle Track
Distance: 6.22miles
Time Run: 51mins 24secs (8.16 pace)

Tonight an other easy run with Chris, Neal amd Stevie. I ran with Neal for the most of the way and it was great to hear more about his run on Saturday and how he felt. His enthusiasm for the race is back and he is already plotting to take my club record!! I felt good tonight at a nice relaxed pace.

As promised here are some of my thoughts about Saturday’s race and what I have learnt for this year’s whw race which is now just 7 weeks on Saturday …

Run my own race
I found this race this year very different, especially the first 20 miles or so to Balmaha.

I was starting with the super vets and women at 6am. So instead of being well down the field and working my way through the field I found myself in the top 10 from the start. I had to really concentrate not to get swept along and run my own pace. I was glad that I had taken mini-markers every 2-3 miles from Milngavie to Balmaha on my Good Friday training run. Even so I was 3mins faster to Milngavie and 8mins faster to Balmaha.

I enjoy playing around with the results and I sorted each leg out into individual times and then ranked them in order. It is only a rough guide as it doesn’t take into account any stops but here it what it shows …

Milngavie to Drymen – 69th out of the 242 finishers
Drymen to Rowardennan – 45th (55th overall)
Rowardennan to Beinglas – 45th (44th overall)
Beinglas to Tyndrum – 50th
(46th overall)

I finished 46th overall. I reckon this shows I started sensibly and kept my position through the legs. I was expecting to be a lot lower down the order on the last leg but maybe everyone was suffering as I was!

Thomas’ run really impressed me. For the same legs he was ….

Milngavie to Drymen – 10th
Drymen to Rowardennan – 21st (17th)
Rowardennan to Beinglas – 8th (12th)
Beinglas to Tyndrum – 3rd

No wonder he finished 7th overall and it bodes well for the main race in the summer. Neal, too, was very impressive with his splits and even though he started quickly (27th at Drymen) he finished in 27th place so was able to keep that effort going. Marco’s splits show another story! 6th at Drymen and 15th overall. Will he ever learn????

So I was pleased with my pace overall and felt I kept to my 9.45 schedule until Beinglas. I was 3 mins up at Drymen, 7mins up at Balmaha, 11mins up at Rowardennan, 11mins up at Inversnaid and 11mins up at Beinglas. Then I finished 5mins down overall so I lost 16mins on that last section.

The main factor for my struggle was my food intake or lack of it. Here is what I ate during the race ….

Between Beech Tree and Balmaha – 20 grapes
At Balmaha – a third of a can of beans, a smoothie, a milk shake
Between Balmaha and Rowardennan – 10 grapes
At Rowardennan – another smoothie
Between Rowardennan and Beinglas – a rice pudding and about 20 grapes, a milk shake
At Beinglas – a milk shake and smoothie
Between Beinglas and Auchtertyre – 20 grapes
At Auchtertyre – one piece of tablet and a small yogurt.

I also drank plenty of water and took a succeed tablet every 90mins.

I had no problems with cramps that many seemed to suffer with but I did run out of energy and had problems with my stomach on that last leg.

I’m not sure if the piece of tablet and yoghurt made the difference or the fact that the end was in sight but I ran very strongly for that last 3 miles. You can see from my pace chart that I significantly upped the pace. I forgot to do a split at Auchtertyre. It would have been interesting to see what pace I was running at for that last 2.6 miles.

So I’ve decided that I really need to do some serious rethinking about my food. I felt I just about got away with it on Saturday but if I’m serious about aiming for a pb on the whw race I need to get this right.

So I’m going to experiment with something completely different on my 2 day run in May. I’ve not decided whether to share my idea on my blog or not. I may try it out and then report!! Or if it works I may keep it to myself!! But I set up this blog to help others so no doubt I’ll let you know how it goes.

There have been a few comments on friend’s blog about my ‘tough’ run and I suppose it wasn’t the best run I’ve had so far but if you had said to me 2 years ago that I would be slightly disappointed with a time of 9.49 I’d have laughed at you!

In my first Fling run in 2007 I was aiming for 11hrs and was overjoyed at finishing in 10.36. Then last year I thought 10.15 might be possible if I ran well and was amazed to run complete the race in 9.44. So 9.49 is very acceptable and shows how far I’ve come in my expectations over the last 2 years.

The problem is that maybe I am setting my goals just a bit too high. Aiming for 9.30 is pushing things right to the limit. I felt on Saturday I had no room for error or problems. Even having to stop for a toilet break was wasted minutes as it wasn’t on the schedule!

In my 2009 goals I set a sub 19.30 as my gold medal for the main race. I think this is unrealistic. I may be able to achieve it but I don’t think I should aim for it. So I’m going to work on a sub 21hrs and then see how it goes on the day. If things go as well as last year then maybe I can achieve another sub 20 but I think to run on a sub 21 schedule will be more sensible.

I am going to have to be very disciplined and try and get to Rowardennan or even Benglas as easily as possible and take it from there.

So my training over the next 4-5 weeks is going to centre around lots of long slow runs with my 2 day run in May as being the key. I’m going to try and run it at race pace and as I said experiment with my eating. I don’ want to try anything new on race day so I only have this run to sort it out!

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4 Responses to Wednesday: Club Run & Lessons learnt from Saturday

  1. Davie says:

    Watch that club record! I broke ours (admittedly a bad one!) and held it for 48minutes!

  2. Sebastien says:

    I appreciate so much you details reports, that I thought I had to provide French recipes in return.

    my food went well during Fling (but obviously I was not on the same pace 😦 ).
    I based my foods on what we can find during long race at food stop in France:
    - Kind of your ginger break (composed with honey, whole grain cereals, …)
    - Ham (for the salt)
    - Fruit bar
    - dark chocolat
    I have just missed pieces of oranges for C vitamin which help to fix the sugar (what doctor said).
    The wee patatoes and rice pudding that Chris advised me to take were well appreciated too.
    For the cramps I had every 90mins sportenine tablets, which I guess is your succeed ones + Arnica (see wedsite for details

    I wish a good 2 days try and fantastic WHW race

  3. Brian Mc says:

    Food can play a huge part in performance so you might be right to focus there. I’d recommend tins of rice pudding. Also you might have suffered from the humidity if that the first really humid race outing of the year for you.

    BTW when I commented on the toughness of your run, it was intended to be a comment on how it was mentally for you (according to your race report it sounded like you had a fairly tough time). Maybe it came across as a comment on your time, which wasn’t intended.

  4. Ali B-J says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. There seemed to be quite a few people having trouble with their stomachs last Saturday, with food that usually works for them not working on the day. Personally I think the humid conditions had a part to play as I seem to have stomach trouble only when I get dehydrated. My usual combination of tattie scones and jelly babies just didn’t work last Saturday - the tattie scones were just too salty and stodgy. I might have got the wrong brand though… The thing that finally settled my stomach a few miles from Tyndrum was a can of red bull - proof that fighting fire with fire sometimes works.

    I felt like I really slowed down and was struggling on the section from Beinn Glas to Tyndrum, but looking at your spreadsheet I only lost one place overall so it looks like most people were in the same boat.

    Best of luck in the big race in June - hopefully I’ll be at the start line in 2010.

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