Saturday: Recovery Run & Lessons learnt

Time: 4.15pm
Route: Paisley Canal
Distance: 5.25miles
Time Run: 40mins 04secs (average pace 7.39)

I thought about doing this run this morning before my swimming lessons but it was our works Christmas Meal last night and I didn’t get to bed until 1am (and I didn’t go the nightclub after the meal!). So I decided to run at 4.15pm. I did something I haven’t done for ages. I ran with my radio.

Everton were the commentary gaem on Five live playing Chelsea away. As I left Everton were drawing 2-2. They went 3-2 after about a mile but equalised before I’d reached 2 miles. Then for the last 3 miles we were hanging on for an excellent draw! It certainly made the run seem shorter!!

So another solid recovery run. I pushed the 2nd and 4th miles just to see how my legs felt. I’m happy with my easy week after Saintelyon. This coming week I’ll work on my speed with our Club Christmas races to come the week after.

I like to look back on my ultra races and note down some lessons I’ve learnt. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed being part of a such a big ultra race. There are lots of things I could mention and may well come back to them but here are three that stood out.

1. My pacing
I have run two ultras of around the same distance 42-43miles, The Devil o’ the Highlands and the Saintelyon. In both of them I was able to average around 10mins a mile (6miles an hour). I think this is my maximum pace for this sort of distance. Chris asked me which was harder of the two.

I find it hard to compare really because the Devil’s was run during the day whereas the Saintelyon is at night. I think that if I ran the Devils at night and the Saintelyon during the day I would be quicker on the Saintelyon so I suppose that answers it.

Here is my ongoing pace throughout the race ….

9.63miles in 1hr 31mins 49secs at 9.33pace
13.41miles in 2hrs 10mins 49secs - overall pace = 9.46
16.08miles in 2hrs 43mins 28secs - overall pace = 10.10
22.47miles in 3hrs 33mins 43secs - overall pace = 9.52
27.oomiles in 4hrs 33mins 43secs - overall pace = 10.09
35.11miles in 5hrs 47mins 55secs - overall pace = 9.55
38.96miles in 6hrs 32mins 30secs - overall pace = 10.05
42.20miles in 7hts 01mins 24secs - overall pace = 10.00

So I’m really pleased with that as I was able to keep my pace pretty even right through the race.

2. Running with someone
I have never planned to run an ultra with someone before. I remember Ian telling me it just doesn’t work as even if you run a similar time to someone else you normally do it in two different ways.

This race illustrated that. John McL and I have trained a lot together in the weeks leading up to this race and there didn’t seem to be much between us. So we decided to start together and see how it went.

We finished just over a minute apart but ran it in different ways. Basically I was stronger on the off road sections and John was stronger on the roads. So if I had run at John’s pace on the off road and he ran with me on the roads we’d have ended up about 15mins slower. Obviously if John had run at my pace on the off road and I ran at his pace on the roads we’d have been 10-15mins quicker but the truth is we couldn’t do that and we needed to run to our strengths.

To be fair to John the reason he was slower on the off road was more to do with not having his glasses to be able to see the uneven ground in the dark than any lack of fitness. I suspect he’d be quicker in the daylight.

So I don’t think I’ll be planning to run with someone again. I might well start with someone but I’ll not make a commitment to stay with them as I think if you are going for your best time on the day you need to run your own race at your own pace.

3. Nutrition
I’ve decided that for races around the 7hr mark I can cope quite easily with some gels, 1-2 energy bars, jelly babies, bananas, sustained energy drink, electrolyte tablets and water. I was running strong right to the end and never felt I ran of energy.

I think my problems come on races over 15hrs. Then I need to think a lot more seriously about what to eat and when. I’m still trying to work out the best solution but the problem is I only really get to test it on a race day! What works for a 8hr training run doesn’t necessarily work for 15hrs plus.

In the next week or two I’ll give my review of the year and then outline my plans for 2010.

This entry was posted in Lessons learnt, Paisley Canal run. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Saturday: Recovery Run & Lessons learnt

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
    anyhow thanks for the good read!

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