The school where I am based was closed today as it was busy being used for the election so I wandering about it a bit between school visits. But it worked out quite well as I was able to run at lunch time from Bellahouston Leisure Centre.

A steady 7miler in the light rain. I ran past the finish of the Women’s 10k that is being set up for Sunday. I’m look forward to my marshalling role. I won’t find out where I’ll be until I report for duty at 8am so if you are running I could be anywhere.

One of the meetings I had today was with a Yoga coach, Veronica, who runs her own classes, littlegreenyoga. I found it really interesting chatting to her about her yoga and I hope I didn’t bore her too much when I talked about my ultra running!! I think she was quite surprised that I don’t do any stretches. I know my friend John McL does his stretches every week and it works for him!

I’m still spending time on my runs thinking about the Fling and in particular responding to a comment from Thomas L where he compared my time to Auchtertyre in the 2009 whw race. In the full race last year I arrived at Auchtertyre (50.97miles) in 9hrs 47mins 42secs. This year in the Fling I was there in 9hrs 46mins 14secs – just 30secs faster.
I must have been feeling a lot better in the whw race as I still had another 45miles to run!
So I started off by comparing my 2008 Highland Fling Race when I finished in 9hrs 44mins 10secs with this year’s race. Here is the comparison ….
I was actually 1min 32secs slower to Tyndrum so that was fine but it is the next two legs when I pushed it too hard this year and ended up over 6mins faster by Rowardennan and if you take the time I left the checkpoint I was 11mins up on 2008.
From there on though you can see I lose time compared to 2008. In the past I’ve worked on the principle that I take it easy into Balmaha especially coming off Conic Hill but this year I decided to try and see whether I could push it harder and would it make any difference. Well the answer for me is yes. I gained 6mins to Balmaha but lost over 40mins from Rowardennan onwards.
I was 12mins slower to Inversnaid, 10mins slower to Beinglas Farm and 23mins slower to Tyndrum. Maybe it’s too simplistic to say the only reason was pushing too hard to Rowardennan but I certainly won’t be doing it again!!
The other thing I found interesting was my rest times. This year I decided to try and experiment with keeping my rest stops to a bare minimum. Basically stop long enough to take the contents of my drop back. That worked fine as I only stopped for a total of 2mins 31secs. But in 2008 I stopped for a total of 13mins 14secs and was 30mins faster overall!! Maybe I do need to have a couple of 5mins stops after all.
I’m sure you are way ahead of me and sense another spreadsheet on its way! Yes I decided to compare all my 8 ultras on the whw (4 Flings, 3 whw and 1 Devils) and see if I can see a pattern that will help me.
Both my sub 20hrs in 2008 & 2009 were very similar and if I want to achieve another pb then I need to stick with a similar plan. I think it is unrealistic to think I can dramatically change my tactics (ie go off harder) and hope to survive.
I think I know myself well enough to realise that I need to run my own race and not worry about anyone else and what they are doing. At the end of the day I can only control my race and if I finish in 19hrs 51mins 58secs (1 sec faster than last year!!) on Saturday 19th June I will be one very happy runner. So that will be my ‘dream-breaking’ goal but I will have my ‘basic goal’ and ‘realistic goal’ as well. I’m still working on what they should be!!
I had an interesting email from Kenny R who ran the D33 recently commenting on my ultra training and asking a few questions. He asked me whether I’d do a post on ‘How I train for an ultra’ to help him and other newbies so watch out for that in a few days. I’m well aware that there are loads of different ways to train for an ultra and that there is no one way that will suit all but I’m happy to write down what I do and why and if it helps anyone then that’s fine.
7.14miles in 54mins 32secs (7.39 pace)
This entry was posted in Comparing whw runs, Easy run. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Comparisons

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi John

    Interesting chart comparing your runs esp re rest time, one observation is that taking 5 mins or so at checkpoints seems to help esp keeping your pace up at the end.

    I have a similar plan to you re taking it very easy to Rowardenn

    can you tell me where your chart is with WHW race splits on it, is this the one you mean or do you have one with other runners on it, it would be useful to me


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