Lessons learnt from Hardmoors 30

Another easy run at lunch time today.  Feeling good a week after the Hardmoors 30 race.

I like to do a post on lessons learnt from each ultra race I do.  For this one I’m going to do something a bit different and this is very much for me so feel free to ignore or have a quick glance.

Over the past year or so I’ve been using Strava to record my runs. One of the great things about Strava is that you can join a group (I’m in several!!) and also you can set your segments.

A number of runners at the HM 30 including winner Jayson uploaded their run on strava so I was able to set 6 segments for the 6 legs and compare how I got on compared to others.

So here are the 6 legs …

Note … I lost count on the legs and missed out leg 4!  So Leg 5 is actually leg 4 and leg 6 is leg 5 etc!

Leg 1 Ravenscar to Hayburn 

leg 1 mapleg 1Leg 2 Hayburn to Ravenscarleg 2 mapleg 2

Leg 3 Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bayleg 3 map

leg 3

Leg 4 Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitbyleg 4 map

leg 4

Leg 5 Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bayleg 5 map

leg 5Leg 6 Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscarleg 6 map

leg 6 I’m not sure if any times were taken at the checkpoints but these times from strava are the next best thing.

I decided to just take 4 times including myself to make some comparisons.  I thought it would be good to compare myself with Jayson Cavill who won the race in a record time …. not that I think I can run that fast but it is helpful to can get an idea of where he is quicker.

The other two Norman and Phill are runners I know and who finished not too far ahead of me so I thought it would be helpful to compare myself with them.hm30 splits 2

So a few observations ….

Legs 1-4 were mainly on the cinder track (except for the first 4.3miles which was on the muddy coastal path).  I think I held my own with the other runners and we all lost a few minutes per leg on Jayson.

I’m not quite sure why Normal and Phill’s data didn’t register on strava.  Did they go a slightly different path?

Leg 5 and 6 were along the muddy coastal path into the wind and rain! Here is the largest difference between Norman, Phill and myself compared to Jayson.  On the final two legs totalling 10.8 miles Jayson ran 43mins 31secs faster than I did which is about 4mins 39secs faster per mile whereas he was only 1min 20secs a mile faster for the first 20 miles.

It shows how strong and fit Jayson is to be able to maintain that pace.  I’m sure it was a case of us slowing down whereas Jayson was able to maintain his pace.

Jason ran the first 19.6 miles in 2hrs 18mins 36secs at an average of 7min 04secs per mile and the final 10.8 miles in 1hr 34mins 04secs at 8min 42secs so just 1min 38secs per mile slower.

Whereas I took 2hrs 44mins 43secs at an average pace of 8mins 24secs for the first 19.6miles.  But my final 10.8 miles took 2hrs 17mins 35secs at an average pace of 13min 21secs.  So I was 4mins 57secs per miles slower!

I would like to think I could have run at a faster pace if the conditions were better but it didn’t seem to slow Jayson down!  I wonder though whether Jayson was further down the coast before the bad weather came.

So what can I learn?  Did I run too fast to Whitby and so struggled over the last 10miles?  Bonnie and Kirsty who finished just ahead of me paced themselves better.  It would be interesting to see their splits.

I think for this race with the different underfoot conditions it was a good idea for me to run as hard as I could when I could and hang in for the rest.  I have a feeling if I’d have been 10mins slower to Whitby I wouldn’t have been able to make that up on the coastal path.

So I’m quite happy with the way I ran the race.  The one thing I would change is to think about wearing different shoes. The Hokas were great on the Cinder track but useless on the mud.  Others wore Salomon Speedcross or Inov-8 Mudclaws and managed better on the coastal path so maybe they would have been better.

I was happy with my gear and I’m about to do a review of the Energy Drink I used on the race.

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10 Responses to Lessons learnt from Hardmoors 30

  1. Phill Turton says:

    Great write up John…The Hokas v Salamon one is interesting John as my speedcross shredded my feet on the cinder tracks, the rocks felt like needles in my feet at times. I could have got into Whitby quicker if my footwear had not been more comfortable….The speedcross would undoubtedly have given me the advantage on the mud trails BUT i really struggled to cope with the mud/wind/rain.

  2. Thanks Phill. I wonder what Jayson wore??

  3. stevenjjhill says:

    Jayson wore Inov-8 Talon 190 (according to his Strava shoe tag! 😉

  4. Hi John,

    Jayson obviously ran a exceptional race, both in speed and evenness of intensity. For intensity the HR data for each stage is really useful, to compare Jayson and yourself for each stage as a percentage of the average HR achieved:

    Jayson John
    Leg 1 : 100.2% 101.2%
    Leg 2 : 103.2% 102.6%
    Leg 3 : 99% 98.5%
    Leg 4 : 98.4% 102.6%
    Leg 5 : 99.6% 97.1%
    Leg 6 : 99.6% 97.8%

    Overall both of you ran races with very even intensity, Jayson’s figures are really quite extraordinary.

    To me it looks like Jayson and you pushed a little too hard on Leg 2, and intensity in Leg 3 and Leg 4 may have dropped a little as consequence. Clearly there wasn’t any big penalty to pay though as he fished really strong.

    For your John, Leg 2 also looks to have been run a little too enthusiastically. Leg 3 corrected for this, then Leg 4 was another where intensity was high. This time both Leg 5 and Leg 6 saw a small reduction in intensity. Could it be that Leg 4 took a little too much out of you to maintain perfectly even pacing? Or perhaps just the muddy underfoot conditions of the last two legs led to you easing off a little.

    With the variability of underfoot and weather conditions I find it quite amazing that both of your were able to be so consistent.

  5. Thanks Robert. I did mean to mention HR’s as I saw that Jayson’s were recorded as well. I would say that a lot of the fluctuations in pace were to do with the terrain and weather. Having said that I was aware that I was pushing a bit harder on leg 2 and it was more uphill than I thought!

    Legs 5 and 6 were definitely the hardest for me conditions wise. I found it really hard to run on the mud in my Hokas.

    Overall though I was really pleased with my run and I would have taken that time before the start!

  6. Phill Turton says:

    I am going to run the HM Princess Challenge on the same course on August 30th John….I am intrigued to know just how much difference the mud/wind/rain made….I suspect I will be a bit quicker to Whitby but will be about 30 mins or more faster on the run from Whitby to Ravenscar as was literally struggling to move at times on that last 12 miles.

  7. Jayson says:

    Hi John, this is a very interesting write up, I am definitely a data geek and Strava fuels that interest a lot, so this is great, I think the conditions were extremely tough on the way back from Whitby, and all those who shared in the experience will have come away feeling challenged in ways they maybe did not expect!

    A couple of points which I hope may share some insight and some of my thoughts;
    Footwear, yes indeed I wore Inov-8 Talons, these have proved to be very good on a variety of terrain, I struggle with anything over a 4mm drop so these fit the bill perfectly. I had a pretty good idea how muddy it would be and wearing anything which didn’t offer good grip in the mud would mean that far too much effort would be needed on the railway line to compensate for any real advantage of wearing a lower profile tread. At 20 miles in, with the wind stopping you dead in your tracks and a trail which looks like it has had a small army chewing it up, you need all the help you can get - so big respect to anyone running that in Hokas or similar.

    The pacing itself was pretty spot on in my mind, i think the slight increase in HR on legs 2 and 4 were due to it being uphill, I was pretty conscious of how hard it would be coming back from Whitby so i was constantly holding back to save the legs for the last stretch, plus I am not a particularly fast road runner, my strengths are in the hills and off road stuff, so this maybe throws out any analysis slightly.

    Though I love analysing the data, I think it is also a little easy to read too much into it without the full picture, my heart rate was too high really and almost into my threshold zone all of the way, though I have had some weird virus in my system for a while and that seems to have knocked it up a bit, but I actually felt ok so just went with it on the day

    I think something I try to keep in mind when looking at these sorts of things is that the good races and results are a combination of lots of small things either coming together or being applied in practice, likewise the bad days are opposite - lots of things falling out of place, some of these for me on this particular day (aside from lots of training) may have been; feeling confident about the distance, helping me to stay very relaxed, especially on the sloppy bits. Not stopping for very long at the checkpoints, I think 40 sec was the max time, correct footwear, being mentally prepared for the last tough ten miles, staying disciplined to hold back at the beginning, getting lots of gels down - though I should have had my chia bar at Whitby, and suffered for that later, getting to the 15 mile turnaround point at the same time as the first 15 runner - really gave me a boost and someone to try and keep up with. The support from marshals and various people on the way around, always a big boost. The fact that I always seem to suffer from extreme paranoia and think someone is constantly catching me!

    So lots of little things, unfortunately Strava doesn’t cover or show these in detaile, but it does definitely show the sum of these and results. John your blogs and video are extremely insightful and I look forward to seeing how your year progresses, I think I would be interesting to see how the legs compare in better weather so hope that Phil can show this in practice on the Princess! Good luck and happy running 🙂

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