I run a lot on the Gleniffer Braes especially when I’m building up to a big race and every now and then I like to really push as hard as I can and see where my fitness is. With the Hardmoors 110 three weeks today I decided to go for it from the start today and see how I got on.
Last year three weeks before the West Highland Way Race I ran my 9 mile loop at a pace of 9.07. Today for the same loop I ran it at 8.48 pace so I’m really happy with that. I was breathing hard at various times but my legs felt good.
I was especially pleased with my down hill running as my quads felt strong so hopefully all those runs up and down Ben Lomond are paying off. The track was very dry which made it a lot easier to run on.
Tomorrow I’m looking forward to our planned run tomorrow. I’m running from Glencoe to Fort William with Steven, David and Norman who have entered the Midsummer Highland Relay (42miles from Tyndrum to Fort William) which is being run alongside the West Highland Way Race on Saturday 21st June.
It will be my last long run (over 20miles) before the Hardmoors 110 race and with some good long downhill runs as part of the route it will give my quads some more quality trashing!
I have really enjoyed reading lots of race reports from last Saturday’s Hoka Highland Fling. Two in particular stood out to me for the way both runners paced their runs.
- Heather Calderwood-Orr had a very interesting build up with injury and not as much training as she’d hoped but she paced it very well indeed.
- Robert Osfield had a definite game plan which had all to do with running to heart rate. His race report is well worth reading as he writes about his plan and how the race went.
I’ve been in touch with Robert to congratulate him and I’m sure he won’t mind if I copy some of his reply …
Thanks. I had been struggling with bouts of cramp between Rowardennan and Inversnaid so had to ease off a little, but thankfully was still able to move along comfortably - so you actually saw me at one of lower points, but it’s all relative, my highs and lows were small deviation from things moving along consistently and comfortably. It’s funny seeing the photo of runners having a picnic around the table at Inversnaid, such a contrast to my own approach of grab my drop bag as quick as possible and unpack it and stow everything while jogging/walking.
Thanks for spreadsheet. I’ve added a couple of extra columns to just see how runners 1st and 2nd halves compared (taking Rowardennan as half way.) My second half/first half ratio came in 4th fastest with a ratio of 1.078, with Heather Calderwood running the strongest second half compared to first half with a ratio of 1.035. My last three miles were pretty close in pace to my first 12 so I believe I paced about as evenly as one can. I’m sure practising race pace and using a HR monitor for pacing were a big factor in this, as was setting a reasonable target HR range - if I had targeted a higher HR range early in the race I would have crashed and burned in the second half and would have been unable to maintain the target HR and pace.
I am left wondering how much faster or slower I would have gone if I had been more aggressive with my pacing at different points. I don’t think there will have been much leeway though, pushing too hard on a single hill can push you into cramp if you are already sitting right below your limit.
Curiously this year the winner bucked the trend of previous years and ran a much weaker second half than any of the previous male winners.
It seems despite having the biggest field the depth in the talent at the front just wasn’t there.
Another thing that surprised me was just how many runners were around me in the last three miles, I had expected to spend long stretches on my own during the last few miles, especially in doing a decent time, but instead there were plenty of runners strung out in front of me to catch - for the whole race I had almost always had someone ahead. I suspect come 21st of June it’ll back to needing to enjoy my own company a bit more!
It is interesting to compare the splits of Heather and Robert …
The figures that stand out to me are their positions at Drymen, Robert 259th and Heather 493rd and their finishing positions, Robert 64th and Heather 201st. So Robert went past 195 runners and Heather overtook 292!!
It’s certainly given me plenty to think about as I approach the HM110 race!