Thoughts about pacing for the Lakeland 100

I was out early this morning for my run. I’ve bought another pair of Skechers GoUltra 2 and I was keen to get a run in them before using them for tomorrow nights double Ben Lomond.

I decided to mix the pace up a bit so for the four laps I did an easy one to start, then a faster one, followed by another easier one and finished with a faster one.

The loop has two uphills and two downhills so gives me a good workout. The loop is 1.1 mile and my times were

  • easy – 9:50
  • hard – 8:09
  • easy – 9:44
  • hard – 7:45

Strava reckons that my last one is my fastest over the last 3 years I’ve been using strava so that’s good!

brodie park comparisonOne of the things I love about running ultra-races is all the preparation and planning. I think it suits my character! After our back to back recce run the other weekend my good friend Andy Cole left this comment on my blog.

Hi John, looks like you’re in good form! It will be good to see how your heart rate pacing goes. One of the talks at the last ‘official’ recce was by Ian Boardley who is a sports psychologist as well as having run the race 3 times. He was advocating a similar conservative strategy, though not governed by HR but just a strategy of walk/run on the flats and going easy on the descents. His splits from 2014 are interesting, take a look at the site, but for example he was in 263rd place at Seathwaite, didn’t get into the top 100 until Braithwaite, and finished 25th in 27hrs54mins – just about your target! See you at Coniston.

I had seen Ian’s slides on Power Point from the talk and I would say that I agree wholeheartedly with his approach.

ian slide

So I took Andy’s advice and looked up Ian’s splits from 2014. I have put together a graph which is based on pace which shows how well he ran.

For a comparison I have also included Marco (winner of the race) and Debs (winner of the women’s race) partly as they are friends but also they paced it well.

L100 graph of pace 1

All three show a very similar pattern but Ian’s is remarkable in that he is able to hold his pace from Dockray (50miles). So his strategy of a very conservative start really paid dividends. It is no wonder he worked his way through the field.

Next I thought I would compare some runners around the time I’m aiming for. Firstly I chose Nikki Taylor as she finished just under 30hrs last year which is my target time. Secondly I picked out Danny Seal as he finished in a very similar time to me when I did the race in 2012, ie 34hrs 34mins. I have also included my pace from 2012.

L100 graph of pace 2 We weren’t too far apart at Dalemain but from there Danny & I show down significantly whereas Nikki’s line is not as steep and she went on to finish well.

So Ian has become my template!! If I could pace myself anywhere near as well as Ian then I would be very happy. Here is a comparison between Ian’s graph from 2014 and mine from 2012.

L100 graph of pace 3

What a contrast!! I was ahead until Blencathra but from then to the end Ian maintains his pace because he started comfortably whereas I slowed and slowed to the end. My plan is when I do a similar graph after this year’s race it will look similar with my 2015 line replacing Ian’s!!

As I’m planning to run by HR I won’t be aiming for a particular pace but it will be interesting to see how it compares with Ian’s pace and what I’m hoping for.

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One Response to Thoughts about pacing for the Lakeland 100

  1. Ultrabetty84 says:

    As always, a great read. Some very interesting observations!

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