Lessons learnt from Hardmoors 55

At lunch time today I went out for my first run since Saturday. I probably could have run yesterday but I was keen to have 3 days off to recover. I was really pleased with how my legs felt.  I ran comfortably at 8:30 pace and felt good!

I always like to write a post on what I’ve learnt from each ultra I’ve run. I find these helpful for me to look back on when I’m doing another one as I don’t want to keep making the same mistakes!

This year’s Hardmoors 55 was a bit different for me in that I deliberately set out to run it more conservatively with the Hardmoors 160 so soon after this one.

Normally I like to focus and target each and every ultra I do and give it my very best. It doesn’t always work out but at least I know I gave it my best effort.

I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t have the same motivation as normal and this would affect my performance. To counter that I decided that I would run to a heart rate of 130 and use this as an experiment to see how I got on.

I genuinely wasn’t sure what time I would run and in a sense it didn’t matter but me being me I still liked to have a target so worked out some splits for a sub 10:30 finish which I hoped would be a reasonable target with that heart rate.

So did it work? The short answer is yes.  I was very disciplined throughout the race keeping my heart rate around 130 for the whole race. What I found really encouraging with the HM 160 coming up was how good I felt right through the race.

Last year I ran with a heart rate of 137 which meant that I was working that mush harder. I was surprised how much easier it was to run when I reduced my HR by 7 beats.

Here is a graph of my HR for the race …..

hr 03-19 hm 55

I was really pleased that I was able to keep it within a small band. Please note that my Suunto ran out of battery after 47 miles but I think my hr was similar for that final 7 miles!

Strava does some interesting analysis of heart rate ….

hr 03-19 analysis

According to Strava I kept my HR in the moderate range for 91% of the race.

Strava also breaks down the race into sections ….

pace 03-19 hm55

I have my watch on manual splits so I can record my mini splits but strava gives you a mile by mile breakdown anyway which also includes height gained/lost, HR and Cadence for each mile …

mile splits hm 55mile splits 2Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 08.00.58

I put my mile splits into a graph ….

mile pace

The peaks in the middle are when I was climbing the 3 sisters from Lord’s Cafe.

I also thought it would be interesting to compare my average pace this year with last year when I ran 9:35.  The route was the opposite direction but gives an idea of my pace ….

comparison

So looking back on the race I was very happy with my tactic of running to HR and seeing where it left me. It certainly gave me a lot of confidence going into the Hardmoors 160.  At the moment I’m thinking that I will aim to keep my HR around 120 which I hope will unable me to keep going for the full distance!

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