Sunday, 22 January 2017

January 22nd 2017 Folksworth 15, Peterborough, UK

15 Mile Road Run  1:35:38

2nd V50 Age Group, 23rd Overall

I have been doing this race for over 10 years now and it’s a great benchmark for how the winter training has been going. All my winter training runs are at a highly aerobic pace with no speed work at all, the consequence of which is that when I step up to the start line of this race I have no real idea of how fast I will go.

It was a near perfect day weather wise which is a rarity for this race. The sun was out, light winds and the only issue was the ice on the road as a result of the -1oC ambient temperature. I lined up towards the front and had figured I would try and run around 6:30 min/mile and see how long I could sustain that pace. The first mile is downhill so it was no surprise to see <6 min/mile but you are then quickly into the hills. The course is pretty lumpy overall with a total elevation gain of 373m – you can see the profile in purple on the graph above.

It’s a two lap course and I completed the first one in around 47 minutes so it was then just a case of hanging on to that pace as best I could. Lap 2 was about 80s slower or 7 secs/k which I was ok with since I had no real pacing plan and did not look at my watch to meter out my effort based on any particular metric.

I had pretty much run the last 10 miles on my own with a runner about 50m ahead and one a similar distance behind.  As the miles unfolded I could see that I was on track for a decent time and resolved to aim for something below 1:36 – having this in my mind kept me honest and ensured I pushed all the way to the line. Whilst the time was quick for me but not a PB, the best metric to use when calibrating the quality of the run is the position overall. 23rd overall is one of my best results at this race so, all good!

Finally, the graph above is from the Stryd Powercenter; I have been collecting data using the Stryd power meter for about 8 weeks now. Today was useful in collecting all the various running metrics in race conditions, including power, so I can start to see where I fade and how I can target both increasing running efficiency and focusing training on power rather than heart rate. You can see that as I run the uphill sections my power goes up and on the downhills it goes down sharply. Over time I hope to learn how to distribute my power over a course more effectively.