Sunday, September 08, 2019

Stratford 10K Road Race 2019

Marcus and Agata have just finished the 10K Road Race in Stratford up Avon.  As you can see we were not alone and had the company of our running club Run Alcester

What follows is Marcus' existential report ...

Marcus' Run

 We had to get up at before 07.00 on a Sunday morning, but on the plus side the race start at 09.30 and about an hour of running would mean our daily exercise would be done before noon.  So bring it on!

 One early problem is that we did not have a race entry.  All 1500 places were taken.  So in the week leading up using local contacts and Facebook we searched for cancellations.  And we managed to get two.

So by 09.15 this Sunday morning we had two valid Race number and foot chip timing bracelets.

We were separated into pen of approximate times.  Agata went into the 45+ minute pen, I was in the <45 minute pen.   I shall very grumpily say that in this pen were people who I could not think would run at this pace.  And after the race started, guess what, yes they provided nice obstacles for people like me having to weave around them.

If this is not your first race and you are doing this for ignorance, then if you notice the entire field overtaking you, perhaps next time start further back?  Just saying

Unusually I did listen to the race briefing and heard it was flat from 5K+ but on the Greenway which is a converted, sandy non tarmac Railway line.   The first 5K were undulating but not really hilly.

I did set off with other Run Alcester, but managed to edge away from Chris, but could not even see Mike, who I would find would run the 10K course in less than 40 minutes.  Wow!

My first km passed in 04:12 and I thought that is unreasonably fast but I thought I should try to keep this pace up.  And amazingly I did.  Yes, looking back at the stats this was to be my approximate pace.

Sidenote: I used to be a straight km/h thinking person.  Eg  14km/h I considered way faster than I could achieve.  But every Run Club seems to talk minutes per Km.   So 4 minutes / km is 15km per hour and still to me 4mins 12 seconds seems like too fast,  and my little short fat hairy legs are really going around too fast.

At about 5km we joined that Sand, straight and flat Ridgeway.  Problem is, bad traction.  I mean it was dry and sunny, but you can really feel how for the same effort you just slow down on such a surface.   This was of course a hindrance for all runners, but I just mention it!

At about 8km I felt that I was slowing down and was having existential thoughts about why I can't run quicker especially as I am never out of breath these days.  See below.

From 8 to 10km seem to takes ages but I made the finish.  The end sprint had me gasping but very happy.   Not sure when I have run so quickly.   Very pleased especially since I am +2kg over the weight before our Swiss trip.   If weight would be lost, I could be considerably quicker, particularly on these shorter races.

The Power of Teams

 Of course I had gloves and Long clothing on.   

Going Faster

Since music was not allowed on this race, (despite Marcus having special English Athletics Bone conduction headphones) I had some time to contemplate my speed.

Firstly to say that my time of 41.5 minutes was by my standards exceptional.  And so I start from a position of at least 99% happy

 But I continue to ask myself: Why am I not running faster?  To me it is really a question of physics.   My lungs are at last easily able to get air in, and push oxygen into my blood stream.  I am not nearly out of breath.   I run with so many others wheezing and gasping and that is not me.

After a face my legs are not that tired

So what is going on?  I think it's 70% heavy fat legs, or at least rather large legs with muscle and weight, great for low cadence cycling, bad for fast rep movement. Thinner legs, have less swinging weight, needed to run faster.  And 30% brain, unable to tell legs, run faster stupid.

A Running Faster Plan
Our running club has a Wednesday track session.  There we can push are bodies further, and experience running faster.  All in a less than one hour structured session.

The idea is that you first reach a higher speed then over time extend the time you can keep that speed up.  Simple really.


Marcus and Agata had a wonderful early Sunday 10Km run. No Gods were required or credited.   

We had the company of friends at Run Alcester.   Weather fine.  Scenery Beautiful.  No mention of BREXIT.    A great day for all.