All 5 entries tagged Stratford

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June 12, 2006

Not 3hrs is clearly the answer

Follow-up to 3hrs or not 3hrs, that is the question… from No I said DublIN marathon

I am so broken, so disappointed, I can't blog on this now. 3hrs 39mins of Hell. Technically 2hrs 10 mins of hell as the first 1hr 29 mins to half way seemed to be so good.

May 10, 2006

3hrs or not 3hrs, that is the question…

Writing about web page

… whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the pain and suffering of outrageous pace, or to take my orginal target time, and by doing so make it to the end?

First off, as a bit of an ego massage I've knocked together this image (taken from BBC Cov & Warks) which shows two runners on the absolute start line who came just ahead of me and not far behind me (place–wise). It also shows where I started – next to the loudspeaker at the back.

Shakespeare Marathon Start

I've been mulling things over a bit after the weekend and I'm trying to reassess my target time for Edinburgh. There are various formulae to predict times based on previous races – from the traditional "twice your half amrathon plus 10–20 mins" to more complex systems based on several distances. Runners World UK recommend a formula that was developed empirically in the 70s:


which, from my time of 1hr 24mins 41secs predicts a time of 2hrs 58mins 38secs for the marathon. Here are how my times compare:

\begin{tabular}{c c c c c}
Race & Date & Dist & Actual & Calculated \\
\hline \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~00 & \textrm{M} & 3:47:55 & 1:48:18 \\
\textrm{Coventry} & Sep~05 & \textrm{1/2M}  & 1:45:00 & 3:38:55 \\
\(target\) \\
\textrm{Coventry} & Sep~05 & \textrm{1/2M}  & 1:32:24 & 3:12:38 \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:45:00 & 1:47:55 \\
\(target A\) \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:30:00 & 1:40:43 \\
\(target B\) \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:24:33 & 1:38:06 \\
\textrm{Stratford} & May~06 & \textrm{1/2M} & 1:30:00 & 3:07:38 \\
\(target\) \\
\textrm{Stratford} & May~06 & \textrm{1/2M} & 1:25:41 & 2:58:38 \\
\textrm{Edinburgh} & June~06 & \textrm{M} & 3:15:00 & 1:33:31 \\
\(target\) \\

As you can see my 1/2M times are "better" than my marathon times. I have already completed two 1/2Ms faster than the equivalent of my target time. This begs the question – Should I revise my target time and aim for the golden 3hr target? There are several key factors:

  • Coventry was baking hot and an undulating course and yet I felt relatively comfortable and "bettered" my Dublin time.
  • I went into Stratford with a groin strain (which didn't surface thanks to liberal application of Ibuleve and a good warm–up, and spanked my Coventry time (and both Dublin times).
  • Dublin was pretty windy and I hit The Wall towards the end. I've been training with Lucozade Carbo Gels (and had three just before and during Stratford) - how much will they help me overcome The Wall in Edinburgh?
  • It was 5 years between my two marathons and I effectively didn't do any serious running at all between the end of the first and the beginning of training for the second. This time round I've kept a significant amount of my fitness from the first. i.e. I've not put on two stone since Dublin.
  • Edinburgh claims to be the second fastest course in the UK, and they've made it even flatter this year – how much will this help? How true is this, and is it simply an artifact of being able to attract top elite runners?
  • Training hasn't been as consistent as for Dublin, yet I was effectively doing 3hr30 times for a 3hr45 training schedule. This time round I've been much closer with the times, although still a touch under them.
  • I have consistently achieved my targets time and bettered them by some way. If I set my targets higher, will this spur me on?
  • I've found the countdown timer on my watch to be an excellent way of keeping track of how I'm doing overall pace–wise, when used in conjunction with the split–timer. It allowed me to keep track of how far behind/ahead of the pace I was at Stratford.

None of these particularly answer the question though. I consistently ran 6:32 miles in Stratford; 3hrs is 6:52 pace. However, this included a 6:43 – only 9 secs under pace. I don't want to find myself screwed after 17 miles because I caned it early on.

Any suggestions?

May 08, 2006

Bloody hell, I came 30th

Follow-up to Dave 2 Half–marathons 0 from No I said DublIN marathon

The results are now up on the Stratford Half Marathon website and it turns out I came 30th!!!

Bloody Hell!!!

I came 75th in Cov in September, and I thought that was a miracle/fluke.

Dave 2 Half–marathons 0

Writing about web page

Technically this should read Dave 10 Stratford Half–marathon 0 as I royally kicked it's butt – even if I say so myself.

The weather was ideal for fast running yesterday, and one hill aside was flat as a pancake. I wasn't feeling too good beforehand and was a little apprehensive about my groin injury, but decided I'd set my watch for 6:50 miles to attempt to get under 1:30, and blag it if I was feeling ropey and the litre of Ibulieve that I'd smeared on my leg didn't have the desired effect.

On the way to the start I met Gemma Morris and a few of the Lacrosse guys/girls. Gem finished in 2hrs 20mins, which is pretty good going for a first time.

The start was pretty disorganised, in as much as there weren't distinct areas for people to line up based on time, as there had been at Cov. That said there are a lot of comparisons that can be made with Cov:

  1. No ChampionChip – therefore no "Chip Time."
  2. No jaunt round the ring road.
  3. Good scenery.
  4. Not being in 22–degree and direct sunshine in September.
  5. Mile markers at every mile.
  6. Mile markers that weren't just sprayed on the road.
  7. A course that was flat and didn't have it's steepest incline at Mile 12.

The race started and as I was pretty far back and there was no "seeding" it took me a little while to get through the traffic. I was running pretty freely thanks to the Ibulieve, but I'd failed to spot the 1st mile marker, so when my watch bleeped at me I didn't take much notice. I spotted the second mile–marker and realised that I was about 30 seconds ahead of schedule, but figured I was running OK and I could always slow down later.

The miles clicked by and I was no less than 9 seconds per mile under my target pace, which was nice. And that mile was where we went up a long–ish hill followed by a very steep descent, for which it was hard to keep control. There was support most of the way round, with people in most front gardens (and beer gardens) cheering people on. It was at this point that I regretted having left my race vest in Seagrave's office as I didn't get the same cheering for my name, but it wasn't too big a deal.

As I came into the finishing straight they called out my name and number over the tannoy as I raced for the line to beat the clock and the two guys I'd overtaken in the last half mile. I thought that I'd get somewhere about 1hr 27 from my splits but stopped my watch at the line at 1hr 25mins 41secs, a full 6mins 43 under my time for Cov. I suspect that this was largely course and weather–induced, but it gives me satisfaction nonetheless.

Annoyingly I've just looked online at the BBC's photos and the guy I overtook 500yds from the finish was right at the start line (back left, wearing CamelBack), so I could easily have started nearer the front and got a better official time – especially as the organisers weren't using ChampionChips.

Thanks to Kathy and Dave for giving me a lift, and to the Berkswell lot for not getting me drunk on Saturday night. Bring on Edingburgh!!!

May 05, 2006

Dave's Marathon Injury Blog Update

Writing about web page

Well I haven't really blogged on this (or anything) for ages. Due to general incompetence on my part and a hectic calendar I'm running the 1/2M at Stratford this weekend and running the Edinburgh Marathon on June 11th instead of the Vienna Marathon.

So having got myself all psyched up and ready, building up to 20 miles along the Camel Trail and running my little cotton socks off in a 30:03 5–miler, I was looking forward to another jaunt down the Camel trail followed by this weekend's run. So I'm running along the Trail and coming the other way is a woman walking 5 dogs – 2 on leashes and 3 off the leash. At this point the two mutts on the leash decide that it'd be fun to try and trip me up. In attempting not to kick the mongrols in the head I end up straining my hamstring and pulling my groin. This caused me to have to cut my run short when I got to wadebridge the 1st time.

After a couple of days my hamstring has calmed down and I've been able to run without much discomfort at all, but somewhere in beating the Cricket 5th Team and getting panned at 4–a–side I've mananged to pull my groin again. 1h30 on Sunday? Maybe not, but watch this space.

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