My overall place: 5596 (out of 45,350 starters/44,829 finishers) I finished in top 12.3% Mile Total Time "Cur Mile Avg Pace/mile" "Overall Avg Pace" 0 00:00:00 3 00:22:53 00:07:38 00:07:38 4 00:30:39 00:07:46 00:07:40 5 00:37:51 00:07:12 00:07:34 6 00:45:02 00:07:11 00:07:30 7 00:52:15 00:07:13 00:07:28 8 00:59:46 00:07:31 00:07:28 9 01:07:08 00:07:22 00:07:28 10 01:14:32 00:07:24 00:07:27 11 01:22:11 00:07:39 00:07:28 12 01:29:46 00:07:35 00:07:29 13 01:37:29 00:07:43 00:07:30 14 01:45:10 00:07:41 00:07:31 15 01:53:07 00:07:57 00:07:32 16 02:01:07 00:08:00 00:07:34 17 02:09:06 00:07:59 00:07:36 18 02:16:49 00:07:43 00:07:36 19 02:24:51 00:08:02 00:07:37 20 02:33:01 00:08:10 00:07:39 21 02:41:36 00:08:35 00:07:42 22 02:51:04 00:09:28 00:07:47 23 03:01:01 00:09:57 00:07:52 24 03:11:03 00:10:02 00:07:58 25 03:20:37 00:09:34 00:08:01 26 03:30:24 00:09:47 00:08:06 26.2 03:32:35 00:10:55 00:08:07
Category Archives: Race
New York Marathon – 3h32:35
Well, I figured I should put a post on here about the New York Marathon 2010. I managed to get a lottery place and was really looking forward to the race. I have to admit I underestimated how cold it would be and that I also expected it to be flatter than it was.
Going over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start was amazing – it offers a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance. In some ways exhilarating and other ways scary that I still had to get all the way over there. The first 15miles went well – there was fantastic support along the course with many bands playing great music and spectators wanting to slap hands with runners on the way past. I felt like I had a just sub-3h30 time in my legs and was ahead of schedule until mile 25. Around the 15/16mile stage, going over the Queensboro Bridge, I took a bit of a knock. My foot started hurting . Also, going over the bridge there are no supporters to keep one’s spirits up. Add to that my Garmin lost GPS signal so I had no idea of pace – as it happens the pace stayed OK. Going over that bridge is tough mentally.
Turning off the bridge and heading up First Ave is great. The support resumes and the music and festivities commence once more. The only down side to the First Avenue stint is that it is a straight 3.5mile stretch of road heading off into the distance before you. Entering the Bronx (around 20 mile mark) you climb over a short steep (well it certainly felt steep!) bridge which saps the legs. The twists and turns in the Bronx are tough going and stop you getting into a rhythm.
Returning to Manhattan and heading along Fifth Avenue is wonderful – the end is figuratively in sight. Unfortunately the two miles (23rd and 24th) along Fifth Avenue heading to Central Park are uphill – again leg and mind sapping.
It was around here that my foot was in serious agony and my quads had left for the day. The last four miles (two along Fifth Avenue and two in Central Park) were seriously tough and where I lost my time and 3h30 split. The last four miles took roughly 40 minutes and were pure agony. I resorted to a jog/walk routine and managed to limp home to the finish in 3h32:35 with an average pace of 8:07/mile.
I kept to my plan of a gel every 4 miles starting at mile 4. Towards the end of the race I starting taking on the sports drinks which prehaps I should have done sooner.
A great race at the end of the day with superb support and awesome iconic views.
Windsor Half Marathon – smashed out a new PB
Well yesterday was the 2010 Windsor Half Marathon. I went in aiming for around 1h40 – turned out I managed to do 1h26:47! Yes 1h26:47. Am over the moon with that result.
It was cool and a little chilly but no rain. The wind was gusty and at times annoying. The course is “undulating” but not ridiculously so – apart from the hill just after the 10mile mark.
I headed out during the first mile or so trying to get back on my target time after getting caught up in some runners at the start. In doing so I was running faster than my target pace. I decided to keep at the faster pace and managed to hold on much longer than I expected. After a while I realised that a 1h30 was possible and I fought through the aches and pains and started watching the mile splits anxiously. At 11 miles I realised I was on for the 1h30 and breathed a sigh of relief – all that was left for me to do was not fall over or slow down too much.
I had two gels (4miles and 9miles) washed down with a couple of sips of water – much less hydration than I’d normally do – seemed to work as it was a cool day. Now just to figure out the nutrition and hydration for the marathon in just over 5 weeks time….
I hope my right foot holds up over the next couple of weeks though – the dull ache still persists unfortunately…
So 1h26:47 and 58th overall based on my chip time and 63rd place based on race clock time.
Silence is golden
Well it has been a while since my last blog post. Figured I had better write a quick few lines to let you know I’m still alive!
Firstly, here is a link to a great article by Joe Friel about recovery. Definitely worth a read: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/09/how-to-recover.html
Since my last serious post I have completed a few races – Ironman Swiss 70.3, London Triathlon, and the National Club Relays. All good fun. Managed to PB in Swiss 70.3 and London Triathlon so am pleased with my recent performances.
My training leading up to the Windsor Half-Marathon and the New York Marathon is progressing well. Touch wood my legs are holding out with the increased running volume. This weekend I have the HSBC Standard Distance Triathlon at Dorney Lake. My main goal is sub-2h30 – with the secondary goal of beating my work colleagues who are doing a relay team race.
My swimming is holding steady and doesn’t appear to be improving significantly. I have increased my swim session duration, but have unfortunately reduced my swim frequency. Over the winter I hope to maintain my swimming and hopefully get a bit faster.
My cycling is going well – my last few weekly 10mile time-trials have definitely improved my 30minute (CP30) power output. Over the winter I am looking at trying to not loose too much power while I rest up.
I will hopefully write up some brief race reports over the coming days.
Challenge Barcelona 2009 YouTube clips
Here are some links to video clips from the Half Challenge Barcelona Race 2009:
Firstly, some daft twit breaking the rules by drafting and cycling in a peloton and then struggling with some handheld camera. It’s idiots like this who should be banned for the rest of the season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j__l2zHiQLg
Here is a clip of the start. The waves don’t look too bad but the clip doesn’t show how small the turn around buoys were which made it difficult to sight correctly! I was in the forth wave to start with orange or purple caps (meant to be purple but another organisational glitch resulted in some of us in the wrong wave and having the wrong colour caps) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNMOEbOLBpI
And a clip of the bike leg, T2 and run. Note the groups of riders all breaking the no drafting rule and all the while on their aero bars. (times in the clip of drafting examples 1min37 / 1min53 /3min39 / 4min00) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25Vgg4NZyOs
Another clip of the swim start, giving a view of the swells. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLkAz0ZLx8
Clip of T2 and the run leg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23SDJ4P0ccs
YouTube gives some related links too which might be of interest. It still surprises me just how much drafting was taking place on the race!
Enjoy the videos.
Challenge Barcelona race report
Well Challenge Barcelona half-iron distance race has come and gone. I can’t believe it is over a week ago already. Life has just been so hectic… Anyway here is a brief race report. I will try and gather some stats and put them in another post.
In short – I a had a great day.
Swim went well in the choppy sea. Battled to navigate as I could not see the buoys for the turns so I suspect I zig-zagged quite a bit. I was sighting against a building in the distance. On the return journey I must have picked a bad building since I ended up some 50/75m off course once I could actually see the last turn buoy so had to swim further out to make the turn. Oh well.. such is life. Apart from that I felt OK in the swim even though the wetsuit didn’t feel 100% on the shoulders when we set off. I just couldn’t get it comfortable before the swim. Was in the last swim wave with the slow swimmers (I think there was a mistake with many of the swimmers and their waves) which meant I was soon overtaking people from the previous waves.
T1 wasn’t too bad – apart from some idiot “borrowing” my T bag so I spent 30-60 panicky seconds looking for my bag. Eventually he returned with it and I set off.
Bike went well. So much drafting on the go. I suspect I ended up doing a bit of drafting at times in the narrow bits of course while trying to find a gap to overtake. (starting in the last “slow” wave meant I was picking off people along the way). Made an effort to try keep a constant power on the bike but ended up doing a few big spurt efforts to overtake or get away from drafting groups. Not a totally consistent power but not bad. The hill up to Dosrius was less steep than I was expecting. The last 15-30km of the return leg of the bike was a bit tough going as I had a head wind. Spent most of the day on the aero bars so ended up with a bit of a stiff neck. Was glad to be at the end of the bike leg though as I think I paced the bike almost spot on for the 91km.
T2 – not to bad. Met up with one of the girls in the group and said I’d run with her as she was also going for a sub-2h run. Set off not to bad at around 5:30/km which slowed to 5:45 and then stayed around 6min/km. She was having a shocker of a day with a sore tummy so couldn’t keep up a quicker pace. Since I was feeling OK and we were on for around 2hrs I stayed with her to keep her going. I felt good and think I could have done just under 2hours had I maintained a 5:40 pace. My stomach was as good as can be expected so was happy with the run. Slightly disappointed I didn’t actually do under 2hr but had a super run with her so it’s swings and round abouts – it’s not always all about the time after all – gotta have fun days too. The run was stinking hot and I probably didn’t take in enough fluids.
Bike nutrition may have been slightly low. I probably only had 3 bottles (2.5 energy drink and .5 water) (around 1.8l) rather than closer to 3l (3 energy drink and 1.5 water). I had 2.75 (yeah I didn’t finish one) gels too. So call it 3 bottles of nutrition and some additional water. So roughly 2.5*250Cal + 2.75*110Cal = 995Cal on the bike rather than a planned 1100Cal. On the run I had water, poweraide (or whatever it was) and then coke at the last two aid stations. I didn’t pee once during the race so should probably up the fluid a bit on the bike to my planned levels.
My plan for IM will be to have more fluids on the bike (600ml bottle energy drink and 150-300ml water an hour ) and 2gel/hr for the first 3hr and then 1gel/hr for the 2nd 3hr.
All in all I felt good about the race!
Challenge Barcelona cycle route
Well today I went on a brief trip to checkout the challenge Barcelona bike course.
The course starts in Calella and heads south west along the N-II to Mataro before heading North inland and climbing to Dosrius. The course turns around at Dosrius and heads back to the beach front along pretty much the same road. Once back to the coast, the route continues south west along the N-II to the turn around point at El Masnou. From El Masnou the route returns to Calella along the N-II.
The N-II road surface is pretty good for most of the way. There is a section approximately between Canet de Mar and Sant Pol de Mar where the surface is more bumpy with the road surface being more patch-work quilt like. The section of road between the N-II and the Dosrius turn around is not too bad either with only a few rough sections of road.
The N-II section south of around Canet de Mar is pretty much flat and runs along the beach front with a railway track between the beach and the road. There are certainly some false flats with subtle elevation changes of a couple of meters. North of Canet de Mar is slightly more undulating with a few climbs of 10-20m over a few hundred metres- meaning gradients of I guess roughly 2-4% for short sections. Nothing too taxing at all. Dosrius sits around 150m above sea level, based on my watch’s altimeter. There are some undulations in the climb to Dosrius, so the total ascent to Dosrius is probably closer to 200-250m. The climb to Dosrius is not too steep and did not seem to have any particularly large gradients – I’m guessing nothing more than 5-6%. Of course, going down a hill in a car makes is fairly difficult to accurately judge gradients.
I don’t recall the Dosrius loop being part of the original Challenge Barcelona route which would otherwise be very flat. The N-II section of the course is fairly boring: sea and railway track on one side and buildings on the other – no real scenery to appreciate apart from the first/last few kilometres around Calella.
I will try and find some accurate gradients and elevations for various points along the route and will update this post if I find any.
I have added a route to mapmyride.com for this course and is available at http://preview.tinyurl.com/chalbarc
A graph of the profile, from the MapMyRide site is shown below:
Monaco 70.3 stats
Well I figured I’d put some statistics from the Monaco 70.3 race up…
Avg speed: 23km/h
Max speed: 57.8km/h
Avg heart rate: 161bpm
Max heart rate: 194bpm
Avg cadence: 81rpm
Total ascent: 1560m
Total time: 2h20:30
Avg Pace: 6.55min/km
Avg heart rate: 155bpm
Max heart rate: 188bpm
As can be seen, the first loop back to the start/turnaround was not too shabby at slightly over 24 mins. Had I maintained this pace for the full 4 and a bit laps, my time would have been 1h53:39. Had I maintained my last loop (casino to casino) pace of 28:14, my total time would have been 2h10:15 which is about the same as Austria 70.3. The slowing times for each loop back to the turnaround are reflective of my stomach getting progressively unhappy. It started to feel better for the last loop as evidenced by the last loop time of 28:14.
Well the bike and run average heart rates were slightly lower than I had aimed for. I had hoped for the bike and run averages to be around 166bpm. The bike is not too far off, but the run is significantly lower due to me walking much more than expected.
Note: these figures were as my Garmin recorded them. Slightly short distances which I attribute to recording intervals and tunnels.
Monaco 70.3 report
Well Sunday saw me compete in the 2008 Monaco 70.3 event. We arrived in Monte Carlo on the Friday and I immediately noticed the heat. Saturday was hot too. I was sweating in the shade thinking “wow, this will be a hot race”.
Saturday saw all the bags and bikes getting put into transition. We also completed brief swim, bike and run efforts to get the body moving correctly.
I woke up at 4h45 on Sunday morning and noticed that it had been raining. We ate and then got down to the start area. Got the wetsuit on and handed in the street wear bag.
I placed myself midway forward and on the left. The signal to start went and I headed into the water. I started well and ran out of space so ended up being squeeze further to the left in the water. Unfortunately this meant navigating around the pier / water break along with many other athletes. In the mass start I ended up not being able to swim and got my toe dragged on a rock ending up with a cut toe. After the race I noticed rip in my wetsuit that looks like it came from an encounter with the rocks too. Doh! I’m not sure how easy it will be to get repaired but I am going to contact Sailfish Wetsuits to see what they can do for me. I am really not lucky with my wetsuit in the swim starts!
During the swim I ended up feeling like I was far out to sea with other swimmers drifting towards the beach. I’m convinced I was swimming relatively straight towards the next buoys with everyone else doing an odd route… could everyone else really not have been going straight? I got to the second turn buoy and headed in to the beach. The swim back to shore felt good. I got into more of a racing rhythm than my slower catchup like stroke. I felt fast. I got out the water in 41 minutes.
Slow and leisurely is th way to describe T1. I put on loads of sunscreen and generally dawdled. Out the tent I started the long run through the bike park. By the time I got to my bike I noticed one of my socks didn’t feel right so I adjusted it – more time lost!
The bike had three major climbs to cover. I felt good on the bike and felt reasonable strong on the climbs. I was keeping my eye on the distance covered and eased off slightly just before the climbs to ensure my legs were not “maxed out” starting the climbs. Of course, the 34/50 and 12-25 gearing on my bike probably helped, but my legs had to keep the pedals going.
I descent after the first climb was a little hair-raising. Lots of switch backs and blind turns with some rough bits of road. My hands got a good workout with all the breaking involved. The roads were meant to be closed but there was traffic to contend with on a few short sections of the race, including part of the descent back to Monte Carlo.
I kept to my plan of a bottle of RIDE and three gels each hour – much like for the Austria 70.3 race. I must admit that I had a couple of sips of coke on the bike ride too which was a welcome change.
All in all, the bike was not as tough as I originally expected. In hindsight I could perhaps have pushed a bit harder on the bike. A time of 3h41:54 on the bike.
The long run through the bike racking area seemed to take ages to complete. Into the tent and off with the bike shoes and socks and on with the cycling footwear.
As soon as I set out on the run I knew it was going to be a long run. My tummy felt full and bloated – similar to the Austria 70.3 race. Perhaps I am consuming too many calories on the bike resulting in my sore stomach? This is something I need to try and get right.
The run consisted of 4.5 laps. The run course is fairly flat apart from the long climb up to the Monte Carlo casino and then the descent back down to the beachfront road. I managed to run up the climb on the first lap but not the second, third or fourth. I did not feel comfortable for the first 3.5 laps. After picking up my fourth wrist band my tummy started feeling better and I managed to run virtually the whole of the last lap back to the finish. I felt relatively good on the last lap and I hope to get some timing figures for the 4.5 laps. I think the splits will be quite interesting.
I ran up the hill to the casino and over the finishing line completing the 21.1km in a time of 2h20:01. Not a great half marathon time at all. Roughly 10 minutes slower than my Austria 70.3 run time – although the Austria 70.3 run is much flatter.
Well a tough race, particularly the run. The bike is not that tough but is certainly slow going. The swim start is tricky due to the narrow exit from the swim area out to the sea. I think that I would start on the right of the start area if I was to start this race again. The toughest part of the race for me was the run. All in all a enjoyable and pretty well organised race.
Now to plan for the next one…
Monaco 70.3 cycle course analysis
Well last night I sat down and took a closer look at the Monaco 70.3 bike profile. Not terribly pretty reading. The aid stations are at distances:
- 18km (distance to station 18km)
- 46km (distance to station 28km)
- 67km (distance to station 21km)
- 76km (distance to station 9km)
Looking at the small profile graphic my analysis indicates roughly the following:
- 0-18km (18km): 18km climbing
- 14-46km (28km): 5km climbing, 5km decsent, 12km flat and 6km climbing
- 46-67km (21km): 3km decsent, 17km flat
- 67-76km (9km): 9km climbing
- 76-90km (14km): 1km climbing, 13km descent
Based on this my plan is:
- Start the bike with 1.5 bottles of fluid (1.5 RIDE).
- At aid station 1 I will pickup two bottles (1 RIDE and 1 water) and possibly dump any remaining water at the start of the climb.
- At station 2 I will pickup two bottles (2 RIDE or 1 RIDE and 1 water if the race mixed RIDE is not to taste)
- At station 3 I will pickup one bottle (1 RIDE)
- At station 4 I will pickup two bottles (1 RIDE and 1 water) and drink about half the ride and switch to water
If the day is warm or hot and I am enjoying the RIDE drink I may pickup an additional RIDE rather than water. Since I typically eat gels on the bike too, I don’t want too many calories in my tummy on the climbs and hence consume some water – but in the heat I may opt for liquid calories rather than gels.
As for time estimates (13km/h climb and 30km/h flat/descent):
- 0-18km (18km): 18km climbing (1h23)
- 14-46km (28km): 5km climbing, 5km decsent, 12km flat and 6km climbing (0h23 + 0h10 + 0h24 + 0h28=1h25)
- 46-67km (21km): 3km decsent, 17km flat (0h40)
- 67-76km (9km): 9km climbing (0h42)
- 76-90km (14km): 1km climbing, 13km descent (0h05 + 0h26 = 0h31)
So total predicted time of 281min = 4h41. Hmm, not great at all….
edit: 5km MORE climbing after the first aid station that I had not included first time round.