Tuesday 14 May 2013

Chester Half Marathon March 2013

Something a little different for me this weekend! Having never been in a half marathon race on the road (did Rivington Trail Half a couple of years ago) I was interested to have a go whilst it was quite local. I had done no specific training for this (Ran a 4 mile road race a couple of days before if that counts?)
 Also lots of good friends and a couple of clients had entered along with lots of local runners I know. 
Great to see you all and well done!

The route is pretty much flat with the odd bridge and a slight gradient towards the end. Starting at the racecourse which was well organised and everything was efficient and easy.
I finished up 38th in 1 hour 20 min averaging 3.47 per km.
The plan was to take it steady from the start with around a 4min km and then build up the pace after that. First km 4.01... 

I felt fine ok initially but at about 5-6 km it felt incredibly hard to maintain the pace so I stuck behind a pack of runners that had formed. I was pretty much just clinging on here although the speed was still the same around the 3.50's per km it wasn't getting easier.

I gradually got a bit more comfortable and just nudged forwards in the pack and just set about reeling in one runner at a time until a little U turn where we could see the leaders a couple of mins ahead and after the turn it distracted me looking out for friends a couple of minutes behind. 

The route diverted off just before the half way point and then as we reached approximately the 7 mile mark where I was about 58th I seemed to get a bit more life into myself and made some real progress leaving the pack and grinding past a few more runners. There was a large gap ahead which I took care of and knocked some quick 3.30 odd kms which felt good. It was as if it was a different day. Breathing settled down and I closed down the runners in front one by one. 

There were a large number of spectators and every now and again seeing someone I knew cheering was a big boost. I had settled in with 3 other runners an we were pretty much running together into the end from about 9 miles. 

I managed to pull ahead by about 2 minutes from a friend I ran close by at half way. 
towards the end I didn't feel dead, I could have carried on at a similar pace although getting the legs to turn over quicker didn't seem to happen. To be expected really considering recent training. 

I had jogged around a little before the start but I think having a more intense bit of running after the warm up may have helped me settle down quicker during the race. My final 10k was only 10 seconds away from my '10k pb' in which I had done a 5k warm up with a few strides but 40km ran the day before. 

The plan is to practice some short <10k midweek summer races and include a weekly session to help develop pace and get used to the higher intensity and also I'll experiment with some different warm up sessions to see what impact that has on my ultra performance. I feel I'm better in terms of stamina than speed so will put a bit of effort into bringing the speed up. 

Next week I've got Scafell Pike Trail Marathon!

I planned to set off steady which worked well. About 400m into the race.

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