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Friday, March 12, 2010

Salisbury 10 Mile - Race Report

This will be the longest run of the year so far after only doing 8 miles a couple of times in training. I was not going to race this but treat it as a long training run but practising pace control and nutrition.

The start was the closest to the car park that I have ever been to. Some how I missed the fire station where it started outside and had to ask for directions to the start!!

Salisbury 10 Start

The finish was on the athletics track which they had still to set up when I arrived early to enter on the day.
Salisbury 10 Finish

The sky was clear with only a few small clouds and a bright day as seen in the photos but it was cool and cold with the occasional breeze. So I decided to have two full length leggings on, 3 tops plus my a tri club top and a hat and gloves.

I also was trying out a new race number belt for the first time, in a race which they say not to do. I had not left my car before the number ripped from the tri belt, it appears that they make the race numbers out of different stuff for running and triathlons!!! Luckily I also brought some safety pins with me so I clipped the number to the belt, the gel loops were ok and where comfortable while running.

I started about 3/4 through the pack to ensure I did not go off too fast as I had been told there were some hills in the last half of the race.

For the first few miles there was a few gentle undulations, the main issue was on the narrow lines with the traffic blocking sections of cars from moving the other way into a stalemate, we were able to run around the cars. For the first half of the race I was averaging about 9 minute mile pace which was my target, I then started to pick up the pace up a bit before the hills started.

When the hills came I maintained my form and pace which allowed me to overtake a few people on the three noticeable climbs which were a testing length but not as bad I was thinking they would be.

The course was effectively a single loop going out and back either side of the valley with only the first and last 1 miles being along the same route. When I got to mile 9 I was feeling strong and picked up the pace again which I maintained to we got to the track which I then picked it up again to overtake a few more people.

Which I completed the run in 86 minutes which averages out to be about 8:35 /mile pace. Looking at my GPS data I did do a negative split (second half quicker than first) despite it being hillier in the second half. The average for the the miles 5 to 9 was about 8:30 and the last mile was 7:23 pace.

This was a great race for me in great scenery and somewhere else I had not visited until then with also some learning points and things that worked to apply to other races/training.

Learning Points

Check number is ok on number belt or top. This would normally be done on the day before the race but as I entered on the day I left it to about 15 minutes before the race. I also could have tightened the belt a bit more before the race.

Not use cycling top for a running race. They are designed to be used when your body is not moving around but in a static position(s) on the bike, I ended up having to pull the top down a couple of times for each mile.

Check the course profile pre race. There no route map prior to the race and then on the day there was no profile so I was going on what I had heard about the course. So I was pleasantly surprised when the hills were not as bad as I was expecting, however this could have meant if I was racing this I could have gone faster in the fast half.

Things that worked

Pre-race nutrition. As I had to travel earlier to the race it allowed extra time for my breakfast to digest while I still had some drinks and a small snack bar before the race.

Race nutrition. When I got there I found out there was only water at the 5 aid stations on the route. So I had the two gels that I took with me at about mile 2 and 6 with some water. I also had a bottle of isotonic drinks which I had added a salt tablet too. This was enough for the race and help me be ready for the next session an hour later.

Layers. I had a few layers on my top and legs which allowed me (core muscles and organs) to stay warm. Some of the tops had zips on so I could cool down a bit if I was getting warm. I also was taking hat and gloves off or on depending on how I was feeling. If I did not I would have got too cold which is harder to get warm when doing a longer run.

Pacing. For the start I did not get carrier away and adjusted my pace when I felt I was speeding up. This meant I had to run my own pace and not stay with a group of runners. I was running at what I felt was right with occaoisinly looking at my GPs watch pace, but 8 of the miles were with in +/- 15 seconds 8:45 pace.This relatively even pace allowed me to pick up my pace at the end as I had not gone off too fast.

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