bob, you are looking lean! Well done on 1st vet too!
Mr V, think weight made a big difference. Wasn't overweight before but think I have lost some of the 400m muscle mass i had last year, which will make a difference over the longer stuff. I've converted a 2'06.5 800m into a 77:31 HM - which is very good going.
Nice MP session. MP is harder than it should really be most of the time for me!
WJH, do you have a selection of sessions you would consider key?
You may be right that the core principles are there, but the sessions just need more targeting. One of the best things about running is playing around and seeing what works (and doesn't).
Just easy running since Sunday to reset the system. No muscle soreness now which is good. Just need to watch any un-noticed fatigue!
Plan had been to get to 13k comfortable then pick it up to the point where I could rip a hole in the last 5k. Got to 12.5k ish then switched from 3-3 to a 2-2 breathing pattern but still felt in control with a little bit of discomfort starting to come in the legs now.
Past Bastille (couldn't help hum some Rush to myself at this point) and round the furthest point of the course. Support was great round the entire course but I found this section to be especially good. At 15k (55:01) I knew I had just more than a parkrun left, and knowing I was on pace for low 77:xx (last few miles had been 5:47/46/50/47/46) I pushed on a little, knowing I still had a few hills to navigate.
Starting to feel it in the legs now. When the quads begin to go numb I know my stamina is being really tested.... 4k to go. 14 minutes (ish) to go.... final downhill saw me top 5:30/m. Back into Bios de Vincennes, quads now starting to hurt. Still flying past those in front. Pick one off and focus on the next. Still on low 77 pace... this is good. 2k to go. Get the hammer down!
1k to go. Bang. Large, painful stitch right under the right hand side of the diaphragm. Just like Fraserburgh, but thankfully this time with just 3 and a bit minutes to go. 2 guys come past. I try to breathe deeper but start to feel tight chested as I'm not getting enough air! Round the final turn with 600m to go and it abates enough to get a final sprint going. Final section @ 5:14/m.
Finishing time 77:31. It later transpired I was 130th overall, 90th senior male and 6th male brit home.
Very happy. It's easy to say the stitch and first mile cost me the sub-77 but given how under pace I was elsewhere I dont't think the first mile cost me anything, and the stitch cost me 10s if that.
CS ran under 1:55 for the first time and was delighted, as was I 6 weeks from VLM isn't a bad moment to pb.
I'm not really used to big races- most of mine involve lanes, break points and no more than 9 or 10 competitors. I did GSR back in 2008 but since then the biggest race I have probably done was Loch Ness 10k last year.
I'd entered Paris before the beginning of this season's training, so entry was pre-Loch Ness, Proms 3k and (more pertinently) Fraserburgh Half in November. However winter has been an unparalleled success so in the build up to Paris I was not only coming off the back of a 9:41 3k but also some very impressive training (6k in 21 mins, 5*800 @ sub-5:00/m to name but 2 sessions). And throw in being at my lightest weight in a few years (69.5kg/152lbs)
In the week building up sights had been set as such: A Goal being sub-77, B Goal being a new pb, C Goal being to get my ass round.
I wasn't alone here. CS was there (in fact this whole weekend was her idea) as was a friend from Fetch, and CS's mum & Dad (who was our support).
Race morning saw the Parisian Metro resemble a tin of sardines, and with 45 mins to the start we were near the start. I had my bag to drop off, which was done by the last digit of your number. Mine was 0, and drop point for 0 was - naturally - right at the opposite end of the drop area to where we were, with about 10000 people in between.
So 15 minutes was spent run/stopping through a load of people while swearing (mostly) under my breath "get the f*ck out of my WAY" (I am not in the best of moods pre race). At 9:25 I was bagless and now needed to get back to my pen (1:35 which was the third pen to go) and warm up. The first and part of the second aims were done pelting it back to where I had started. Got to the pen with 20 mins to go and thankfuklly I wasn't the only one who wanted to warm up - a 150m section of people running round and round did what I needed, so with 10 minintes to go pre-start, somewhat dizzy I managed to get myself to within 3 rows of the front of the pen, with enough room to get the essential stretches in.
At 10 sharp the race started but it was a good 10 mins before I got over the line with 3000 others.
The first mile was SLOW. 77:00 pace is 5:52/m but my first mile was 6:15 with the first k @ 6:26/m - now I start slow anyway so I was not especially concerned, but for a while it was elbow-barging, run across the road sideways kind of action. Thankfully after 2M it had calmed down considerably.
First few k felt horrendous. Given a curtailed warmup, no strides and limited flexibility stuff it was to be expected. By 4k I had got my groove and went through 5k in 18:44 which was fine - mile 3 had been bang on what I had been hoping without forcing the issue so I knew the race would come to me.
By now I was passing people left, right and centre - sometimes all three at once, a theme that was prevalent throughout the race. It was great to always have people to chase down, I ended up focusing on someone about 50m in front and picking them off, then focusing on someone else. I am not exaggerating that I must have passed a good 3-400 people throughout the race, yet only got passed myself a handful.
Back to the race. Well in the groove after 5k and now ticking off the high 5:4x miles like a metronome, HR hovering just under 90% MHR for now which was fine. Got to 10k still comfortable in 36:48 (just 80s off my 10k pb) but missed CS's dad who had been with the girls at the start for a while so wasn't there in time.
I do think for MD you can have runners who are have good speed endurance (lactic glycolytic stores) but struggle with aerobic endurance - these are the types who often end up as 400/800 runners but struggle eith the 1500m where the aerobic component becomes prominent.
Ranting a bit, but I think 4/8 runners need to train more as a higher volume, lower intensity version of a 400m runner. I work with a very good 800m runner (1:50) who also runs a killer 400 (49.x) but struggles to run 17.xx for 5k. So more towards the 400/800 type. A key winter session for him is repeat 400s @ ~75sec (about 3kp) w/60s rec. This is basically a core endurance session for him wheras an 800/1500m runner may do a tempo run or long (800m+) intervals instead. Compare this to a 400m runner who will do repeat 300s etc off shorter rec - the 400/800 runner is basically doing extensive tempos like a sprinter.
WJH, shame the wind cost you a pb. If you keep cracking out the soild times it will all be a strong backing for a pb attempt in the future.
Bob, really well done. Huge mental strength to push through everything! No less than you deserve, pacing looks good as well and you used those around you very well.
Yep, still track for me this year.
Race report in the next few posts. I have failed to follow my inverse law of race reports - it's a big'un...