25km Run Report

5 07 2011

It’s a couple of days late, but I finished my first ever 25km run today. Despite the aches and pains I’m currently experiencing I’m stoked (that’s extremely happy for those of you who didn’t grow up watching Bill & Ted).

I had planned to do this run yesterday, but I didn’t have the time. I was needed at home and so only had 90mins. So yesterday I did a solid 13k run. Solid because I pushed myself and came home a little faster than planned, and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.

So today, possibly unwisely, I headed out. Rugged up against the weather (cold and windy), I headed on a course planned down to the metre, and then promptly ran it backwards. As I reached the top of the first hill, I didn’t like the idea of going left, so I went right instead (a change is as good as a holiday).

As I started I wondered how it was going to go. This run had been scheduled for Sunday after a two day break, but instead it was on a Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the last. Could I manage nearly 40kms in two days? How much of a factor would the wind play? Would the rain stay away, or was I (who had chosen to run without any wet weather gear) destined for a soaking?

I wasn’t completely underprepared though. I had fluids, gels and an energy bar with me, as well as a phone and some cash and a determination to keep going. My goal time was 2½ hours – a steady 10kph. That’s a little slower than my marathon goal time (10.55kph) but it’s still a time I’m happy with.

In short, the run went well. There was a stage about 8kms in where I thought the wheels had fallen off. Somehow I was a good 5 minutes behind where I wanted to be. How the hell did that happen? I’d been carefully watching my speed and 1km splits, and everything was in the green, so how did I fall behind? As it turns out, the problem wasn’t with my legs, but my head. Somehow my maths was way off and I was right on target. I passed the 10km mark in 58m13s. Hardly an earth shattering time, and I can certainly do better, but today was about distance, not time.

During the first hour, I had a few second thoughts, all of them to do with the wind. At times it was smacking me straight in the face, at others it was literally pushing me sideways. At no time did it ever feel like a tailwind. I’m reasonably certain that the wind made todays run harder than it should have been by a reasonable amount.

Just before the 11.5km mark, I hit a main intersection and while I waited for the lights, I took in some water and gel. Taking off again, I started thinking about the weather. The clouds were definitely looking worse and I’d purposely chosen a course that went straight past my back door. Should I risk it? I could be home and warm in about 3kms.

As I ran past home, I answered myself. I kept going. Rain be damned, I was feeling pretty good and was keen to get this distance done. The second ten went well, better infact than I’d expected. I guess it’s normal that the second half of a run is slower than the first, and today was no different, except that it was only just slower. The second 10km took about a minute more than the first 10km, and to my suprise I was still over the 10kph average (especially since there is more uphill than down hill in the second ten.

Bang on the two hour mark, I took in more fuel and pushed on. At times during the last five kms I felt like I was struggling. In fact, kms 21 and 22 were two of the three slowest splits as the climb up Bourke St hit like a brick. At the top I found myself pausing for the lights again before pushing on. The two slow kms had pushed me closer to my goal time than I would have liked, so I picked it up a bit towards the end. By no means a sprint, but I came home stronger than expected.

In the end, 25.01km in 2hr29m33s (27s inside my goal time for today).

Considering the run yesterday, and the (at times, brutal) wind today, I’m really quite happy.

The run details are here, as recorded on my new Forerunner 305 (I’ve finally bought a running watch and no longer run with the bike GPS in my pocket).

Below is a graph I knocked up showing my split times and my rolling average speed. One of the failings (in my opinion) of the Garmin stable is that they don’t offer accumulative (or rolling) averages. To many, it may be an irrelevant stat, but to me, it’s gold.

Now that I’m home and have had a few hours to wind down, I’m glad I went out today. I stretched well after and don’t feel too bad, although I am preparing to slap on some Deep Heat before bed.

An easy 6kms on Thursday, and then a couple of days off before attempting the scheduled 30km on Sunday.

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4 responses

8 07 2011
Andy Round

Great run Chris. You might want to consider this for your longer runs – take the first 2/3 at a pace that is around 35 – 45 seconds per k slower than your planned race pace (the training is to build you up and not to break you down) then run the last 1/3 of your longer run closer to race pace (say 10 – 15 seconds per k slower). This way your legs get used to running quicker when the are tired, which will help you prepare for the the last 10k of the marathon.

I have a saying, start slow and then go a bit slower to make sure everything is in working order before you settle into your desired pace of the long run. There is nothing worse than blowing up too early by getting carried away at the start.

8 07 2011
chrisfit2009

Thanks Andy,

I was just reading an article in a mag about pacing and they agree 100% with you.

I’ll slow it down during the 30km run on Sunday!

11 07 2011
Twocatz

How did your run go yesterday??

11 07 2011
chrisfit2009

Ughh. It didn’t. At work till 2am Sunday morning, and then it was a miserable wet day. By the time I’d woken up enough to think making a stab at the 30km, I didn’t have enough time to get it done before work started up again. And a midnight finish last night and 6am shift this morning have left me disinclined to exercise today.

I’ve pushed it to my next day off (Friday) and should hopefully get an easy 20 on Sunday. I will get the 30km done this week!

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