City2Surf. The most popular running event in WA is run around August time each year. People run it for bragging rights, to prove their training, or for prize money. This year there were 48 000 runners – the largest attendance in the long history of the event.
Apart from a brief moment of confusion as to where I was supposed to join the large start wave I was in (Category 1B), everything went smoothly. The race starts on the main street in Perth (St George’s Terrace) so after about 100 metres I passed my office building. Then there’s the first hill up towards Kings Park, and then some more undulations through to the Subiaco cafe district.
There are more hills through Perth’s western suburbs, and then a final downhill to City Beach, with about 300/400metres running north on the home stretch. About 8 hills in all. My normal training loop near my house includes 2 hills each 5 km loop, so this was quite good preparation, but still, hills are hills, so my average pace (5:13/km) was below what it would have been had the course been flat, like Run for a Reason was in May.
I did improve my time from Run for a Reason by 3 minutes (1hr 3min vs 1hr 6min) – which is a good result. 3 mins faster on a much more difficult course would indicate the 3 month training plan was effective.
From a race management perspective, I had a HR monitor on, but wasn’t really running to a specific HR, I just ran at a pace I perceived I could sustain. After 30second, my heart rate was a 183, which is well into the top zone (which starts at 175). It basically never fell lower than 177, so I spent the entire race in the top zone, for an average of 181. A marked contrast with Run for a Reason which was 40% in Z4, and 50% in the top zone 5.
What this indicates, I’m not sure – perhaps I’ve not really got much more efficient at running, but the training has helped me handle a higher heart rate. This may be OK for sprint triathlons, but probably will bring me unstuck for the Olympic, given that will be 2.5/3 hrs.
Your friendly Grumpy Triathlete (left) and my two (younger) brothers. I beat my youngest brother in the sprint for the line, after 3 attacks each in the final 400m, but as he crossed the start line 4 seconds after I did, he actually had the better time! Brother on the right (but in the middle age-wise) did a 52min run – he’s the serious triathlete.
In other news, my bike arrived, so I’ll be able to start my 40km each way commute a couple of times a week throughout spring in preparation for the summer triathlon series.
I’m also planning to start the 5km training plan from Adidas MiCoach – with a goal time of 20:00 in 3 months from now. Current PB: 23:20.