Reading half marathon 3.4.16

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Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Jimba » 06 Apr 2016 21:22

Sorry, this will be a long one as it has all my analysis in it. Great event, 11000 competitors (short of the estimate of 16000 on the day and the published expected 19000). Biggest event I have been in whichever number you pick!

Last year I did three long races between end of July and October, a 10miler, and two half marathons. The ave pace for all three were almost bang on 7min miles each. All three beat my previous best pace for the distance. But, I didn’t get under 1.30 for either half, for that I needed to average 6.52 per mile. Objective for Reading, billed as the fastest UK half marathon, was to go under 1.30. To a large degree my Tri objectives for the early season have been severely compromised by the volume of running I have done which has inevitably eaten into the biking time and the swimming time (actually non-existent swimming).

So, did a long taper with reduced volume two weeks out and a much reduced volume in the last week. No injuries or niggles. Weather forecast good, temparature mid teens, not windy or rainy.

Got there too early, partly as it is a 2hr drive from home, partly as I thought it started at 10.00 when it was 10.15, partly because I overestimated the chaos, it was actually all very slick with army cadets (I think) doing the bag checking.
Got in my pen, the second fastest but a tactical error meant I was further back than intended. Elites off first. Minute later the fastest group (I think sub 1.25s but not sure) went off a minute later and we were two minutes after that.

The pacer was ahead of me at the start line, not by much, but because of congestion he was about 50 yards ahead in no time at all. Foolishly I chased the 1.30 pacer down over the first half mile, rather than just keeping him in sight and doing it more steadily. First mile 6.39. Second mile was congested but everyone at a reasonable pace both first two miles flat, second completed 6.39. Lap three had a longish hill, not steep, but noticeable. I was glad to have the pacer next to me as he got me up it without losing too much from target pace. Third mile 7.04. Split for first 5k 21.12.

Mile 4 still with pacer, going comfortably but it is feeling fast. 6.39 Had my first gel and cup of water.
Mile 5 bit undulating and I have a stitch, not had one of them for a while. Hung on to pacer but knew my pace was dropping. 6.58. Pacer a little ahead of me now and I start wondering about whether this was doable or not.
Mile 6 is a downhill, recovering a lot of the height gained in mile 3. Back with the pacer. 6.36
Mile 7 and I am feeling good, I can do this. Fastest mile of the whole thing 6.30.
Split for second 5k is 20.59

Mile 8 and I have had another gel, no water this time, no stitch. 6.46.
Mile 9 and there is a small incline and I lose the pacer and a few people go past me, so its me not the incline!! 7.08. I know I am ahead of schedule but don’t know whether I can keep on it for the last 4.
Mile 10 have managed to keep the pacer at the same distance and probably even closed a bit. 6.52
Split for third 5k is 21.14
It is worth noting (as it becomes a bit critical later, that the mile markers on the course are appearing after my 310 has said the mile is complete. Its not huge but by this point the marker is about 50+ yards ahead when my 310 beeps for the mile.

Mile 11 and I think I am going to do it. Closed a bit on the pacer. 6.41
Mile 12 even though it is a slight downhill I am really struggling to maintain the pace. The elastic band is stretching out, just hoping I have a big enough margin as I know I am not now maintaining pace. 7.06
Mile 13 It’s fairly flat, exposed with breeze head on and I have lost touch with anyone who could shelter me. 7.10
Split for 4th 5k is 22.01.

Now the garmin error has a big impact. Instead of having .1 miles left I actually have .37 which takes me 1.30 to do. This results in a total time of 1.30.19.

So it’s a PB by 1 min 20seconds. So am happy. Not so happy on missing the target. On reflection a few tactical errors that should have been avoided. I got there early but didn’t get to the front of the pen. I saw the pacer going ahead and the mile markers, but still trusted my 310 for distance covered. On the exposed flats should have made sure I was tucked in behind someone.

27/568 in AG

I knew that my training was not ideal, not enough pace work (the first three 5k splits were all better than my Parkrun PB). The overall pace I achieved was 6.53 per mile, I have not run any distance at that pace since my last hm in October. That said, I got to the start unbroken and managed a pb, who knows what would have happened if I had followed a structured training plan that would have involved intervals, track sessions, race pace efforts etc, I could have done a 1.28 or I could be laid up with an ice pack.

A last thought, billed as Uks fastest, I have checked elevation and there is 91m at Reading, but only 29m at Peterborough. Looks like I might be going back to Peterborough in October!
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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Seasider71 » 08 Apr 2016 08:47

Great result, well done.

I think Blackpool Marathon / HM may have even less of a climb as it is pretty much flat along the promenade.
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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Jimba » 08 Apr 2016 09:00

Cheers mate.
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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Jack Hughes » 08 Apr 2016 09:10

Well done!

The blackpool one suffers from the Wind.

THere is a new Manchester HM; if it's anything like the Marathon then that will be pancake flat.
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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby IanM » 08 Apr 2016 09:51

Nicely done Jimba! Top 5% of age group with no speed work? That's extremely impressive!
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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Worrying Will » 08 Apr 2016 11:33

Brilliant well done

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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby Kevy427 » 08 Apr 2016 19:44

Jolly good work, old bean. Great time too

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Re: Reading half marathon 3.4.16

Postby kfjatek » 09 Apr 2016 21:29

Target or no target, PB it is - well done!


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