Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Learning My Lines

Lessons learned from the Boulsworth fell race then:

1) The benefit of training; &
2) The importance of getting the right line.

On the first point, I was absolutely stunned to finish 11th on Sunday's race. The field was small - only 31 - but even so, this is a top third finish. I've never before finished top half in a fell race. The only thing I can put this down to is the number of hours I'm getting on my feet in the hills.

Last year I was only training with the club on Tues nights. I lacked the confidence to hit the hills on my own. This year I'm out on my own most weekends for some fairly lengthy runs over Pendle and I reckon it's these that helped on Sunday. Felt really good throughout the race. At one point I was even in 4th place. As the race went on I steadied my pace and was running in a comfortable 10th position all the way to the last CP, with a couple of clubmates behind me (who always beat me).

The second lesson was learned after this point. I took a bit of a gamble following a previous recce (which wasn't entirely successful - hit a completely different hill for CP1, but that's another story) that the longer way back through the farmers' fields would be quicker. It seemed more runnable than the direct line over the tussocky moor. However, when I finally got back to the finish - feeling really good - I find that one of my clubmates who was a few seconds behind me at CP3 had finished in 5th position and about 5mins ahead of me.

Given how strong I finished, I reckon I could have got that result if I'd recced and picked the right line.

C'est la vie. Still chuffed with the overall result. Just hope it bodes well for the Tour of Pendle on Saturday.

The Tour has been my target since I finished the race injured last year and spent the subsequent 9 months out of action. I'm determined to put in a good result. I finished 3h45 last yr and would love to break 3h30 this year (secretly aiming for a sub-3h15, but we'll see).

Decided that my training has been a bit lax of late, relying on the club run and my Sunday jaunts alone to get my fitness up. So thought this week I should put more effort into getting up in the morning and starting my early morning running again. Did that yesterday, a nice gentle 3.6mi followed by some burpees and last night my knee was a bit niggly. Given the Tour's only just around the corner I've decided to bin this idea and focus on stretching this week to ensure the race doesn't break me like it did last year.

Was supposed to do a headtorch race over Pendle on Weds, but I think I'll volunteer as a sweeper instead. Gets me exercising, but will minimise the risk of injury.

On the equipment front, I've finally decided on the rucksack that will see me through next year's anticipated Mountain Marathons, and long days in the Lakes: the OMM Adventure Light 20l. I've also opted for the OMM Trio Chest Pouch. I like the idea of the built in map case. I always find myself running round with a laminated map in my hand. Over 15 or so miles, and when you're trying to use your hands to scramble up a steep hill, this is a bit annoying. Plus your hands get sweaty. This has been ordered for my birthday. I will report back once I've had a chance to play about with it!!

Anyway, next stop: Tour of Pendle.

No comments:

Post a Comment