Cigna Wellington Round the Bays 2017

Hello Everyone, Thought I’d share something that I had written a few years ago leading upto the 2013 Round the Bays. If you are aiming to run a PB for the 21.1km (Half Marathon) you may find some useful information. I have done RTB half for a number of years and last year (2016) I volunteered as a Pacer for the 1:45 group.

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Pacing 1:45 Half Marathon Group at Cigna Round the Bays in 2016
The following series of posts are written geared towards those of you who want to target a specific goal time on your half marathon and I hope you find this helpful. As a Wellington based runner I am always happy to help others.

All the best and good luck with your training!

Running by the numbers and setting goals

Running by the numbers and setting goals – was the title of the talk I did at our local running event RunFest held in Wellington, New Zealand over the last weekend (27th and 28th February).

For those who could not make it to RunFest or was attending James Kuegler’s trail running workshop during the day here is your chance to read all about what I was talking.

You can directly download the slides [ Running by the Numbers and Setting Goals 5 years of Data 5 MB ] and use that as a reference, the post will go into a bit more detail.

Watch this short video to get started.

The Runner from Mike Heydon on Vimeo.

Michael Browne is a (now) 83-year-old who likes to run. He likes to run a lot. 1951 Wellington mile-champion, 9 time marathon finisher, multiple 10km races and plenty of track racing, Michael should be an inspiration to us all.

Filmed with Sony FS100 and Nikon D800.

Filmed and edited by Mike Heydon / http://www.jetproductions.co.nz

Running Goals

As a runner you could start from anywhere, I started running when I was in high school back in Sri Lanka, this was way back in 1987. I wasn’t much good at cricket so I signed up for our athletics team who at that time consisted of a bunch of mis-fits who were somewhat the out casts of the school because we didn’t play cricket.
However we were lucky in that we got one of the best coaches in Athletics at that time who was assigned to my school for one year. I tried different events and found my comfort zone in running 400meters and 800meters. I never excelled at them but I was good enough to be part of the relay teams selected out of the few regional schools to run at school events and at regional level. Our coach had a very disciplined approach to training, I remember we used to meet at the school play ground at 6:30am every morning before school started.

The routine consisted of drills for about 20-30 mins followed by designated workouts for the distance. At that time we ran on a mixture of gravel grass playing field as our school didn’t have a track. The only track was at the main sports stadium some miles away and we only got to run there when a competition was on.

Training or “Running Practice” as we called it back then was about 90mins before school started and then after school we also had either strength work or longer runs. During two years our group of mis-fits became quite good and six of us including myself was selected to represent our region at national champs. Then I did something really stupid and played basketball and broke my ankle which put an end to my running. So this was back in 1990 and I never ran again until after I moved to New Zealand in 1999. My first few years in New Zealand was mostly about work and only around 2005 I started to realise I needed to do some physical activity, I was stressed at work, consistently tired and quite unhealthy with a fair amount of unwanted baggae around the waist. I bought a mountain bike and did a bit of that, then I started slowly doing jogs for 10-15mins. It felt weird/uncomfortable but almost somehow good and familiar feeling. So I continued on until I could run for 30mins without stopping. I also signed up for the Wellington Scottish 5k series during 2006/2007 and ran a few of these. Back then my 5k times were between 23-24mins.

Then my work and life got in the way again where I had to travel quite a bit and I fell off the wagon so to speak and got side tracked. After 2010 I started to be a bit more disciplined in my effort to be healthy and fit and thus began a somewhat deliberated and planned attempt to push myself to see where I could end up with running.

2011 to 2015 The Consistency Factor

In 2011 I ran a 5km timed race at the Scottish Waterfront race. The time was 27 minutes (00:27:23 – 11 January 2011). In 2014 September I ran my current personal best of 18mins and 25secs. http://5kseries.fedude.co.nz/participant/?pid=1346

This is the story from 2011 to 2015 and the progression with data collected over these years.

In early 2010 I started recording my runs on Endomondo, Endomondo was at that time quite new and provided a free service to track runs via an app, which I used on my iPhone. I also bought a Polar Running watch. This had no GPS capability so I used to time my runs and at this stage I was only interested in how much time I could run. I didn’t put any particular effort into running a particular distance but I kept using the app and the watch to check time and mapped the distance via the app.

In 2011, I upgraded myself to a Garmin (610) which boasted quite a bit of new features and also was one of the first “touchscreen” watches to hit the scene. There also was the ability to sync your runs to Garmin Connect and then export across to Endomondo.
Looking back at 2011 – my goal was to get fit, finish a half marathon and keep building a base. No big goals.I signed up for Wellington Round the Bays in 2011 and followed somewhat of a sporadic training plan. Which included about 2-3 runs per week with no target distances but rather time on feet ranging from 30min runs to 90min runs.

The numbers for 2011 was as follows:
Number of runs: 171
Distance: 1809 Kilometers
Elevation: 32,888 meters
Time on feet: 179 hrs
Average per day: 4.96 Km (assuming I ran everyday, but in reality once I factored in the days I ran an the average was about 10.5 Km)
Weekly Mileage: 34.80 Kilometers

During this period with the help of a Garmin watch I gathered a bit of data on how I was going. I also started to learn a bit about training and recovery by reading books by well known runners (The Runner’s Body). I learnt a lot about the Physiological changes and adaptation and goal setting.
To some degree this wasn’t new to me based on what I had done long time ago back in school but being an adult the absorption of this information helped a lot to formulate my future goals going forward.

In 2011 I ran my first half marathon (on road) – which was at Wellington Round the Bays. My time was 2hrs and 02minutes with an average pace of 5:47 min/km. This was what was possible given my level of fitness at that time.

Now fast forward it to 2014 August – My half marathon PB is 1hrs 26m with an average pace of 4:06 min/km.

So what happened between 2011 and 2015?

During this time there have been many set backs, things that didn’t go according to plan even when they should have. But all these things makes running interesting.

The data I was collecting helped me in many ways, which included

2011 to 2015 Running

2011 to 2015 Running in numbers

Snapshot from June to August 2015

A typical conditioning phase of 8 weeks of consistent high mileage (Snapshot from June to August 2015)

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Same period with some Cycling also included

You can download the complete slide deck here Running by the Numbers and Setting Goals 5 years of Data (5 MB)- and if you have any questions please do get in touch.

Keep smiling, keep running! Thanks to Mike, Ewa and Brent for the opportunity to speak at RunFest.

Speaking at RunFest in Wellington

Now this is really exciting stuff! On the last weekend of February (27th and 28th) a group of runners in Wellington have organised this great running event which I have been invited to speak.

If you are a local runner in Wellington or actually anywhere in the world there is a great line up of runners who will be doing talks on various topics.

The top 5 reasons to attend RunFest according to me are:

  1. Beginners and experienced runners – understand the running journey and how to approach your running goals holistically to enjoy running as an everyday habit as opposed to a chore
  2. Meet and hear stories from some of the most inspiring runners, coaches who are both local and global – go check out the speakers page
  3. Trail heaven that is Wellington, yes if you’ve never ventured past Oriental parade you’ll get some insight to go off road and why most runners when they switch to trails never go back on road – yes you get a guided tour on some of these
  4. The Reel Wild Film Festival – awesome running movies, Pizza and Beer – go sign up!
  5. You get to run with some awesome bunch of runners and get first hand advice on injury prevention and improve your running!

All this and much more for the all-inclusive price of NZ$175! That’s a bargain if you ask me! Go sign up! http://www.runfest.org.nz/

Reflections and New Goals

With this year coming to an end I’ve been contemplating on goals for next year. When I look back on the last 12 months of 2015, I’ve not achieved as many personal bests although I’ve almost run about the same amount of distance as 2014. For me 2014 was so far the best year in terms of achievements, however 2015 was better in that I got to travel to many different places and experience some great trails for running. Most of the travel related running is on our shared blog at Whatrunnersdo.com

We get back to New Zealand on January 13th – this is going to be the start of the next chapter of our lives.

So what goals do I have for 2016, well it’s twofold. First since I had always wanted to try an Ultra Marathon distance (ever since I started running again in 2009), I had the Tarawera Ultra Marathon in mind. So my first task is to complete the 60km distance on February 06th.  Training wise I am not putting any extra effort, the goal being finish not compete most of my weekly mileage has been at around 70km per week of easy running. I think this will be enough to get through the distance.

Secondly I want to focus on getting back into running half marathons and break the 1:25 mark. My current PB is 1:26 which I ran in 2014, since then I haven’t done any specific training for a half. I prefer the half marathon distance over any other distance. The plan is after Tarawera take a break from running and start building back into a 16 week plan to get stronger and faster. I am thinking of doing Rotorua Marathon (late April) again but not committed at this stage.

Thirdly or rather in parallel, explore more trails and try different activities such as Orienteering and Mountain Biking.

Also late February I am giving a talk at RunFest in Wellington. My talk is about looking at running data and the use of activity tracking apps such as Strava and how to use these tools in training for events. Myself I have been using Endomondo and Strava for a few years. But I prefer Strava nowadays and you can get a lot of insight to your activities and use these for planning.

2011 to 2015 Running

2011 to 2015 Running Data gathered via Strava

The above graphs data shows my running mielage since 2011. Since 2013 I have been averaging over 70kms per week with 2014 having the highest recorded kilometers of 4074. If you are in Wellington, New Zealand register for Runfest where you’d be able to experience a one of a kind event catered specially for runners of all abilities.

All the best and happy New Year!

 

Costa Trail de Oleiros

Another trail running event in Galicia – posted on #whatrunnersdo – it’s all about Mud, Trails, Churrasco and beer… go read it..

whatrunnersdo

Last Sunday 22nd of March the whatrunnersdo team was in Oleiros – a small coastal town in the municipality of A Coruña, Galicia in Spain. We were there to take part in the 5th edition of “Costa Trail de Oleiros” trail running event organised by the local trail running community.

We first visited our friend’s house and then drove to the start of the event with them. Oleiros is a small seaside town with a nice beach and some rolling hills. The event start was on a small park named “Parque da Lagoa” next to a lake. Here is an aerial view of Oleiros and the “Mera” beach. The last part of the race included about a 1km of running along the beach.

Photo credit – http://www.eltiempo.es/playa-de-mera-patelo.html

We arrived at the start a bit early so had some time for a coffee at a local café –for that all…

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