When I put my Comrades training plan together it was always on the `shew-whiff` basis by being hampered by `that` tight hamstring so no normal speed sessions or tempo runs planned in but the main emphasis being on endurance (miles & miles) & strength-work (hills & hills & PT) and stretching (hours & hours of yoga & massage) & making up the rest was listening to experience – both from self & others, belief in myself, bit of luck and all bounded with a heavy splash of fun.
Well a fun part came this weekend at the Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run There was 3 distances – 8.2M (one lap), 16.2M (two laps) or a new 20M (a two & half lap course) - I opted for the 16.2M run. When I first saw this it literally screamed progressive run but at what pace? There were pacers there – 6 minute, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 (the 6 min pacer was apparently on a bike).
It was a nice & early (start time 08:30am) & on the way over I bumped into Matt – good to briefly say hello. I parked up & as I was dropping my bag off I chatted to Mike from the Club (Windle) who had just got back from hols & made our way to the start line – literally all metres away from each other. The course itself was flat & basically through the start / finish, over a bridge, along the River past Hampton Court , over another bridge, out towards Hinchley Woods and along the river towards Kingston. I opted to start & cross the line with the 10 min pacer and then catch up the 9 min pacer – chase the pacer - a similar plan when I did the Basingstoke Half last year but not straight away – kind of a `8, 4 + 4` plan. I settled nicely into pace with the slowest three miles in the first four miles. I took two gels – one on each lap but no water during the race. The water stations & the wearing of earphones (narrow footpaths on the inward trip) were to me the only areas of concerns. As we headed back towards Kingston I could feel the pace increasing. I turned left past the start and out on my second lap. It was nice to increase the pace – I felt like I was racing again plus you do get a boost from passing other runners. I totally recommend progressive runs rather flat out runs. With about 4 to go I saw Steve & wished him well. As I past the final water stop (approx. 13M point) I did push the pace to catch the pacer – I hadn`t seen their flag at all & getting a bit concerned !!! With a mile or so to go when I saw the group – a bit narrow for such a large group. I caught up and thought well I`ve come this far & might as well carry on to the finish and after a while went past. It is nice to end a solid week training (44 mile week) with a sprint finish & feeling good J
As I made my way through the finish tunnel I was given the largest goodie bag I have ever been given – it was incredible, full of useful stuff too – well done Lidl & well done Human Race Events for putting on this race. It`s one I`ll do again.
Start – 4M = 00:37:26
4M to 8M = 00:37:09 (halfway turn 01:14:17)
8M to 12M = 00:34:37
12M to 16M = 00:33:06
Finish = 02:21:00
Full Garmin details -
Results - HERE
Job done – had a lot of fun & March`s race number 3 in the bag – only 3 to go (Fleet Half, Dover Marathon & Spitfire 20M).