Wednesday, 23 February 2011

On pacing

I did another 13km run this morning. My fifth and fastest one this year, so far. I clocked 56:52, negative splitting each 4.35km loop - 19:13, 19:05 and 18:33. Average pace was 4:23 per km, still a far cry from my 4:10 efforts mid last year, but I'm still pretty happy with the progress.

I'm re-learning how to pace myself. Training Bible Joe Friel wrote about pacing here. Previously, I would run my lungs out at the start of my runs, hoping to sustain the pace until the finish. More often than not, I find myself burning out towards the second part of the run.

In my running races, I rarely negative split. My personal best for the standalone marathon is 3:12:40, an average of 4:35 per km, but I paced 5 minutes per km for the last 12km. In long distance triathlons, I find myself racing off the bike, caught up with the adrenaline and trying to make up for lost time on the bike. Only to find myself taking long walk breaks on the second part of the marathon leg, where the REAL race begins.

I guess I am slowly beginning to realise that being a long distance triathlete, I do not need to run fast, but I do need to run steadily off the bike. Bill Scanlan wrote an article relating to this, here. I have coerced myself to do a brick run after my long ride for the past four sessions. No doubt some of them were shorter than planned and all of them were at a much slower pace than what I normally run the same distance at. But they have all been done at a steady pace.

And that would be my strategy for the run leg at upcoming Singapore Ironman 70.3. I would need to keep my anxiety in check once I get off the bike, stay disciplined, pace myself well and see myself running steadily towards the finish.

I'll start the run the way I'll finish it.

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