Saturday, 29 September 2012

4 mile at race pace, 8 days to go

Warmup 1.5 km
Race pace, net downhill at 4:15/km for 4 miles
200m warmdown.

It seems every time I do something at race pace I get such a buzz! Running at 4:15 on the flat just feels easy and I only need average 4:22. Today the focus was again on good, efficient running technique, keeping stridelength slightly short and the leg turnover quick. I just love the low-gear wisdom Julian Goater brings to the mix, while I also find it provides for much quicker adaptation to change in gradient. One other point before moving onto an encouragement through prayer was taking on of liquids. I ran with my pack so as to be really familiar with it being there while doing race pace running and thought I should practice slurping while running hard. Here's what worked: breathing in through nose and sucking in water. Breathing out through nose. Repeat, if space in mouth for more liquid. Breathe in and swallow. This swallow with lungs inflated only takes a fraction of a second and then I'm done! Using this method I never felt at any stage threatened with some of the choking I have experience before, but then may be that's to do with being able to control things so much more when sucking in through a straw.

Was amazing to pray with another Christian runner this evening, who really affirmed me in my goal of somehow running for God. I remain in awe of just everything he has packed into this sport and it really is a pleasure to be able to run as well as I am able for him. My prayer as I ran down a huge hill this evening was "teach me how to glorify you", as I believe that this process of honouring someone, for me at least, is a bit like the art of running, it takes time to take it forward, but take it forward I shall!

Coming back to the technicalities of the race, I have been very carefully planning the pacing structure of the race. I really believe 3:05 is within my grasp if I don't make unwise choices. Of huge help to me has been the very timely advice of the lads at Marathon Talk. Pointers that have stuck with me are:
- the tide effect (tune in for a full explanation)
- running slightly faster than comfortable on the downs and vice versa on the ups
- visualisation

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