Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday 14th: Race 10k and I loved it

Today was race day: a 10k, held on a flat course in Hong Kong.

Saturday I got very good feeling about the incoming race: feel fresh, well rested (I do not know why, since I sleep 6 hours per night).
I think that with the experience, you can predict your race day performance with incredible precision even before the race:
- how do I feel on the Saturday afternoon (tired, rested, too excited)
- the Heart Rate on the warm up before the race. If I can jog and keep the HR under 150, than I know that I am fresh and is going to be a great day. If my HR immediatly climbs over 150 in the warm-up, than is sign that is going to be more of a struggle.

So Sunday morning I was very relaxed about doing a good "job": the race is pretty important in the local calendar and is a good test of my shape in the road to Boston.
Since I had (and I still have) a tendinitis on my right ankle, I swallow a pill of Ibuprufen before the start and hope that the ankle would let me alone for a while.
It was really a hassling injury, but I will post about it another time.
let's stick on the race.
I used for the first time the Polar Rs800sd HRM to check the distance, cadence and speed and was pretty useful: The start was pretty narrow so It was easy to be taken away and push too much from the start. I used the HRM and gave a look every 15sec to the instant speed.
So I basically executed the race strategy as:
- keep 3'40" for the 1st K or more
- settle in the 3'35" range from k2 to k7
- just push in the final 3k, trying to stay under 3'30"
At the end I finished in a 35'20" that is really good. It is my season best and probably also my PB of all time !! And I felt good at the end, so I did another 10k of easy run to cool down.

Everything went according to plans, but I noticed 2 interesting factors:
- my HR was always much lower than in previous races. I stayed in the hi 170s- low 180s' range for most of the race; while usually I reach very easily the hi 180s (eg: 186-188 bpm).
- the cadence was in the range of 87. So I still have to work more on repetitions to speed up the legs to 90 and more (recommended by Daniels in his book)

I think that the aerobic training is starting to make his effect. I did not make any interval or speed tranining in the past 6 weeks but I was still able to improve 20sec from my last 10k.
I start to believe that aerobic pace training can really bring substantial benefits also at higher speed.
Probably it brings your aerobic power at a higher level, so that a 10k pace is no more "very far" from the EZ.
Infact after the race I felt quite muscular pain because I was completelty out of training at moving the legs with such stride and speed, but the heart was actually not even close to the maximum sustainable effort for a 10k

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