Friday, 10 April 2009

A quick one in the desert.

I said yesterday that I was looking for an average pace of at least 00:09:00 per mile on today's 7 mile midday run. With that in mind, I threw caution to the wind and set off at a quick pace in scorching conditions. Thankfully, there was no sign of the easterly wind that slowed me down on the return leg yesterday but it did seem quite a bit hotter. I managed to keep the pace between 00:08:20 and 00:08:32 for the first couple of miles. It seemed to get hotter during the next 3 miles and I took my foot off the pedal slightly, aiming for desired 00:09:00 per mile.

I only needed a few sips of water throughout the whole run such was the quality of preparation in the morning. The rest of the water went down my front and back in an attempt to cool myself down. I'd probably left it a bit to late, but by the end of mile 5, I was thinking that a sub 1 hour run was possible. To try and achieve that I decided just to go for it and from the heart rate stats below you can probably tell how much effort I was putting in. For instance, 162 bpm has been my recent heart rate when I reach the top of the steps in King Edwards Bay. I managed to increase the work rate even further during mile 7. Putting the empty bottle of water in my pocket helped my technique and I was able to get a good stride and rhythm to my running. I reached the hotel after 01:01:10 which is an average of 00:08:44 per mile. I finished well within the target I'd set beforehand and given the hot conditions out there I was very very pleased indeed. 2 years ago, in the build up to the run from John O'Groats to Lands End I was running nowhere near these times in much easier conditions in the UK. It's a pity I've only got 1 run left as I think I could have a really good go at improving my time and range in this heat. Hopefully, we'll have a good Summer in the UK and I'll be able to resume this little challenge. Anyway, the stats from today were as follows:

Mile 1 - 00:08:20 (Heart rate - 147 bpm)
Mile 2 - 00:08:32 (Heart rate - 160 bpm)
Mile 3 - 00:09:00 (Heart rate - 157 bpm)
Mile 4 - 00:09:19 (Heart rate - 156 bpm)
Mile 5 - 00:09:03 (Heart rate - 159 bpm)
Mile 6 - 00:08:38 (Heart rate - 162 bpm)
Mile 7 - 00:08:17 (Heart rate - 168 bpm)
TOTAL - 01:01:10

That's 38.5 miles done in the last 6 days leaving tomorrow's potentially tricky 11.5 mile run to get through. I'll be ever so pleased if I reach the target of 50 miles. Tomorrow is not going to be easy by any means. The weather does not look good for running with a high of 29 degrees forecast. Just getting round in 1 piece will be an achievement for me. A sensible pace will be the order of the day. I must admit, though, that I will have my mind on beating my previous time for this run which was 01:55:25. It would be nice to finish another week in some style. At least I seem to have stopped getting that awful ache in my quadricep muscles. The secret there is to have a nice dip in the pool right after I finish running. I could get used to that!