Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2011 Dublin Marathon

My first road Marathon didn't go well as I had planned.
After weeks of a good monitored training and race pace trials, the plan was to do the Marathon just under 3 hours. But I only managed to finish it in 3h 26min.

I started off felling very strong and relied too much on that, which was the big mistake. The HR graph is very clear and I can see where I went too fast and why I "hit the wall"

For the first 30min into the race, my HR monitor was showing that I was at 95% of my HR max, but it didn't feel like it. I thought it could be a malfunction with the HR monitor or, perhaps, the HR belt battery was going flat. I decided to slow down to try to get my HR down to 80% to 85%, which was my race pace plan initialy, but the watch was now showing that I was at 90% of my HR max and it definitely didn't feel like it. I decided to ignore the HR monitor and stick to how I was feeling.

I crossed the half mark (21k) in 1h 34min. According to that I was only 4min behind to my initial plan and I was feeling in a good shape still. I was in between the 3h and 3h 15min pacers. The strategy of ignoring the HR monitor was working so far.

I crossed the 20mile (33k) mark in 2h 28min, still a decent time but if you do the maths you will see that it would be a very tight 9k in order to finish the race in 3h. That was it, I was starting to "hit the wall" and I didn't know. After that I started to feel my legs a little heavier and couldn't keep the same pace from there on. I checked my HR monitor and it was showing that I was at 70% now. I was paying the price as the 3h 15min pacer, my runner friend Tony Brennan, passed by me.

From there on it was a struggle. My calves and hamstrings were very tight.
I crossed the finish line in 3h 26min, feeling a little disappointed for knowing that I could had done it under 3 hours. Lesson learnt.

If you are used to rely on a HR monitor during your training, do the very same during the races.

Keep moving, make it happen!!!

Minha primeira Maratona de estrada não foi bem como eu havia planejado.

Depois de semanas de bom treino monitorado e simulações em ritmo de corrida, o plano era completar a Maratona em 3 horas. Mas só consegui terminá-la em 3h 26min.

Comecei me sentindo muito bem e confiei demais nisso, o que foi o grande erro. Estava claro no monitor cardíaco que eu estava indo muito rápido.

Durante os primeiros 30min de corrida, o meu monitor cardíaco mostrava que eu estava em 95% do meu máximo, mas eu não me senti dessa forma. Pensei que poderia ser mal contato do monitor ou, talvez, a bateira estava ficando fraca. Resolvi diminuir o ritmo e tentar manter os batimentos dentro de 80% a 85% do máximo, o qual era o plano inicial, mas o relógio continuava mostrando que eu estava em 90% mas eu definitivamente não me sentia naquele ritmo. Decidi ignorar o monitor cardíaco e manter o ritmo de acordo como eu estava me sentindo.
Completei a metade (21k) em 1h 34min. Somente 4min de atrás do meu plano inicial e eu continuava me sentindo em boa forma. Eu estava entre os pacers de 3h e 3h 15min. A estratégia de ignorar o monitor cardíaco estava funcionando.

Completei as 20 milhas (33k) marca em 2h 28min, ainda um tempo decente, mas se você fizer as contas verá que os próximos 9k seriam bem difícies, a fim de terminar a corrida em 3h. Era isso, eu estava começando a pagar o preço por ter começado muito rápido, e eu não sabia. Após disso eu comecei a sentir minhas pernas um pouco mais pesadas e apartir de entao não consegui manter o mesmo ritmo. Olhei o monitor cardíaco o qual indicava que agora eu estava em 70% do meu máximo, um ritmo muito lento comparando com a forma como eu comecei. Eu sabia que eu estava pagando o preço quando e meu
amigo corredor Tony Brennan, o qual corria com o balão para completar a corrida em 3h 15min passou por mim.
A partir daí foi uma luta. Comecei a sentir caimbra nas panturrilhas e nas coxas.

Eu cruzei a linha de chegada em 3h 26min, sentindo um pouco decepcionado por saber que eu poderia ter completado em menos de 3 horas. Lição aprendida.

Se você está acostumado com um monitor cardíaco durante a seu treino, faça o mesmo muito durante as corridas.

Faça acontecer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Runways Phoenix Park Duathlon Series - better later than never!!!

I've finally found some spare time to update this blog with my Runways Phoenix Park Duathlon Series results and experience, after nearly three months after getting married, moving to a new city and starting a new job,

It was my first duathlon competition and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. Fast and short. A completely different race than what I was used to. It helped me to improve my running and reconsider my training somehow. Also, a great atmosphere, lots of people watching and cheering us on.

I was 17th in the overall standings, out of an average of 250 competitors, but unfortunately I wasn't able to take part in the last stage in August, as I had just started at the new job.

I'm very happy with my results of each stage and the overall standings, considering that it was my first duathlon.

My results in each stage are as follows:
15th, 41min 49sec, July 2011;
14th,  41min 46sec, June 2011;
19th, 41min 23sec, May 2011;

I will definitely do it again next year, although more prepared for the short and fast circuit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

W.A.R. - Wicklow Adventure Race - 16.04.11

One of the biggest adventure races in Ireland, approx 511 participants finished the WAR this year.

My initial plan was to finish it an hour to an hour and a half faster than my time last year, which was 5hrs 08min. I managed to finish 12th in a time of 4hrs 11min, fifty sevens minutes faster than last year, and only 24min behind the winner Noelie Kavanagh.

The weather was perfect for those who were racing, not too warm, not too cold.

This year I used my own boat, rather than a sit-on-top ones provided by the organisers. The boat helped a lot, giving me an advantage of approx 4min at Lough Dan. A big thanks to the Great Outdoors who provided the boat and made it possible.

Also, the new Skins TRI400 Tri Suit I´ve got from Skins is a superb garment! Very comfortable whilist running and cycling, means no chafing at all and the lightweight chamois provides maximum protection with a slim profile. The dynamic gradient compression does it´s job reducing lactic acid build-up during the races and gives you a speedy recovery when it's all over. By far one of my favorite piece of kit.

It seems that everyone´s times seemed to be a bit slower in comparisson to last year´s ones, when you compare the results. I presume it happened as a result of the last 3.5k trail run added to the end of the race. It was pretty tough.

Gear I used: Columbia Ravenous, Skins TRI400 Tri Suit, Salomon EXO compression calf, Suunto T6d
Fuel: PowerBar gels and Zero electrolyte tablets

See here my Suunto T6d data of the race.

Keep moving!!!

W.W.U - Wicklow Way Ultra 50k - 26.03.11

Better late than never!!!
It´s been a while since the WWU, but here´s some photos and facts.

It was a 51k mountain run with 1940m of altitude gain. The race started at Johnny Foxes pub following the Wicklow Way to Ballinastoe and back to Johnny Foxes.

Approx 66 ultra-runners finished the WWU. I managed to finish it in 3rd place in my category (Men<40) in a time of 4hrs 51min 22sec. I came 10th in the overall results.

Gear I wore: Columbia Ravenous, Salomon compression EXO Calf, Salomon Tech Tee, Suunto T6.
During the race: I had about 6-8 Power Bar gels and about 1,5L of Nuun electrolyte hydration drink.
Post race: Power Bar Recovery drink

Here´s my Suunto data of the race

IMRA website

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Columbia Lobex Lumbar pack test

A couple of months ago I had a chance to put my hands on the new Columbia Lobex Lumbar pack to test it. I have to say I was very impressed.

Columbia Lobex Lumbar Pack
Very lightweight and comfortable, especially for not having shoulder straps. The Exo-Flex outer frame plus adjustable side straps give the bag an upright position and very snug fit. It´s doesn´t move around at all during the runs yet it´s so light that you don´t really notice it hasn´t got shoulder straps.

In the front of the pack, a shallow pocket outside fits a GPS pod, car keys yet a small mobile phone if needed.

The full clamshell opening (the same system used in the Mobex) has proven to be a great design, especially to reach it´s interior when you really need to quickly. Inside, the small cargo area easily accommodates a 1L water bladder (in a separate pouch), a lighweight set of waterproofs, first aid kit, gloves, hat and a headtorch. Perfect for long runs and races where you must carry a minimalist mandatory kit.

Columbia Lobex Lumbar Pack

On the hip belt, the zip pocket and the elastic pocket are a perfect size to fit six to eight energy gels plus a couple of performance bars. A clip for a hoser it´s strategically placed, very easy to manage on the move.
A sort of bottle cage, similar to the one on the Mobex, would be handy for those (like me) who prefer a bottle over a hydration system for specific races, once it would be easier and faster to refill/replace a water bottle.

Perfect for fast and endurance persuits where weight is an issue and you still would need to carry some gear.

Visit Columbia´s website to find out more about it and other gear.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Donadea 50K

This was an inaugural Donadea 50k race, which is the latest addition to the Irish ultra calendar, approved by UltraRunning Ireland to receive an IAU label.

With only 23 competitors running on invite, among us were members from the National Irish Team, Keith Whyte and John O´Regan, and others talented runners from Le Chéile AC and Boards AC.

The race took place in Donadea Forest Park, Donadea, Co Kildare, and the circuit was a 5k loop, with approx 18m of ascent and descent per lap. With dry weather conditions the circuit was mostly dry, with just few muddy spots along it.

My plan was to run it at an avg of 80% of my heart-rate limit, no matter what pace it would be, and try to finish it in 4hr30min. I had two reasons for that: First, it was my first 50k race and I wanted to run it comfortably; Second, I have the Wicklow Way Ultra as my goal race.

I started at 90%, as I knew it would take a while (usually 10k to 15k) for my HR to settle. After 15k my HR was still high, and I was doing a 23´30´´ avg per lap, which means avg pace of 4´45´´/km, more or less. As my HR didn´t settle, I decided to keep going at that pace for as far as I could and see what happens. I comfortably kept that pace for 25k, when I started to feel some kind of discomfort and slowed down to 28´ avg per lap (5´45´´/km avg pace) which I kept for another 15k. With 40k covered at that stage I started to feel my hamstrings a little stiff, taking that in consideration I decided to save everything I had and finish the race in one piece :) doing the last 10k at a 6´31´´/km avg pace.

Yes, it didn´t go according to plan and I should have kept a consistent pace, but even still I managed to finish  in 4hr26min (5´13´´/km avg pace according to my Suunto T6) and went through the Marathon split in approx 3hr33min.

Keith Whyte, who will make his debut for Ireland at the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km on 27th March, used the race as a warm up for the home nations event and won comfortably in a time of 3hrs26:27, followed by Joe Cawley 3hrs29:03 and Jim McCormick and John O´Regan finishing 3rd in 3hr41:32.