Sub 1:30 Half Marathon 2021 Edition (Read 370 times)

watsonc123


    Wellington Urban Ultra WUU2k
    "43km"
    21.5km with 1100m elevation official. Elevation was 1000 to 1400m depending on GPS.


    2:33:51 Net
    2:33:57 Gun
    112th out of 357


    Saucony Mad River trail shoes

     

    https://www.strava.com/activities/5639179258

     

    https://photos4.sale/image/10448515

     

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/378203819639142/ (videos and photos of the event, it's worth checking out the river crossing)

     

    The WUU2k has three races being a 62km with 3km elevation, a 43km with 2km elevation, and a (first year) 21km with 1.1km elevation.

    Last year was cancelled due to Covid-19, so it was two years since the last event.

     

    I was down for the 43km race.

     

    My build up had been ok. Not having run much from late October to March due to injury meant I had three months of moderately good training. Quite a few weeks at around 70km / 45 miles with around 1km / 0.6 miles elevation.

     

    I had my biggest training run one week out. Now this wasn't ideal, I think, as I still hadn't fully recovered from that week. But in saying that given my build up I couldn't really justify more than a one week taper.

     

    Due to forecast bad weather, on Thursday (race was Saturday) the race director stated that due to the weather he might have to go the plan B, which would have dropped 4km off my distance.

     

    Wellington bad weather is pretty much northerly gales with strong rain. Not cyclone/hurricane bad, but still pretty bad.

     

    And on Friday afternoon, the two longer races were cancelled, and everyone was running the 21km. But with different start times for the "62", "43" and 21.

     

    The race start for the 21 is a different location to the other races, being on Owhiro Bay which is an exposed area on the south coast of Wellington.

     

    I got there around 45 minutes before the start. There was a small shelter where everyone was. I talked to Sam who I used to work with. I knew a couple of club-mates in the "43" but I did not see them.

     

    I then took a gel and did some quick dynamic warm up drills.

     

    Then about 15 minutes before the start, the race director gave instructions. This included telling people to cross the river cross in pairs for support, which certainly was not something I'd heard before.

     

    Runners were meant to keep their bib visible all the time, although some did not. I made sure I followed the rules, so for my first race ever I had put the bib on my shorts.

     

    I was wearing my jacket. And the running pack which had water, emergency blanket, first aid and thermals.

     

    We ended up starting the race about 4 minutes early.

     

    A minute in, I realized I hadn't taken my caffiene pills, they were in my jacket pocket so I ended up taking them then.

     

    The first 4km are on the beach, which is mainly rocks with a few sandy parts.

     

    It's wet. At just after 3km we go across the river, which is quite wide as it enters the beach.

     

    We run up to the turn around of Devils Gate which is large rock wall, touch and turn back. This flat part was around 4:45 to 5:00 per km pace.

     

    I then run back and turn inland, and I get to the second river crossing. This river was quite strong as per the photos, I end grabbing the hand of the guy as we cross, this was pretty hard as the water visibility was very low as I tripped on a small boulder and almost went in.

     

    In the river was a marshall who was helping people across.

     

    I go through.

     

    I find out later that very soon after, it's decided that the river is too deep and that half of my wave/race ends up running back on the beach to the road, which bypasses the steepest hills and for those runners ends up as the 'D' course. And the 21 race which started first 30 minutes later, also did the alternate course.

     

    On this 5th km, I cross the river two more times, although the river is wider at those points and is relatively easy to cross. This is also the start of the first hill.

     

    The 6th km is steep, at 183 metres elevation. It's also very windy on the hill which makes it harder and the rain is at times near side on. During this period I take my second gel.

     

    At times during the race I kept my jacket hood on, but needed to hold it one with one hand - you'll see this in the photos.

     

    Pretty much everyone around me is walking this, which I also walk. I do this km in 11:42 which is ok.  Just after this I see the one injury of the race, that I know about. The guy is sitting  down with his emergency blanket on and a couple of people around him, looking on Facebook later it looks like he fell and broke his arm. Possibly he got blown over by a big gust of wind, as the wind was strong.

     

    I should mention that given the conditions my aim was simply to complete it. Although, I would quite like 2:30 for the race.

     

    The next 1.4km is net up hill with a few downhills.

     

    Then downhill, and another steep uphill, but not as long as the previous one.

     

    It's then downhill for a while, with the 11km, net loss of 181 metres. Looking at the splits afterwards I was fairly slow downhill as this was my slowest section relative to other competitors.

     

    I then get to the road crossing. This crossing had marshals with stop/go signs to stop/go the traffic. I timed it quite well as I only had to wait a few seconds to cross. There were a few people who had gone past me on the downhill who ended up going across at the same time as me, so my downhill slowness may not have mattered!

     

    I cross the road and head left on the footpath for a few minutes and we then turn right onto another trail.

     

    The next 1.5km was moderately steep, but very runable. The main challenges were that I had caught some of the slower "62" runners, and the trail was very narrow so the water funneled down it, so it was pretty much running up a very shallow stream. And being narrow trail meant there were times I'd need to wait to pass people.

     

    There was one woman who I been just ahead or behind the entire race, during this period I ended up just slotting behind her.

     

    Then it was two km downhill, which was very, very muddy. I semi-slipped once, but was ok. Again the trail was narrow and there were times I couldn't pass. The elevation was about 80m/km drop so normally pretty quick, but due to the course I was going about 6:30/km pace.

     

    I then run through a very wet and puddly part of the golf course, and hit another road crossing. This time there was no stop/go, it was just cross if safe.

     

    Then another road crossing and another short hill in Mt Albert.

     

    At about 18km I take my third gel. I realize it's close to the end, but I definitely think the taste of carbs did provide a pick up.

     

    The next few kms were a combination of short path, footpath and steps. It was pretty confusing at times, so I suspect this is where Piwi's Strava friend got lost.

     

    Then it's a moderate climb to Mt Vic. During this period a few people went past me quite quick, they must have been the "21" race going the easiest course as they would have been much fresher.

     

    I'm pretty tired, but ok. I'm definitely overtaking more people than the other way around, looking at the results later (they have results for the 21km course I did, and separate for the easier 21km course) that was the case.

     

    I overtake the guy I talked to at the start somewhere near the end, although I don't realize it to after.

     

    I'm pretty glad to get to the finish, and it's a few hundred metres earlier than expected (based off what a marshal told me around the 20.2km mark).

     

    Key take homes from the race:
    - Although I'm not sure about the hard run 7 days out, I don't think it effected me too much.
    - Looking at my race time versus training times on very hilly terrain, I was quicker in the race by a considerable amount.
    - If I'd done the 43km in good conditions, I suspect the last 10km or so would have been a big struggle.
    - My preparation from April to the race was pretty good. I really wasn't in good enough shape to benefit from much more volume.
    - I'm most likely going to register for next years 43km, which hopefully will be on.
    - The Saucony Mad River did surprisingly well in the wet and the grip was good. They are a trail shoe, but the lugs are quite moderate so I wasn't sure they'd be enough, but they were.

    - The race director and marshal's did a very good job given the conditions.

    - The winning time was 1:47 which was incredibly good.

    PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)

     

    40+ PRs: 5km 19:31 (Oct 2020), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)

      Watson Nice Race sucks that the conditions were so bad, I looked at the photos of the river crossings that looked tough I can't imagine trying to "run" in those condition I don't like it if it is sprinkling outside.  nice Race Report too!

      PR's

      1m  5:38 (2018)

      5k    19:59 (2019)

      HM  1:33:56 (2018)

      FM  3:23:07 (2018)

        Nice week by all

         

        I'm a little late in posting this week I've been tired and busy we ending up leaving on Thursday morning and arrived late Thursday evening which made for a lot of driving for a short visit left about noon on Sunday and got home late Sunday night just in time to go to bed and be back at work Monday morning.  I've been exhausted all week thus far and am struggling this morning again.

         

        I actually managed to get a couple of runs in while on vacation nothing of any distance but in the end I got out and was able to run more than I expected..

        Tried to get in a couple of track workouts in just trying to get the legs moving. so very short distance 400 and 200 and not many reps.

        I'm still trying to find my motivation and don't expect my mileage to be very high as I add in more focused speed work.

        Taget will be between 25-30 mpw for the next month or so

        I need to go ahead and register for this 1 mile race I think that will give me the motivational boost I need.

        Anyone ever use or have any experience with a Tens unit?

        Tens Unit

         

        Weekly for period: From: 07/12/2021 To 07/18/2021

        Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
        in ft
        07/12 Lunch Run warm up 0.50 0.81 00:04:19 08:38 05:20 0
        07/12 Lunch Run 4x400 reps "full recovery" between each 1.00 1.61 00:05:44 05:44 03:34 0
        07/13 Morning Run 7.15 11.51 01:05:10 09:07 05:40 161
        07/15 Evening walk with Becky 0.62 1.00 00:14:01 22:36 14:01 16
        07/16 2wu 5x200 2cd 5.47 8.79 00:47:15 08:38 05:23 26
        07/16 Morning Run extended cool down 1.01 1.62 00:08:53 08:48 05:29 0
        07/17 Afternoon Run 5.03 8.10 00:54:31 10:50 06:44 98
        07/18 Morning Run 3.05 4.91 00:26:41 08:45 05:26 0

        Total distance: 23.84mi

        PR's

        1m  5:38 (2018)

        5k    19:59 (2019)

        HM  1:33:56 (2018)

        FM  3:23:07 (2018)

        Running Problem


        Problem Child

          shoes are Vaporflys still the "go to" for cheating at the marathon? I thought people here said they were a bust. I'm pretty sure the ones I had from 2019 training are good for just local races at this point. I'm half tempted to try the Carobon X or some other shoes....partly due to cost.

          Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

          VDOT 51

          5k19:35 | Marathon 2:59:10

          flavio1980


          Intl. correspondent

            James - In that case I’d run 200s at that pace. I think those 400s are too fast for you.

             

            Darkwave - You are a beast! 190lbs on the barbell bridge, that’s insane! Also already squatting more than your body weight!

             

            Zeb - Look no further than Steve and myself. Uncoached we kept running ourselves to the ground.

            With a coach and suddenly we can have consistency. Trust the process!

            Re: the mile time trial, from what I can see you didn’t taper at all for it so it will be quite a bit slower, perhaps as much as 5%. On rested legs I’m pretty certain you can run 5:35 at the very least.

             

            Watson - thanks for the race report! Tough conditions but I hope you had fun.

             

            me - I need a new long run shoe. I'm stuck in Brazil at the moment where there's no Altra shoes. RunningWareHouse (US store) no longer delivers Altras do Brazil.

            So I'm going to check the local stores for the Hoka Bondi 7 today to see if I can fit my duck feet in it. Last I tried they weren't as narrow but not as wide as I'd like. Let's see what happens.

            PRs: 5K 17:56.7 (2021) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:21:59 (2021)

            Up next: 3 countries marathon - Oct 10th

            Tool to generate Strava weekly

            JamesD


            JamesD

              Flavio - Almost everyone I know who has visited or lived in Colombia, including DW when she visited for work, has liked it.  The only negative (for some people, anyway) is that it's fairly common for men to meet the woman of their dreams there, which their wives tend not to appreciate.

               

              As for shoes, if the Brazilian stores have Reebok Floatride Energy, you might want to try them on, as they've been great long run shoes for me.  They seem reasonably wide.

              Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)

              2021 Goals:  Stay healthy, 40+ mpw, Half<1:30; PR or 80% age-grade at some distance

                Watson thanks for the race report.

                 

                Corey thats a long drive. I've not heard of that tens unit.

                 

                RP Vaporflys still number 1. Don't fit everyone though. Adios Pro also good.

                Carbon X probably not. Watch some shoe reviews on YouTube. It soon becomes clear which plated shoes are good for marathons.

                 

                Flavio wow that's some adventure to get home.

                 

                James no wonder they used to win Miss World all the time 

                50+ PBs -  

                5k 18.21 Hagley Parkrun  July 21      82.27 % age grade

                10k TT 37.21 may 2nd 2021 strava run 82.51 % age grade

                Half marathon  1.23.30 may 21 80.11 % age grade

                " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                Somewhere in between is about right "      

                 

                watsonc123


                  For marathon, the shoes that most consistently get good reviews are:

                  Nike 4% (probably no longer made)

                  Nike Next %

                  NB RC Elite v2

                  Asics Metaspeed Sky

                   

                  The following seem to love it or hate it shoes:

                  Saucony Endorphin Pro

                  Nike Alpha Fly (edit - corrected this)

                  Adidas Adios Pro

                  PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)

                   

                  40+ PRs: 5km 19:31 (Oct 2020), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)

                  zebano


                    Watson, heck of a race. Those pictures are something.

                     

                    CFarr Getting anything done while on vacation is a win. Good work

                     

                    Flavio Thanks for the non-taper reassurances but IMO a bigger factor I've been trying not to whine about it but we didn't set a mile start time. Show up at 5, warmup then we'll race. Well it turns out they both do significantly shorter warmups than me and i actually like to then chill for about 5 minutes post warmup but at that point they were badgering me with "I have to get to x, y and z" and wanted to get going so we did. Post race we did a lake lap (3k) cooldown and my coach had told me to go 3 miles so they said they had to go so they peeled off at the parking lot, I ran another mile came back and left while they were still gabbing. . Anyways it's only a mile and as Mark said you gotta run harder than you expect the first time you run a mile. I'll probably solo TT one or have my coach pace me in the next couple of weeks.

                     

                    I hope your adventure home goes well, keep doing those split squats! and try to avoid the woman of your dreams (lol James). Can you get NB shoes? I've had good luck with some of them not because the forefoot is big enough but because the upper is stretchy and accommodating (Saucony falls into this camp too).

                    1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)

                    Marky_Mark_17


                      RP - the Next% is pretty much still top of the pile, people seem to be a little more mixed on the Alphafly.  Saucony have just released a new version of the Endorphin Pro so that may be worth a look too.  The Next% 2 is basically identical to the Next%, just with a slightly different upper.

                       

                      Watson - sucks to be that marshall standing in the river for the entire race.  Hope someone bought that person a drink or several after the race, that is next level.  Well done getting it done.  I quite like the Saucony trail shoes, I have the Switchback which is a pretty decent allrounder albeit the lugs are more minimal than the Mad River so they wouldn't be great on anything particularly technical.

                       

                      Corey - good job getting it done.  I've heard of Tens units but don't know anything about them sorry.

                       

                      Flavio - once again the international man of mystery of the thread.  We had a work team member rejoin us from India a few months ago.  He got out just before everyone closed the borders to India, but ended up spending 2 weeks in isolation in a hotel in Dubai, then 2 weeks in isolation in a hotel in NZ.

                      5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                      HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                      * Net downhill course

                      Last race: Meridian Hydro Half Marathon (trail), 7 Aug, 1:19:44 (2nd)

                      Up next: Auckland 10k Road Race Champs, 17 Oct (COVID-permitting)

                      "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                      zebano


                        Mark - how do you like the lacing on the Switchback?

                        1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)

                        Marky_Mark_17


                          Mark - how do you like the lacing on the Switchback?

                           

                          The Boa lacing is awesome.  Enables you to get a good fit and stays there through snow, mud, grass, all sorts.  I'd only ever seen it on snowboard boots before now and IMO it actually works better on trail shoes in some ways.

                          5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                          HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                          * Net downhill course

                          Last race: Meridian Hydro Half Marathon (trail), 7 Aug, 1:19:44 (2nd)

                          Up next: Auckland 10k Road Race Champs, 17 Oct (COVID-permitting)

                          "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                          flavio1980


                          Intl. correspondent

                            James - We’ve been to Colombia back in 2012 and we loved it. 

                            I’ve looked up that Reebok shoe but it looks very narrow. The Hoka Bondi is the wider of the Hoka shoes I could find yet it looks like a pencil next to my Altra Paradigms.

                             

                            Zeb - If your coach can pace you that would be awesome.

                            The mile requires quite a bit of physical strength so you need to taper both the running and the strength training.

                            At least 3 days of easy running with no strength training or just minor maintenance core work.

                            As for the pace, you’ve run 5:23 before so I guess go out in 5:30 pace and hang on for dear life.

                            Like you said, 3rd lap will be hell on earth.

                             

                            Mark - I’m surprised your colleague was able to get into New Zealand. I thought NZ was blocking everyone out even the Kiwis without residence.

                             

                            me - I went to the store and picked up a Hoka Bondi 7. It will have to work as I have no alternative.

                            Hopefully the difference in heel drop (4mm as opposed to the zero drop on the Altras) won't be much of a difference.

                            PRs: 5K 17:56.7 (2021) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:21:59 (2021)

                            Up next: 3 countries marathon - Oct 10th

                            Tool to generate Strava weekly

                            Marky_Mark_17


                              Mark - I’m surprised your colleague was able to get into New Zealand. I thought NZ was blocking everyone out even the Kiwis without residence.

                               

                               

                              Luckily for him (and us!) he does have NZ residency.  He is Indian originally, worked here for a number of years and got his permanent residency, then went back to India and worked there for a bit before returning here.

                              5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                              HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                              * Net downhill course

                              Last race: Meridian Hydro Half Marathon (trail), 7 Aug, 1:19:44 (2nd)

                              Up next: Auckland 10k Road Race Champs, 17 Oct (COVID-permitting)

                              "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                              Running Problem


                              Problem Child

                                flavio I’m interested to see some runs in Columbia. Take photos if you can. Hopefully the Hokas work out for you.

                                 

                                I figured the next% Nike shoes were the go to. Running warehouse had them listed as fifth or something like that on a list they made up. I figured the Adios might be worth a shot, but why change when it isn’t necessary? Just buy the most expensive shoe available. Maybe they have a limited edition color coming out soon for Boston that could cost an extra. $100 USD.

                                Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                                VDOT 51

                                5k19:35 | Marathon 2:59:10