Posted on March 3, 2012 with tags running.
Today I went to the Laufsporttag Winthertur, another 11km run. Overall it was a smaller event (about a third of participants) than the Bremgarter Reusslauf; the organisation was OK, but you could see that it was smaller-scale.
The big difference was that this was definitely not a flat course; the official course lists 150m gain in altitude, my Garmin recorded 220m (given that it has a barometric altimeter, and that the course was hard, I tend^Wwant to believe the latter).
The course starts with 50m of flat, and then up and up until you’re in the woods, at which point it’s a one third flat, one third down, one third up course; by the 8th km or so, you start the final descent (back to the starting point), and you simply go down and down for a long while, until the final (about 800m) flat distance. You can see a nice graph of the elevation profile here.
I thought that since I’m not used to hills, I will simply go slower, and finish about 10 minutes later. However, I definitely underestimated the “competition effect”, and how much one can get into the spirit of the race ☺. The end effect was that by the official timer, I finished about 1m30s faster than the previous race. I was so glad that the race was over that I forgot to press ‘stop’ on my Garmin ☺; also, it recorded only 10.51km (with the missing 500 meters all occurring in the last 2 km, I wonder what’s up with these inconsistent numbers?). The final descent was so long that I managed to do kilometres 9 and 10 (according to the Garmin) at 4:34 each, which is something I definitely can’t sustain (for 2km) on flat land. Speaking of the group run, it was nice that from about the 6th km until the end I have run in the same mini-group with two other people; it was helpful to have someone to follow/help you keep the pace (even though I finished last of this mini-group, ha!).
This time I also had the heartbeat sensor, and I found out that I averaged about ~13 more bpm than in my training (flat) runs. So that’s what running alongside other people does: it makes you push yourself (much) harder. On the cadence part, I was again averaging ~82 (times two), and for the last ~5 minutes I was running constantly at 83. Did I mention I like stats? ☺
One thing that surprised me on this hilly race was that most people kept about the same speed on downhill as on the flat parts; I wonder why, for me it seemed easy to go much faster (within the same heart rate). It is harder on the knees, so you have to be careful on how you set the foot down, but not that much that I would keep the same speed. Hmm…
And speaking of hilly races: one of the brochures I saw at the race was about this race: Glacier 3000 run, a 26km run with a “nice” 1,900 meters of gained altitude (starts at 1,050m and finishes at 2,950m). Basically, up, up and more up. Nice, but one would have to be quite crazy…
That’s all, thanks for reading!