So yesterday I ran my first trail race of the season in the picturesque grounds of Harewood House…eventually.
After being picked up on time we were sound mired in a mix of poor SatNav directions, poor SatNav reading (due to my travel sickness) and heavy traffic. As a result we parked up at 09:55 with the race due to start at 10:00! We quickly shoved or trail shoes on and tried to pin out race numbers on, without stabbing ourselves in our rush and ran to find my brothers (and a loo!). Fortunately for us the race start had been delayed and the mass warm-up was still going on. At the race start we were a bit slow getting lined up which meant we were fairly far back in a field including “joggers and walkers. I never enter a race to “jog” round, I am there to run, however slow I might be! So from the start we had a lot of work to do just to get into our running stride, in fact I think it took me until the 5th kilometre to find a bit of space on the fairly narrow, slippy, muddy footpaths.
Once I got into my stride, I loved the race. I recently attended a Kinetic Revolution course on running analysis and gait re-education and used this run to put some of what I’d learnt into practice. So below I have written a few personal lessons that I picked up from yesterdays race and the course.
- Be prepared – so obvious I know, but the race number should have been on before leaving the house, the SatNav set up and at least we should have looked at a map!
- Don’t eat so much for breakfast – I had porridge and a fruit smoothie, one or the other would have done. I often run 10K first thing on a morning without anything to eat, I get round fine and have breakfast when I get back. Yesterday combined with the travel sickness, I felt heavy and a bit sluggish before the race.
- Better a bit early than late – We even discussed in the car that if we had missed the start we would just run the course anyway.
- Push for position at the start of the race – Not one person overtook me yesterday, which shows how far back I must have been! A better start position would have enabled me to get into my running quicker, without all the sidestepping and getting stuck behind slower runners, which would have resulted in a faster time.
- Use the downhills – its a knack that I constantly work at. Find a bit of space and let yourself go, use a higher cadence, arms for balance and enjoy the free speed!
- On the uphills use your bum – Thats what its there for! Use your buttock muscles to push you up the hill.
- Unleash your “free speed” – I have nicked this saying off James Dunne from Kinetic Revolution. What I mean is use mental and verbal cues to help maintain your technique over a longer period and run faster. For me yesterday it was trying to run at a higher cadence, using my flutes and when I was tired I used my arms backswing to keep my legs going.
So how did I do? I finished in a time of 00:49:14, with previous 10k results being around the 00:48:50 mark and all on road. So very pleased really, but left wondering what I might have achieved had I prepared better, certainly I would like to think that it would have been a good P.B.