p pol The Adventures of Carboman: The Hunt

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Hunt

It's a normal part of marathon training to run a series of tune up races, usually a 15K and/or a 10-miler in the weeks leading to race day. For the coming PBM, I've slotted the May 20th NB15K as the one and only tune up race. Coupled with a series of key runs I've penned down, they should be able to provide me important data on my physical and mental readiness. However, I'm a believer who employs some training workouts to practice race strategies. Not only are workouts meant to stress the body, but the mind too can be put to work. One such workouts happened yesterday.

If you do your training in parks or a looped route, you sometimes come across people who will run very fast and then stop. These fellas will overtake you and then stop some yards in front. You have two choices, both of which I use all the time. 90% of the time, I'll just let them go off - hey, they're not training for the marathon! I'm disciplined enough to maintain my pace, besides this is not a race. 5% of the time, if they're still around and running, I'll try to sustain pace and not allow myself to drop back further. Usually I stay about 200m behind them and practice pace discipline.

It all started when I saw 2 guys in trackpants around the turn of the KLCC track leading to the bridge. They were about 50m in front but after that they took off and were about 200m ahead of me. After a lap, one of them were still there (I'd dropped 1 when he slowed to a walk, let's call this fella Tiger Paw after the asics racing shoe he was wearing) and thus began my tracking of the gazelle. Except that I wasn't the cheetah, coz the cheetah's attack range (more like a Sidewinder missile) is too short and I'm a marathoner (think the Maverick missile). After a good half lap, I'd close him down to 50m and while I was fully aerobic and into my 5th lap, he stopped to join his friends by the wayside. At this point, I approached Tiger Paw from the rear who stopped earlier but now going at a brisk pace. Whether meant to ask him to challenge me or not, his other friends were egging him on. I'd to make a decision quickly as he was just 2 steps ahead of me.

Strategizing during the run can be fun and feels very empowering - as if you have power and speed on tap and are capable of dictating and responding to change in pace, so I opted to test the situation. I drew level with him and see how he responded. He upped the pace a tad. I stayed level. I went half a stride in front of him and he picked up his pace too. I was still comfortable. I didn't hear Tiger Paw panting, so I knew I had a hard run ahead. That was my last lap of my targeted 6 but maintaining small strides but increasing the turnover rate, I was confident over all the climbs - not only did I crest all the climbs comfortably, I purposely increased pace to drop him. In a race, I don't overtake a person unless I'm sure I drop him for good. So at the KL Convention Centre climb, I made a steady surge to drop Tiger Paw. He responded but was still a few strides in my wake. At the sharp left turn on top of the straight, I made a harder surge and held the effort. He couldn't respond. The gazelle was dead meat. To make sure he didn't catch me, I increased my strides and ran the downhill hard and held the effort until the finish in front of the mosque. I continued with a short slow jog and saw that Tiger Paw just finished and looked winded. I reckoned that he was about 50m or so behind me.

My final laptime? 6:06 (road pace 4:40)! My 7.8K average pace was 5:38, of which only the final lap was hard. The earlier ones were very comfortable.



  • Congrats! All your hard investments on speed and hill works are paying back handsome dividends now even at this early stage of your marathon buildup.Its a good sign.Wow! and to run the last lap at 4:40 pace is really something...hmmm....a sub4 marathon deer may be your spoil real soon.
    Happy hunting!

    By Blogger CP Waterman, at 12:41 PM  

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