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Concord parkrun #312

Not content with becoming the clubs track and field secretary, I’ve also gone and set up a parkrun competition and obviously I’ve got to lead by example and do it, however the parkruns I’ve picked are not ones I would personally do but are the most popular ones with club members. Basically over the year I’ve got to do Barnsley, Concord, Hillsborough, Nostell and Rother Valley at least once to qualify. Entrants also get to play a wildcard, I used mine from Dewsbury as only way I could score more points is getting a course record.

So with that I decided to go and have a crack at Concord, to be honest I shouldn’t have raced again after doing both a half marathon and a 3000m race already. It’s a rule I’ve not broken for a while but with the Northern XC taking place that day, I felt it was a good opportunity to grab a podium and more points. Problem was I felt fatigued before I even did my warm up, not a good sign! Then I got there early and bumped into club mate Sam who was also racing the following day (she happened to win and also clocked 80+ miles). So Sam showed me the route and it has a short flat section then about a 500m descent that you really need to attack before you start to go back up the park, you have a very narrow gate to run through then another at the other end of bottom car park, or a log too hurdle. Running slow you think it’s easy but trust me running sub 6 pace it’s not!

I felt the hill wasn’t that hard at first but come end it hurt. After the longer then planned warm up I bumped into Joe in the sports centre so knew straight away I had no chance of a 1st finisher, he is about 4 mins quicker then me at 10k. After chatting to Mark on the start line, I spoke to Joe to gauge his plans and he explained he wanted the course record. Shit I thought, so my plans switched to making sure I bagged 2nd place. After a delayed start, it was go time, I managed to stay with Joe for first 200m then he just stepped up a gear and soon opened up a lead and I found myself on my own. I knew I was racing tired as I found the downhill harder then it should be, as I hit the bottom watch buzzed for a 3:14 KM split, I wanted it to be about 10s quicker but I was running on empty.

The route took me to the two gates, I lost time going through first one and then hurdled the log before drag back up the park. I will hold my hand up and say I was crap going back up, I just struggled. Maybe it was a case of too much racing, tired legs and fact it was fecking cold. Whatever it was I just could not get the oxygen into the lungs and power into the legs as hit the 2nd KM in 3:51 I knew it would become a mental battle for the rest of the race. The route continued to snake back up and I ran through the finish line, with Joe just a speck in the distance. I mumbled something to Sarah as I passed her and like always she gave me words of encouragement, bless her stood in the cold just for me. I then began my second lap and I really needed to attack the downhill and struggled to get it down to my 5k flat pace and the 3rd KM split was 3:46, bare in mind I ran 9:58.1 for 3k Wednesday night, shows how off I was. I managed to blag a better 4KM which was back down and round the bottom of the park in 3:37 but my legs were dead and just about managed to scrape my ass over the log again.

The last climb seemed to drag on and on and pace seriously dropped and at some points was over 7:30 pace WTF!!! I checked watch and knew I had to really dig deep if I was to do a sub 18. I gave it everything I had left, which in all honesty wasn’t much and came over the line in 17:58! I got 2nd overall and 1st V35 but wasn’t happy with my performance and sulked all weekend. However it’s what I should have suspected after a 70 mile week including a half marathon and 3000m race. The racing tank was empty. Joe ran a course record 16:09. I’d be happy with a 16:59 but shows that I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of where I am and where I want to be. However based on the course profile using GAP (Grade Adjusted Pace estimates an equivalent pace when running on flat land, allowing the runner to compare hilly and flat runs more easily. Because running uphill requires extra effort, the Grade Adjusted Pace will be faster than the actual pace run. When running downhill, the Grade Adjusted Pace will be slower than the actual pace.

The adjustment generally becomes larger as the grade steepens, although research has shown that the downhill adjustment peaks around -20%, after which it becomes slightly less extreme. Grade Adjusted Pace does not account for terrain differences or the technical difficulty of running downhill. The calculation of Grade Adjusted Pace is inspired by work done by C.T.M Davies and Alberto Minetti studying the effects of grade on the energy cost of running.) I would have run a 17:15 on a flat course which is only 3s off my actual PB, so maybe I wasn’t as shit as I thought!

With the parkrun, only way I can score more points now is by going back and getting a course PB to give me a bonus 3 points, or winning it for the extra point for the win. I don’t have another parkrun now till late Feb, time enough to recharge my batteries. January though raced 5 times, PB’d at 4, finished on podium 4 times and won one.

  • 2nd in 17:58

Kit used in race

  • Adidas parkrun tee
  • Adidas 7 inch parkrun shorts
  • Adidas Adizero Adios 3
  • Adidas running light no-show socks
  • Adidas Sweat Band
  • Garmin 220

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