Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farmdale vs McNaughton Races

I used both the Farmdale 32-mile and McNaughton Park 30-mile races as good long training runs. My intention for both runs was to take it easy for the first 20+ miles and then kick it up a notch in the last 8-10 miles. For the first time in any race, I used my heart rate monitor to keep me under control and track both speed and effort. I plan to do this more often in training and racing through this fall and winter. Both races had about the same weather--cool and partly sunny--with courses that were slightly wet & muddy. Click here for a picture of me crossing the first small creek at McNaughton yesterday--even though it wasn't super muddy, you did have wet feet for the whole 30 miles! Here are my time splits and corresponding average heart rates for the two races:

Farmdale 32-Mile Trail Run (4 x 8-mile loops)
October 17, 2009
Loop 1: 1:45, HR=126
Loop 2: 1:51, HR=130
Loop 3: 1:40, HR=140
Loop 4: 1:32, HR=150
Full race: 6:48, HR=136

McNotAgain 30-Mile Trail Run (3 x 10-mile loops)
October 31, 2009
Loop 1: 2:08, HR=129
Loop 2: 2:12, HR=134
Loop 3: 2:02, HR=146
Full race: 6:22, Average HR=137

One anomaly is the second loop time for each race. I believe the second loops were actually run in about the same time as the first loops, but I spent extra time in the start/finish area aid station and swapping clothes that added minutes to the second loop slit. Otherwise, each race saw a fairly steady increase in heart rate with a slight increase in pace (negative split for each race). I felt good during and after each race. I was probably not well-rested for McNaughton Park (2 weeks after Farmdale), but still did OK. I'm curious how the HR monitor might be used to help me race a trail ultra. It was easy to hold back in these two events since I treated them as "just long runs." Not sure I could do the same if I was really racing and trying for a fast finish time. I'm pleased with my relatively low average heart rate for each race (136 & 137). With fatigue and dehydration your heart rate tends to climb. I still managed to keep mine under control while speeding up just a bit. Time to continue my base-level Lydiard training program. Lots of aerobic runs. Lots of long runs. Not much speed work...except for the 5K and 8K races I have in the next month!

More McNotAgain race pictures courtesy of Greg and Mike.

UPDATE: The Clinton Lake 30-Mile Trail Run now has 119 runners. It will close at 125. My guess is we'll reach that point this week.

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