Monday, April 10, 2017

Hapalua race report and schedule for week of Apr 10

Let's hear it for the slow runners. At yesterday's Hapalua Half Marathon I finished 6,124th out of 6,526 finishers, 138th out of 143 in my age group. The heat was a challenge. No wind to speak of. 79F at the start, 82F from mile 6 to 9, peaking at 93F up on Diamond Head. The leaders did not feel it as bad, as they were long since finished by the time I got up to KCC. I took a Hammer Endurolyte at almost every aid station, drank more than the usual amount of water and walked a little longer to let it settle. I felt as good as could be expected, with a bit of dizziness after finishing. Pattie was not so lucky, forced to abandon at KCC with dehydration and an unhappy stomach, puking the water she was taking in. Most likely due to insufficient salt intake. I saw quite a few people in similar condition, and worse. Fortunately we were both well enough later to enjoy dinner at Nico's Fish Market with a friend from California.

At the finish I was pleased that I had finished at all, given the problem my left leg had given me in the preceding weeks. It turned out to not be a problem at all. There was not much time to celebrate because I had to figure out how to reconnect with Pattie, being held prisoner at a medical tent. Eventually she escaped and walked over to our car, parked at KCC. How handy was that? It was not until later that afternoon that I took a look at my data and saw I had done rather well in meeting my plan.

For the Great Aloha Run last February I decided to try an experiment to see if I was holding back too much, by letting myself go and run at whatever pace felt good without worrying about heart rate. The experience proved that I need to hold back and monitor my pace and heart rate closely at the start to have any chance of finishing strong. That result along with some recent long training runs gave me less lofty looking goals. As much as we would like to run as fast as we want, we cannot resort to wishful thinking. Having goals is good, but struggling to try to achieve an unrealistic goal will only lead to a sense of failure.

Back in January when I was developing my schedule I made this plan for the Hapalua. Call this my crazy plan.

    Start to Monsarrat: 13:45
    Up Monsarrat 15:30
    Overall: 14:00

Time: 3:03:31

Last week when I wrote my race plan I came up with some more realistic numbers.

    Start to first aid station (2 mi) :17:30
    First aid station to Monsarrat:17:00
    Overall: 17:00
Time: 3:42:51

Here are my actual results (using NGP instead of average pace to smooth out some anomalies).
    Start to first aid station (2 mi): 17:06
    First aid station to Monsarrat: 16:36
Time: 3:54:03 (official, my Garmin time was 3:53:54)

The reason my plan paces are slower but my time estimate is faster is that I planned on less walking. I knew I would walk the aid stations, but the need to drink more water meant a little longer walk each time to settle my stomach. I thought I could run up Monsarrat, at least until the grade kicks up near the top. I did run well past Campbell, but my heart rate had been at threshold long enough that I was afraid I might never start running again if I kept going. Still, running that far up the hill in those conditions was a good effort.

Speaking of threshold, my race plan had me focus more on heart rate than pace, with a goal of staying between 130 and 140 BPS and in zone 2 as much as possible. Early on I decided that staying in zone 2 would mean walking, so I got to where I felt really comfortable and that turned out to be 144. Higher than I had hoped for, but still below threshold. For most of the race I only monitored HR, and the only time I allowed it to creep up past 145 was running up Monsarrat. That is why I was running all the way down Kalakaua to the finish. I even pushed a little at the end, just for fun.

For some reason I did not drink as much of my Perpetuem as planned. Maybe because I was more focused on taking in water, and did not want to over-fill my stomach. I did have a gel around mile 6, and I never felt bonky, so that seemed to work out well. Salt tablets were a critical factor.

You can see more here on Trainingpeaks.Normally I would end a race report here, but I feel like looking a bit deeper. If you are not a data freak you may want to stop here.

One of my goals these past couple years has been to use a faster cadence. I find two positions on this subject. One is, get above at least 80, and preferably 90. (160 and 180 if you count both feet.) The other is to find your natural rhythm and do not struggle to run above that cadence. I follow the second group. I strive to be light on my feet, up and out of my hips, and move my feet as fast as comfortable.

Below is my cadence distribution for the race. That tall bar is 70-75. My average pace was 72 with a maximum of 77, so I never even got to 80. Good consistency, but I might do better with quicker feet. Something to work on, but not to obsess over.

I have already written about pace. Here are some charts, starting with pace distribution. The highest bar is 17:27 - 16:57, roughly that 17:30 - 17:00 pace that kept coming up. The bar just to the right is 16:57 - 16:28, so I did manage to spend some time well above plan.

Trainingpeaks likes zones, so here are my pace zones. I don't actually use them for planning, but it may come in useful some day. Zone 1 is 0 - 17:25, and zone 2, 17:25 - 15:24. I spent 37% of my time in zone 1 and 53% in zone 2.

Last but not least, the time based graph. The slight loss in elevation is due to barometric changes. I avoid using altitude correction because the errors are significant going around Diamond Head Road. The left side is virtually flat until you get to Monsarrat, where you climb up to the stratosphere. There are a few crazy spikes in pace (green line). No, I was not sprinting to the aid stations. Those are caused by the GPS signal bouncing off tall buildings.

Now for the usual schedule stuff. Right off the bat I am happy to report that my recent bike work has not gone unnoticed. WKO4 has increased my modeled FTP from 169 to 178 watts. I will wait a couple weeks to see if it holds before changing my threshold setting. This is what I want to see more of on the way to CTTS.

My weekly ramp rate charts show clearly the taper for Hapalua and ending in the race itself. I was not supposed to cut back that much but I had to rest my sore leg.

A close-up of the PMC reveals more detail. The falling purple line indicates a reduction in activity, the rising yellow line shows the resulting increase in restfulness (decrease in fatigue), and the blue line shows fitness.

Now we pull back and view the PMC with more h9istory and predicting results out to CTTS.

Another useful chart is the Power-Duration (PD) chart from WKO4. This track is for cycling only, to show what needs work for CTTS. The short duration power over on the left could use some work, but the main goal is raising the middle portion and extending the sustained duration off to the right past where it now drops off around the two hour mark. I will be coming back to the PD chart a lot in coming weeks.

Last week

ATP: 450 TSS
Actual:383.1 (most of this was the race)

This Week

Week of 4/10 - Transition/Build 1 week 1
Focus: Recovery, bike
AM Rest
PM Strength with Dorian

AM Run, recovery
PM Swim, OW

AM Run, recovery
PM Bike, spin class

AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri - (day off work) 
Bike, 40 mi Kahala - Kailua

Rest - concert

Brick, bike + run

Next race: 2 weeks,Haleiwa Metric Century, 4 weeks to Honolulu Triathlon
10 weeks until CTTS.

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