W8R2 - rats, another fail (but one I feel relaxed about)

W8R2 - rats, another fail (but one I feel relaxed about)

So I thought I'd try out a new route today and instead of running straight from the front door I drove to a nearby lake, which is very popular with runners and walkers and which has a circumference of 6kms.

That was the first problem. If you can see 6 kms stretched out in front of you you'd never think of running it - it's a long way! First mental barrier erected.

The second thing was that it had had been raining all night, so the paths and trails were a mix of grit and sodden sand and full of puddles. Therefore much of the run involved changing stride to avoid the deep puddles or to negotiate stretches of loose sand.

Anyway I set off gently and felt fine. As it was first light on a Monday, and had only just stopped raining, there was no-one around except a few fishermen. It was quite pleasant, though I was constantly having to watch where I was going. Halfway round came up quite quickly which was encouraging, but then, about two-thirds the way round, I hit more loose sand and slowed considerably - both physically and mentally. It started to become hard and I literally couldn't see the end in sight (which was discouraging). I struggled on for a bit more and then stopped after 22 minutes of running feeling pretty annoyed with myself. Walked for 5 minutes to recover then ran the last bit.

Conclusions? Running on tarmac is easier than on loose surfaces. Running to a time goal may be easier than running to a distance goal (not sure about that). Running at a constant pace is much harder on trails and very difficult to control - bizarrely, when I reviewed the data I found that I was running more quickly on the trails than previously on tarmac, despite the sand and having to jump the puddles. In fact I was surprised (and encouraged) to see I was running at a sub 6 min/km pace on the trail compared with around 6:15 min/km on tarmac - which makes little sense as I felt I was running more slowly on the trail. So, final conclusion, you can't always trust what your body is telling you! ;-)

Roll on run 3... :)

5 Replies

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  • Very interesting results, Landesman. Did you see this question posted a few days ago? couchto5k.healthunlocked.co...

    Swanscot added an interesting link. ;-)

    Photo looks idyllic, what a super place to run. :-)

  • Thanks for the interesting link. Glad it's not just me finding trails harder.

    Yes, the lake is a great place to run (and will be more so when the temperature climbs a bit). It's tidal, so lots going on to look at.

  • Thats beautiful and I would say its most certainly not a fail. Running on track is much harder than a firm surface like pavements/roads and made much worse by being so very wet. I'll bet you'll be back out there as soon as the weather picks up and its dried out, I know I would.

  • Yes, it's a nice run, even when wet. Just getting my excuses in!

    I want to be able to do this as my daughters and son-in-law run here. They do the 6k in 20-30 minutes, so I have a bit of catching up to do before I join them... :)

  • It's a beautiful place, but I know what you mean about skipping over/through puddles and having unstable footing. It makes it a lot harder, so I think you did extra well to do 22 minutes, especially because you were running slightly faster than normal. It's good to be able to analyse your runs as well. All the best for your next runs - you'll be running with your daughters and son-in-law soon enough :)

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