I'm back from running the Thetis Lake 20 KM Relay Race yesterday on Remembrance Day. To honour those that have served for our country, I felt it was appropriate to refrain from any social media on this Thursday when I generally upload content and go out and run a race in the mud. Running with Ceevacs has been a blast and running with a 4-person relay team in a distance race was a first for me. The race itself was structured with each member running a 4-5km loop around Upper and Lower Thetis Lake to combine for an overall 20 KM long race combined total. One of the cool parts of the race was that the teams were able to have multiple teammates run at once, which would become very helpful for me without ever having run the route.
The track itself was quite challenging with a high degree of focus needed for choosing your footing. With a lot of navigating needed with rocky sections and high root areas, speed on the downhills was limited to your ability to quickly navigate the technical sections. On top of that, it was some of the heaviest rain I have been in for quite a while so definitely a type-2-fun kind of day.
Leading up to the race with my 80/20 running it had been challenging with weather and scheduling to get out and run everyday. With that I supplemented in a lot more cross-training using many concepts implemented in Ben Patrick’s ATG principles. More on that in the future! I also ran a V02 max test on myself to get a baseline of my current level of fitness that I will go into more detail on in future posts. What I gathered from my fitness testing and cross-training was more information on how I can perform at all the way up to a max effort which is important when you are usually running at 90%+ of your capacity in a 5 KM race. My runs gave me the confidence that my cardiovascular system was in a good state and my strength training gave me the confidence that my legs would hold up on some more extreme slope sections if they should show up in the race.
How did it go?
Looking at my data on Strava my time over my ~4 KM loop was 21:38 with an average 5:19/KM pace, 178 avg. HR (peak HR of 189!) and 178 avg. cadence. My tentative projection was to be between 21-22 minutes.
- Trail time and road time can not be compared over the same distance. Trail running is all about how quickly you can adapt and recover from different running conditions. Forget the consistency that can be present in road running and learn to accept and even love the variability trail running can bring.
- When on trail, run by feel first, metrics second. Through this race my heart rate went as high as 189 which is close to my theoretical max of 191 and pace was anywhere between 3:00-7:30/km pace! What was consistent was that I felt like I was in control of my breath, I felt strong and that I could maintain my perceived exertion for the length of the race.
- Extreme slopes means extreme changes in speed. With this track the downhills were paramount to making up time and needing to push hard on the climbs. This is where the hill training/speed work pays off.
- Running with an experienced person is invaluable. When looking to perform in a scenario with a lot of unknowns a simple solution is to run with somebody who has experience with those unknowns, whether that is pacing, running approach, equipment choice, route knowledge. It makes a race as simple as trusting if you can stay with that person you are going to get a good outcome.
Congratulations and Thank You's
Congratulations to all the other runners who went out gave their all. Big thank you for all the support from all the people who came out cheering us on, for all the volunteers and Harrier's that made it possible and for Ceevacs Roadrunners giving us propane fires and cover to keep us warm and dry. My two teammates of "The BARR is Open", Richard Light and Ben Marrs both kicked some serious butt and did it all on their own. A personal thanks to my teammate Rob Grant for leading the way for me and giving me the confidence to push at the finish.
If you have a pain or condition that is holding you back from engaging in activity, book an appointment with myself (click here) or our team at Young Health Management to get you back out there.
If you are looking for community weekly runs, running clinics and coaching, or even triathlon training be sure to go to Ceevacs website (link below). Be sure to keep an eye on the registration for the Thetis Lake Relay (link below) next year.
I’ll see you there!
Thetis Lake Relay: https://raceroster.com/events/2021/50318/25th-annual-harriers-thetis-lake-20k-cross-country-relay
Book Online: https://younghealthmgt.janeapp.com/