Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, April 4, 2010

DO NOT RUN THE SEAWALL - A Good Long Run Route in Vancouver

DO NOT Run the SEAWALL - Well not every week as your long run especially if your race route is not pancake flat. Although the seawall run is one of the most Scenic runs that I have undertaken elevation is not a key component and before you know it come race day you may find hills are something that you only saw off in the distance while you were running the seawall.

Speaking from experience I think this was one of my failings with my Ironman Canada build up last year was that without making a conscious decision it just happened that most of my runs were flat which meant i suffered a lot on the uphills that are prevalent on the IMC run course.

So this year for my long runs I have developed a ad-hoc criteria when choosing my route. This criteria is;
  • Must not be flat. Elevation and hills are a good thing to practice and working out your perceived effort going up and down in order to keep your effort balanced is a good skill to have.
  • Has a large % of road running. This is a individual thing but to a large degree i handle running on the road ok. In BC a lot of the half ironman runs are on rail trail like surfaces but most Ironman runs are are the road. So getting the body used to running on hard surfaces is a good thing as it definitely makes a difference. Having said that though if you are feeling fatigued or a bit sore then trail runs a a good option - just not every week.

So here is one of my routes that fit my self defined criteria from above. In the coming weeks I will be doing a bit of research to create a run that mimics the IM CDA course a little in having the halfway point being a decent sized hill.

For those doing Boston this type of planning is something that Ryan Hall has been doing in preparation for his attack on that race this year. here is link to an interesting thing that covers this and some of his over training details

UBC Out and Back

I live in kits so this one is a good roll out the door option for me. Starting @ the corner of 4th Avenue and Collingwood (Opposite Forerunners - a good place to grab a pre or post run gu or some new running gear).

One note on this run is that water is not abundant along Marine so you may need to be relatively self sufficient for the middle section of this run until you get back to Spanish Banks. Also if you want to run to time simply run along till your half way time along marine then turnaround.

Click here for orignal map -

0km to 1.5km - Down 4th to NW Marine. This is a gentle uphill section until you hit the turn to go right.
2km - After the 500m decent down NW Marine stay to the right and follow the road down to the Jericho Sailing Club until you hit the path to turn left and run along the foreshore. Here you have approx 3km of running along the gravel trail with the ocean and mountains to your right. If you need water or a washroom along this section is your last chance for a while.
5km - At 5km you start the 1500m approx 5% climb up UBC Hill. I also try to keep my pace moderated here unless I get into my dog like mode of trying to beat cyclists up the hill (Not proud but sometimes I get bored)
6.5km - Top of the hill -unless you have been an idiot and chased bikes up the hill like I sometimes to you should be feeling fine and now have the rolling section of Marine drive to look forward too. Suggest running on the North Side of the road through the UBC section then on the shoulder (8ft) against the traffic along Marine. Watch out for cyclists along this section as this is also an awesome riding route.
12.8km - Today this was my turnaround point - Although you can essentially keep running along marine till you reach half way point in your run. Kullahan Drive is the turn off to Shaugnessy Golf Club. It is then back along Marine to the top of UBC Hill. This section is false flat uphill so don't be deterred if it seems a little tough.
19km - Running Good the downhill will be fun. Burnt too many matches then it will be tough. This will give your quads a good simulation running downhill.
20.5km - Its then back along Spanish Banks for 3km
23.5km - Turn left then up NW Marine to 4th Avenue. This little hill is a tester at the tail end of your run but you will be all the better come race day after this one.
25.5km - Back @ 4th and Collingwood. IGA for Choc Milk is on on your left and Forerunners is on your right.

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