Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Friday, November 14, 2014

Race Week and a Open 26.2

So firstly what is an Open 26.2. For those who are crazy enough on occasion to Swim and Bike before running a marathon a Open 26.2 is a Straight Marathon.

Coming into this my mental approach is that this is no easier than ironman, just likely going to be a different type of hurt especially in the last 10km as trying to maintain pace.

This Sunday - MEC Marathon in Steveston

Race day is Sunday and it is a pretty low key event I have chosen being the MEC Marathon. The start is about 700m from my front door and the course goes along the dyke trail that a lot of my runs take place on. Familiarity with a race course isn't always a good thing but will be nice to race local. Having said that I sense for the rest of the year my runs will not take me along the race course!

I have only done one open 26.2 before and that was when i was you and stupid and working way too much. If you have ever wondered how doing a marathon with zero training feels I have that memory from 2006 when I went 4:49 at the Vancouver Marathon. So my full 26.2 history goes like this;

2006 - 4:49 (Vancouver Marathon)
2008 - 4:02 (Ironman Canada)
2009 - 3:47 (Ironman Canada)
2010 - 3:11 (Ironman Couer 'd Alene)
2010 - 3:23 (Ironman Hawaii)
2012 - 3:25 (Challenge Penticton)

So Sunday will be race no.7. I definitely haven't peaked specifically for this, vs more just trying to get fitter every week. So instead of going for a absolute best case scenario time my plan is to have a good solid run to use as a base for the start of 2015.

Still working on the plan but the chances of running with someone going for the same pace is pretty low so are focussed on a good solid solo long run. It is definitely not going to be warm on race day and the wind may be up so adapting to the conditions will be key. Another factor is that although it is flat it is on gravel so can be slower vs running on the roads form that perspective.

At the moment I am going to look to start out at between 4:05 and 4:10 per/km pace and look to re-evaluate at every turn around (10.55, 21.1, 31.65) and look to slowly build if all systems are go. That should put  me around the 2:50 mark following a 42.2km progression run give or take if all things go well.

Racing in Race Week - Hershey Harriers Remembrance Day XC

Racing the week of a race is not something everyone does but with the XC race in Stanley Park on Tuesday providing the opportunity for a solid hit out on an important day I decided to lace up shoes and have a solid hit out. I have not been doing xc specific work and with a lot of my running being in Steveston hills have not often been on my agenda!

It was beautiful even if chilly day in Vancouver in Tuesday and the wind was definitely up. Started out trying to hold with the main lead pack as we looped around the grass fields. After about a mile or so was had dropped back a little and spent the rest of the run pretty solo with the back of the main group in sight about 300m or so further ahead.

Running Past Brockton Oval Clubhouse with Mountains in the Background
Photo Credit: Greg White

Felt a bit flat coming flat coming in having had a strong tempo two days prior. however it was good to have a strong hit out. Not sure of exact place but somewhere in the top 10 (had to head straight to work after) and is always fun to race cross country

600m of solo suffering  to go
Photo Credit: Greg White

After this weekend

Some recovery then a few fun races to round out the year including Gunner Shaw 10km, A mile race, a staggered start 5km and a festive half marathon with unconventional aid stations.

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