RACES: The Game Plan

Inspired by Lance Armstrong's preparation of hill etapées in the Tour, I've created a very advanced Route Analyzer sub-module of my BergMaster application (still prototyping, but it's looking sweet!).

I applied it to today's race, the technique is simple:

1. Run the race route at training pace
2. Make sure the whole route is recorded, preferably all details as those given by the Garmin ForeRunner 305
3. Type data into the RouteAnalyzer sub-module.

What got out?
Basically, I had a training run at 01:02:48 with an average heart rate off 166bpm and full details on km-by-km splits. Today I want to finish in a minimum time of 00:53:00. By using the difference in speed between these two times as a factor (it's a 15.29% increase), I can deduce precise race splits and heart rate performance through the race.

To reach my target I need to arrive at the first peak ("Boots") after 00:25:22 (this is the 4.5km point). I'll need to start the last ascent at 31:15 (6k point) and be at the top of Trooperstown Hill at 00:41:12.

It also tells me interesting thing such as the fact that if the 15.29% reflected directly on HR increase, my average HR for this attempt would be 191 (not doable, I cannot move above 182 average and sustain it for the period of time). However, HR do not move in a proportional curve, and I'm working out an algorithm that is more precise. The current formula is enough to provide an indication, though.

Once I hit the top of Trooperstown about 2.56km remain, the Analyzer tells me that they must be run in splits of 04:07, 3:16, and 3:18. A hard task even on good downhill, but it's the most realistic way for me to run this race at the desired speed.

It may be overestimated, especially at my current fitness levels, but I'll be using this tool for the rest of the season, and see how it pans out.