DIARY: National Half Analysis

All the data has come in with the results of the National Half-Marathon now on the Athletics Ireland website. Our Crusaders team finished 18th of 25 teams with an accumulated time of 04:04:13 for our three first scorers (Amidou, Markus and I) which is an average of 1:21:24 per person. We truly were hanging with a tough crowd as the winning team time of 3:22:18 (average of 67:26) testifies. Nine men broke seventy minutes.
Our team only held of Clonliffe’s B team by eight seconds so good thing everyone ran hard till the end. If you find any errors in the analysis blame the fact I wasp stung me on the back of my head during yesterday’s easy jog (which meant I found a sprint finish to the house as I used to be allergic due to having been stung too often, but I got away with it).
As always for half-marathon distances I post my split analysis below:
An interesting pattern can be seen on kilometres 7, 9, 11, 14 and 16 all featuring 10 or more metres of climb. This immediately affects my pace (it drops over 4-minutes), yet on four out of five occasions I follow this up with a sub-3:50 kilometre immediately after on the downhill. I was only loosely conscious of this at the time but did try to run the downhills harder and the uphill steady. The reasoning: You get more speed for the same energy on a downhill than on an uphill so in running attacking on an uphill is rarely seen as the best pacing strategy (that doesn't mean  it doesn't have utility). It can be interpreted as a weakness (and indeed it may be) but in this case more likely that I simply ran at steady effort and and let the terrain do its work.

And once again, as always, the splits remind me how irritating it is that I always seem to be away when there is a 10k on in this country and simply cannot get the chance to eradicate the 38:28 I have standing against that but hopefully one will pop up in the cross-country season (incidentally, I’m away for the Firhouse 10k this weekend!).

Based on this form, I have signed up for the Copenhagen Marathon in May next year and will finally return to the distance I was born to run after a four year hiatus. This will be a classic Lydiard-style approach with a long cross-country season placing the pre-conditioning in place before a full marathon cycle on the other side. A two week dose down should hopefully allow me to recover enough for a reasonable summer season afterwards.