An attempt to increase running speed at the regular SRR’s LSD

It was exactly 4:30AM when I would normally wake up for my regular Sunday’s LSD.  The time had somehow fused to my Sunday’s biological clock that I would get up from my nice bed.  It was drizzling the whole night and the weather was cooling, which makes it a perfect setting for today’s run.

I have been attending the SRR Sunday’s LSD since April 2016.  A little over a year now. The distance between my house and the Setia Badminton Academy is 16 km, and it would take about more than 35 minutes to get there on a normal traffic condition.  To satisfy my curiosity, I would attempt to calculate the number of traffic lights from my house to Setia Badminton Academy (run site).  Gosh!!!  To my count, it has exactly 18 traffic lights in total.  So on average, if I stop at each traffic light for 90 seconds (standard count), I would have waited for about 30 minutes.  This is not inclusive of those drivers who are still slow in their hands when the lights turned green.  What a delay it would have be.  Luckily, I can reach there in half of the time.  Please don’t ask me for the detail here.  Just PM (private message) me hahaha.

SRR LSD 18June map
The 20k route

SRR LSD 18June performance

I was pleasantly surprise that there were so many runner attended the 6 AM slot.  35 runners to be exact.  Some new faces and many regular runners.  So happy to see them.  We’d started slightly later than 6 AM due to the posting for group photo.  Started about 6:05 AM.  As many runners still chatting (to catch up on old times), I’d started my run together with those in front pack.  It was a very different feeling to start at the leading pack.  As I’m used to the ‘sweeper’ role in this running group 🙂

With the given cool weather I felt really good in the run.  In an attempt to improve my run, I’d increase my pace (sub 7 min/km) and with high cadences.  Managed to maintain cadence of 180-190 spm.  In the first 3 km I was running alone just slightly behind the leading pack.  Before Tony, Ryan and Mohan caught on.  We were talking about consistent cadences in archiving PB.  Ryan said that it is actually quite fast if we can maintain cadences of 160 spm.  Compared it to those athletes with 180 spm with about 1m of stride length.  No wonder they can complete a marathon in slightly over 2 hours.

At about 4.5km, I’d sighted a chasing pack.  The pack consists of Master Chew, Rachel, Hooi Chee and a few runners.  They were quite fast.  Tony was reminding us to keep on, as ‘they’ are coming.  So until about 5km, at the entrance to the steep elevation before the 1st water station, we had increased our cadence (at least maintaining it).  That was a really nice effort to have done that.  That effort had managed to distance us from the chasing pack.  Not stopping for a long time at the water station, we’d carried on (I think less than 2 minutes of gulping of water and park in at one of the tree at the opposite lane).

Running with people chasing you was a very different perspective.  It sort of having an invisible force that are constantly pushing you further to the front.  The chasing pack finally caught up on us at the apartment area.  I was able to continue the cadences (180spm) and pace (avg 7min) until about 12km before I finally hit the ‘wall’ and all pace and cadences were crumbled to a crawl from that point onwards.  Ya, my wall is always at the Ecopark zone…quite frustrating really.  Both legs are so heavy and sluggish.  At this distance, Ryan is heading back to the base without entering the Ecopark zone.  It was nice of Tony to accompany me on my ‘crawling’ pace at the wall.  Of what it seems like an eternal walk-run exchange of sequences, we had finally reached the final turn-in into the base (Setia Badminton Academy).  Tony and I had stretched the limit with a final run at the last 300 m to the finish line, despite the fatigues.

I’d only clocked 19.5km in total, as I’d skipped the Setia Mall stretch.  The following was the summary timing clocked:

  • Cumulative time: 2:27:53 (this was a continuous run without stoppages)
  • Average Pace: 7:34 mins
  • Best Pace: 5:29 mins
  • Average Run Cadence: 170.4 spm
  • Average Stride Length: 0.79 m

 

Checkout this interesting video that map the entire running path ==> here

Every Sunday LSD is a half-marathon (HM).  If you are not looking for medals and social media appreciation, running HM on a weekly basis is a task manageable and doable by many.  I remember that the thought of more than 10 km was a mammoth of a task 1 year ago.  With perseverance and determination, I’m able to do this on a weekly basis at the present moment.  My hope is to be able to do this at a more relaxing manner and minimizing the ‘walking’ and breaking down the ‘wall’.  I know I can do it, so can you.

See you at the next SRR’s LSD.

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