Thursday, October 23

BC Cross Country - the plan

My last few days of running has been good and quite enjoyable, not great mind you, but at the very least consistent enough to move me in a familiar direction. Tuesday evening saw me returning to CHGC where I ran a series of short(er) intervals. During each segment I gave myself something specific to focus on, e.g., a quick turnover, running strong out of the corners... breathing. The session went by without any hiccoughs although I couldn’t help but notice that my lungs were a limiting factor. Oh to be fit again.

Running home from work today, I detoured once again over to CHGC and ran a 2-k race pace time trial. More fun and games.

With the race only two days away I’ve been giving some thought to strategy and have come up with a few options:

1. Run as hard as I can for as long as I can – unfortunately I only see this tactic working for the elites and those insufficiently fit where the race becomes pure survival... a distinct possibility.

2. Start in the middle of the pack and move up - my thinking is that mentally it’s better to gradually move up during a race then to repeatedly be passed (as happened two weeks ago).

3. Surge on the down hills – I’d like to think this option favours me but I’d be kidding myself, that and without seeing the course the hills may not be significant enough.

4. Surge on the up hills - I think this requires more guts and fitness than technique and as I lack the latter (fitness) I would probably end up digging myself an early grave.

5. The final sprint – now we’re talking... sandbag most of the race and then surge 500 meters from the finish, still accelerating over the line.

Although the jury is still out, I’m leaning toward a combination of options #1 and #2… aim to build throughout the race, but I can guarantee I’ll feel like hell the way. Isn’t that what XC is all about? My real objective though, and I recognize it’s slightly out of my hands, it to finish before the first competitor in the Senior Men’s race (they run the Masters at the same time, we do four laps, 8-k, and the Senior Men do five, 10-k). This may not sound all that ambitious, but with the likes of Jon Brown competing with his 27:18 10-k PB, and my 8-k PB of 27:28 I could be thoroughly humiliated. Still, it’s bound to be fun.

Tuesday: 1:06:57 with 4x [2’ (1’) + 1’ (30”) + 30” (30”)]
Wednesday: easy 53:00
Thursday: 58:24 with 2-k TT


Cliff said...

Hey Michael,

It takes a lot of guts to take option #1. The guy run sub-30 10 k in cross country. That's speed.

I tend to favour option #2. Though, I always wonder about the possibility of going too hard on certain races and see how i fare.

Glad to hear you are getting better just in time for the race.

Private said...

I'm far and away from being a cross country expert having only taken on my first one last year but my two cents worth...

Somewhere between options 1 and 2 is about right. Don't start off fast - the mud takes a hell of a lot out of you. Let everyone else shoot off a head of you and bit by bit they'll start coming back.

Some people hate cross country, some love it, but it has to be done. Enjoy it and can't wait to find out which category you fall into - personally I'm in the former

Marc said...

Which ever strategy you employ, have a great race and have fun.

Most importantly, enjoy the post-race pint!

Love2Run said...

Good luck, get dirty and have fun!

Grellan said...

I think option 6 appears to be everyone's favourite - enjoy the race first and then go for option 2 and then if it feels to tough rename it option 1. Have a great race whatever the option.

Michael said...

Thanks for all your comments. My plan is to wind things over the four laps, at least re: effort. As for time, I'm sure that'll be cause for a laugh. More later, have a good weekend!

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