Monday, July 04, 2011

Juneathon - It's a wrap!

So, wrapping-up Juneathon, as I did with Janathon:

Firstly, have some graphs. They look kinda pretty, in a "Ooh, squiggly lines. Wassat mean?" kind of way.

The first is a profile of daily run distances in km, contrasting Janathon this year with Juneathon.


It shows, rather nicely, that I spent much more time in the "10km-and-up"  zone than I did in January:

Length          January June

20km+           1               3

15km+           3               7

10km+           6               14

Those 'long runs' in Jan were the preserve of weekends, pretty much, whereas in June it was easier to clock a long run of an evening without worrying about temperatures, ice, clothing etc. Oddly, however, I spent more time in June running on tarmac than trail, where January was all about off-road mileage predominantly, June consisted of many more 'all road' runs. I still managed to discover some new trails and get in some interesting trail routes and trigs, so perhaps that balances out.

Interestingly, both lines show a slump of sorts around days 19-24 - I think mentally this is where an 'athon is hardest. You've put in 3 weeks of solid effort but there's still a week plus to go, which weighs on the mind. I'm happy with the variation in distances - sometimes you have things to do of an evening, sometimes you want a long run, sometimes you just need a recovery run - but I'm also happy that very few of my 'short' runs dipped below 5km (only 3 in June against 6 in January). I think my perception has shifted since January, and 'short' tends to mean 5 miles rather than 5 kilometres these days.

The second graph is a cumulative of distances over the month, and the divergence of the lines is the interesting part.  (well, interesting if youre me...)


As the other graph shows, the longer average runs in June have pushed the distances quite nicely, and there's rarely a point (day 3 being the exception) where the variance between the two lines is negative - days 14 to 17 are almost paralleled, but in the main, the increase in divergence is steady.

Secondly, some numbers:

In January, I totalled 251.92km. In June, 322.44km (an extra 70.52km)

In January, I ran for 34hrs 35mins. In June, 44hrs 16mins (an extra 9hrs 41mins)

So I ran for longer and did more miles. That's no great surprise, really.

In January, my average run was 8.13km in 1:07, a pace of 08:14mins/km

In June, my average run was 10.75km in 01:28, a pace of 08:14mins/km

So, I'm not moving any faster on average, but I'm running further at the same pace. Good enough for me, for now.

And that's all for the statistics, you'll be glad to hear.

From a competitive point-of-view (for I am...): Counting running distances only (from the RunningFree pages) I finished 5th, only a handful of km behind Jenks in 4th.

Thats better than Janathon, in a much bigger field, with some very tough competition, and a whole bunch fighting hard for the top ten. If it weren't for a bunch of factors both external-competitive (Chooban, StevieG, Vinsta, Jenks, PPP, MumWhatRuns, PaintedRunner) and internal-personal-encouraging (having done Janathon, proper gait analysis, Grand Raid des Pyrenees, The German, Abradypus, Maggieee, K as in Cake, etc etc), I don't think I'd be anywhere near that. I'm resigned to saying I'm a runner, a slow one, but a runner all the same. So long as I keep it up...

From a more human, less analytical point-of-view, I've noticed a difference myself. I did suffer a whole bunch of aches and pains in June, but nothing consistent and nothing as bad as I'd feared. My last gait analysis, pre-Juneathon, showed that my running style has adapted an awful lot, and while it's still pretty odd, it's getting easier to clock the distances up without significant pain, blisters etc. I don't think you can run 30 days on the trot without some things changing to account for it. Stu and the team at Accelerate have looked after the gait analysis side for me brilliantly, and without their advice I definitely wouldn't be where I am, running-wise. I'd still be hobbling round getting mullered by blisters and wrecked calves on every run.

Physically, the other nice change is that I've lost about 8lbs over the month. Partially that's due to the running, partially it's due to a couple of modifications to my diet (mainly just cutting down my portion sizes!). At the last weigh-in (not something I do obsessively, I hasten to add) I was under the 13 stone mark for the first time in about 10 years. Not much under, but under all the same. Having less of me to haul about should pay some dividends, and while I reckon I've another half-stone to go, I'm not obsessing about it and I'm not trying to take any rush routes. There's no easy way to do it (I can't afford liposuction...) so it'll have to be the age old solution of working at it steadily. That's fine with me.

Mentally I guess there's a few changes too. The idea of heading out and pushing 20km+ in an evening doesn't faze me so much, the idea of a half marathon is very realistic (slow, but realistic!), and I'm feeling a lot more confident about the upcoming Grand Raid des Pyrenees, though I know I need to get some big hill days in, with a pack, between now and then, and I can't slack off the training. Speedwork and/or joining a running club probably wouldn't go amiss somewhere, but I'm wary of my old tendency to try and push too hard too fast and don't want to injure myself. We'll see how things pan out over the next 6-8 weeks and where we are when GRP comes around. After that... who knows?!

Oh, and to any readers wondering what's happened to Dougal... You'll find out. Soon.



1 comment:

fortnightflo said...

Wow - I found it harder to refuse all the offers of going out so my mileage went down. Great analysis tho - very pretty squiggly lines!