“Think Time, Not Distance”

13 08 2008

6:47 PM 11 August 2008 (Silverlake & Echo Parks)

The advise of elite runners in ultramarathon trail running is to think of the time of one’s duration to finish the distance but not the distance of the course. Since the terrain of the trail will be more challenging and the elevations will be higher, the pace from my ordinary road runs will be greatly reduced.

The duration of one’s time in trail running will include lots of brisk walking in steep uphill routes; slower pace on narrow trails good for one person; uneven road due to the presence of protruding roots and rocks along the way, the intense heat of the sun, and the time at stop-overs in food/drink & medical stations for replenishments.

In my incoming Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run on the 23rd of August, my primary goal is to finish the race and officially put it in record my first ultramarathon race finish. I am thinking of finishing the race in 7-8 hours and try to beat the closing time of the course at 3:00 PM (The race starts at 6:30 AM). I might be conservative with my finish time but I am anticipating a high temperature at mid day as it might reach to mid-90s up to 100s during race day.

During my latest practice along the course, I was able to determine points where I would take/eat my power bars and energy gels (aside from the the aid/water/food stations) and places where I have to brisk walk and memorized the stretch of the road where I have to pick-up my pace in order to regain my loss time in walking. My familiarity of the course for the past trail run practices gave me more confidence to finish the race.

Last night, I went out to have my 2-hour run along the streets of Los Angeles and later I was able to run with other runners at the Silver Lake Water Depository. The road around the Silver Lake area has two slightly steep uphill portions where I practiced hill running. I also dropped by the Echo Park where I saw a lot of brisk walkers and joggers even if it was almost 9:00 PM already.

What I like in these parks and jogging areas are the presence of comfort rooms and the abundant supply of drinking water in their public drinking stations. On this particular run, I brought one E-50 Water Jug Holder of The North Face as my hydration support which is handy with any of my hands and I had it refilled with water at the Silver Lake Park.

It was a nice run and I was surprised that I have a fast recovery since I had my last trail run last Saturday and was able to run such duration and distance. The following were the readings from my GF 305:

Distance—20.62 kms            Time—2:17:17 hrs

Average Pace—6:39 mins/km       Average Speed—9.0 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—13.8 kms/hr    Total Calories—1,487 cal

Average HR—144 bpm                  Maximum HR—164 bpm

Total Ascent—787 meters            Total Descent—793 meters


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