Tsukuba marathon report.
Short version: great day, good and flat course, racing plan executed perfectly.
We had a great day in Tsukuba, cold, but no wind and sunny all day. Between 12 and 17 degrees. Perfect weather for a performance.
The course is flat apart from two bridges at (1K and 41K and 6K/35K). It a long spurs type race course where you can see all runners once. We go to the 21.1 half way then we come back on the other side of the road. I saw one Namban runner.
My race plan was a new strategy. As I had to stop my training suddenly in October for personal and family reasons – I went from 30-40K a week to zero for 6 weeks – and as I decided to run two days before the race after settling all my issues (yes, you can), I had to race with a careful approach.
I elected to run 5 minutes, then to walk one minute. These six minutes blocks are repreated 10 times an hour and easy to control on any watch, changes to a walk at 5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35, 41, 47, 53 and 59. I went like that for about three hours, then I walked 1 hour, then did it again more erratically. I passed the cut off at mid race easily but I’ve almost been stopped at 32K. I had then, at 32K, another 10K to do in 90 minutes, which required a faster pace than expected. However, my legs were fresh thanks to the run/walk routine. I finished 4 minutes inside the 6 hours cut off time. My watch time is 5:46 as we passed the start line in 10 minutes.
The good points:
– I had fresh legs during and after the efforts. I never recovered that quickly.
– I lost the focus on each 1K point and focused on regular pace.
The bad points:
– I should have started with 9/1 split then move down to 7/1 and 5/1 later. When I grew tired, I had no room to slow the pace.
I try it again later in December at Ota 10 miles race.