We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the Wings For Life World Run in Melbourne. It still feels strange starting a race at 9 pm. That’s what you get depending on your time zone for a worldwide event.
Last year and I came in with big goals and they fell apart. This year I took the opposite approach. No time or distance goals. No set pace. Instead, my only goal was just to put in what I felt was a solid effort.
To help stick with that goal I stayed clear of checking the goal calculator. That way I was vague on where any splits were leading. For this run, vagueness was a good thing. There were some lessons learned.
While trying not to pay any attention to my pace and time I discovered how much I check them.
Each time I turned my wrist I cursed myself for taking another look. Knowing the splits wasn’t going to help me here. This was a test in pacing on feel. To race without any preconceived ideas.
My pacing has become too reliant on technology.
I’ve put in a lot of work to improve my running stride. The focus has been on bringing the glutes and hamstrings into action. Getting away from the lazy ultra marathon shuffle I had developed.
Turns out I’d been fairly successful in this.
The side effect is I’d slowed my running cadence at the faster speeds. Running faster as a result but at the expense of endurance. This caught up with me during the race.
Decoupling is the point where you slow down despite putting in the same effort. There are many factors that go into this. For me, the dominant factor is a failure in the muscles themselves.
The rate of drop off in pace is huge for me at the moment. Two main factors have led to this.
First is simply inconsistent training and a resulting lack of volume.
Second comes straight back the lower cadence. More impact on each stride leads to more muscle trauma and a bigger drop in pace.
There are plenty of issues I can find in my running. Plenty of ways to improve. It still comes back to having fun.
I run because it helps me feel alive. It enhances key moments in my life.
I will always seek improvement. Yet, I will always take a moment to absorb what I have achieved. The Wings For Life World Run is such a cool event. It raises dollars for an amazing cause. There is a uniqueness in being chased by the finish line. Down in Melbourne it is the most fun you can ever have on the Monash Freeway.