“I came off the bike with feet on the pedals, handed off the bike to a catcher and ran in. I had just overtaken Chris Rancie, the eventual 3rd place finisher in my A/G. Later on, on FB he mentioned that he was hoping to run with me, but I had run in the bathroom…it wouldn’t have mattered. Chris ran 1 minute faster than me,… PER MILE!! Yes, he ran 2:59:56.” exert is from Ironman Western Australia (Busselton) 2015, a short story. That same phenomenal athlete in the most competitive IRONMAN age group category as me, M30-34, ran an 18:20 5KM today as part of his training and in pursuit of a 2:35 marathon attempt. That is the capability of my competition so when I saw his average pace for this piece of 5:53/mile, all I could hope for in my STRAVA MILE #MyMile was to come somewhere near this.
Kris Kimsey is also a phenomenal athlete. Well, he’s more a runner than triathlete who has to decided to take every Strava KOM in town that he can, since he is that strong. He’s also my colleague and while I had received the Strava emails on #MyMile, (smash your mile PR (or even make an attempt), put that in the tagline, and win free stuff), it was his motivation that actually led me to want to push myself into a mile of pain. I’ve actually never ran a mile race because A) I’m too slow and B) It’s too painful. But I wanted to give it a go and see what I could do. I would use this to also test my VDOT that I wrote about after the BP Alice Springs Half Marathon, two weeks ago.
We woke at 5:30am for a 3.2KM swim. Clif bar before w/ Monster zero-calorie energy drink. Plant Protein/VEGA/Chia Seeds/Almond Milk after. Lunch was white rice w/ soy sauce and a small piece of green curry w/ tofu. Also a banana and apple during the day. 1 large Tea, 1 large Vitamin C drink, and I weighed 184 pounds or 83.6kg before the run. Just before the run I had a Winners Bar and a full pack of Clif Shot Bloks.
I headed west along Larapinta up the “hill” and then reverse to warm up 22min and activate the quads. 1-2min stop rest, then into it along the Bradshaw Drive segment. I was in 6th for the 1.1mile segment at 6:27/mile. But my first attempt at the #MyMile dropped that to 6:21/mile in 3rd behind Kris and Ben Bruce, another great runner in town. The same segment HR of 150 was held on both of these from 2.5 months earlier. Colder temperatures today and a headwind but I’ll take that to be an improvement in economy. As for my mile attempt? 6:19 would not beat my previous of 6:15. The legs felt tired and sore going into it and there was a headwind but I worked really hard hitting a max HR of 153 above my LTHR of 150. But I had a backup plan; I was here to set a PR.
So I continued further east to the home of the ASRWC Barrett Drive Mile; a race I definitely did not race in for the reasons just listed above. I wasn’t satisfied with my 26th place at 7:16/mile on HR of 148 so that, along with the southerly wind would mean a great opportunity at my 2nd attempt of #MyMile on the day. So I took off pushing as hard as I could go from start to finish. I covered this .9mile segment at a pace of 6:09/mile good enough for 4th place in a 3-way tie and 1second behind Ben’s 3rd place. More importantly, I covered my 2nd mile attempt in 6:07 and set a new PB!!!
When comparing both mile attempts, average HR was 149 for both but hit 155max on the 2nd attempt vs 153 during the first attempt. Cadence was also improved from 174 to 177. The wind could have helped me on the slight incline or I could have been better warmed up and ready to race hard. It was definitely harder on the 2nd attempt certainly running anaerobically above my V02 Max. Unfortunately, this 6:07 mile gives me a 47 V02 behind my 20:30 5K VDOT of 48 and my most recent half marathon 1:31:16 VDOT of 50. All of this essentially means I’m a slow-twitch runner who performs better at endurance runs vs anaerobic runs.
I’d also like to say that because my max HR of 155 on a 1mile test is no where near my theoretical max HR of 220 – age (33) = 187, I strongly appose any formula for gauging Max HR such as Dr Maffetone’s MAF Test. I read The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing a few years ago and I thought it was garbage! There’s not one cited source in the back of this book and although he used his teachings on 6x IMWC Mark Allen and currently Pete Jacobs, these are elite-professional athletes. So, I don’t buy into his teachings and rather use Joe Friel’s tests on Lactate Threshold Heart Rate which do fall in-line w/ my performance because they are based off of ME and my own biochemistry. I also don’t buy into the whole high fat, low carb bull shit which Maffetone and many others have advocated for over the last few years. For that, I offer The China Study and Dr Colin Campbell PhD who has a chapter of cited sources in his books!
Unless you test, you have no idea how to train and/or what your current level of fitness is. So I thank people like my mates Chris, Kris, and Ben who gave me inspiration and aspiration to push myself even when I knew how painful it will be.