Saturday, February 05, 2011

Kawachinagano Half


My next race is in about two weeks time (The Kawachinagano Half Marathon). This is a local race for me, 20 minutes from home, and a special one as I was a member of the "Kawachinagano Running Club" and I'm very fond of the locals here who haved treated me so kindly over the years.

See 2009 post for some background

I've run this half twice before in 2008 (1:35:20) and in 2009 (1:24:35). I was all set to run the 2010 one, trained up and fit, when the week before my Father died and I went back to Australia.

Now barring any major dramas, I'll do it again. While I should get a course record it won't be easy to PB (look at course elevation map above). This is a pretty tough race. Yet I do like to run it and if I can get it right, pace and good weather, it will be a good race!

I'd like to get your feedback about running such a race. How should I approach it if I want to PB it? And, please, I'd like any advice you have on running hilly half marathons or preparing for them.

I'm in PB shape cause if I take the net time on my last half a week ago I ran 1:18.55 into the wind so I reckon if the kawachinagano course was flat and windless, in the shape I'm in, I could run it somewhere in 1:16~1:17 range.

But I have to take into account the up down aspect of this course and get this just right. Still, the more I think about it the more I think it may be possible. After all if I can make it up in reasonable shape I will fly down the hills on my way home and a PB could be on the cards.

Last year the first 3 came in between the 1:11:20 to the 1:13:30 range so in theory a PB is possible for me here!

What do you all reckon?

Jogging up the actual course.


  1. Approach it? I wouldn't approach it, I would run the other way. But I don't like hills.
    My only advice would be to get in back of someone going up. Just kind of zone out and let them pull you up. Then go like the blazes on the way down.

  2. Anonymous11:01 PM

    hi scott - not sure how qualified i am to advise on how to run hills. that's a tough course you're running tomorrow. wouldn't mind having a go at that myself:)

    seeing as you asked - my approach would be: as it's a half and you are unlikely to blow-up over this distance, i'd attack the hills as i find that i have the momentum with me when i reach the top and it seems i have more power and it's easier to maintain a faster target pace thereafter. i find if i conserve on the hills and slow down too much, i find it hard to get going again when i need to.

    as for your route tomorrow - i would look at it in terms of three manageable chunks in the first 9km: i.e. split the first 9 km into 3 x mini climbs (0-3km, 4-7km, 7.5-8.5km). there's still a bit of work to be done in the second half but once you're past 9km, the really hard work is done and momentum should carry you home thereafter.

    good luck

  3. I think if you believe enough you can turn your dream into reality!
    You must go ready to face the greatest pain you have ever felt and embrace it with a heart full of joy!
    it will not be easy, nothing that is worth achieving comes easy!
    Run with the soul of a ninja warrier willing to sacrifice his last breath in the searth of true destiny.
    The prize is yours for the taking!:]
    Dream it!
    Believe it!
    Turn it into reality!
    But also go ready for supreme failure, for only those willing to take great risks can achieve the greatest success!

    In other words Scott 'Just do it'

  4. Scott my half marathon PB was on a hilly course although the first and last miles were relatively flat. So I started at target pace, kept the leg turnover going once I hit the hill - the pace did drop while the effort increased. As Bob said I kept on the back of someone at the start but pushed on because I felt a little too comfortable.

    Once I crested the top of the hill at halfway I kept the same hard effort going, while those around me rested and I flew down (recovery is for after the race - not during). By mile 10 the effort began to take it's toll and I thought my pace would drop off - however I dug deep and my pace over those last three miles was similar to the opening three - although the effort was much greater - once you get the sniff of a breakthrough you run on fumes. I remember thinking over those last miles that i wasn't go to blow it all by giving in to the mounting stress. That was my first sub-90 half. (84:30).

  5. Hi Scott im not qualified to give you too much advice either but having died on a hilly half Marathon last year and come back and run a decent (for me!!) hilly Marathon this year this is what I think. Unless you have lots of hill training done..There's nothing like hills to knock the shit out of you so look at the big picture don't attack the hills any more than you have to be prepared to lose some time on them ..but lash the down hills,watch as you fly past all the guys that passed you on the up hill.If you over do it on the up hill its really hard to recover fully.Stick in your pace and balance your up hill losses with down hill gains.

  6. Best not to ask me about running hilly courses - I hate hills and would avoid the race like the plague. That race looks like my biggest nightmare. Good luck with it though.

    And I didn't realise you were an Aussie. I knew you were a transplant - just didn't know where from.

  7. I think it's a possible PB course Scott - the vertical climb is only 170m, so not much different to the old Lane Cove course and some good times were run there.

    My advice (a bit late now) would be to do your long run on a very hilly course à la the Deek 22 miler in Stromlo attacking all the hills. For the race, run at your best racing effort on the way out and don't worry about splits.

  8. I love that kind of course, but I would not expect a PR. Even so, you can go out harder than for a flat one because the second half will feel easier than a flat. Just don't overdo it. There's a fine line.

  9. Thanks for the good advice! I'm going to take it all.

    So far feeling good about it just need to go into the race niggle free and have confidence that my training has given me a new level of fitness.

    Just love to be able to hit the top, half way, with lungs intact and then the only thing that will stop me PBing will be if I go arse over apex on the downhills!

    Thanks again.