Sunday, January 9, 2011

The challenge of SCMM 2011 beckons

By this time next week I should  be done with my 8th run of the Mumbai marathon (6th FM)and would have hopefully achieved my goal of a sub 3:59 Full Marathon. While I am reasonably well trained and prepared for the event and can take heart from the fact that I have progressively improved my timings at Mumbai since 2006(see below) shaving over 40 minutes, I am well aware that now going below 4 is going to be very tough. Whatever be the training a lot of factors need to fall in place in order to have a good race specially in Mumbai: race start, heat and humidty, aid station support, sleep and rest in the days leading up to the race, mental and physical state on the morning of the race etc etc.

  1. 2006        4:42:28 
  2. 2007        4:37:16  
  3. 2008        4:31:09 
  4. 2009        4:13:16 
  5. 2010        4:00:56
Of course for the last week or so one has been going through the usual tapering blues that encompass  reduced level of excercise with  higher level of food intake and imaginary aches and pains couple of weeks before an event. The light fever that I had every evening for several days since 31st December has been worrisome and had an adverse impact on my 35K run on Jan 1st.  While the timing of 3:40 was slower than my target time I felt much more fatigued than normal at the end of the run. Anyway, the fever seems to have gone now and my last 15K+ run before SCMM this morning was quite normal.

In order to devise a strategy for my run this year I analysed my split timings from SCMM 2010.
           Distance           Time                Average Pace
  • 14.7 Km         01:21:35            5:33 per Km
  • 17  Km           01:34                 5:31 per Km
  • 24  Km           02:12:55            5:32 per Km
  • 29.7  Km        02:45:21            5:34 per Km
  • 42.2  Km        04:00:56            5:42 per Km
To shave two minutes off my finish time I need to increase my average pace by 3 secs per Km ie stay within an average pace of 5:39 per Km. My target is to hit the half way mark in about 1:55 at an average of 5:27 and get to the 30K mark by 2:45 at an average of 5:30. That will leave me about an hour and 14 minutes for the last 12.2Km at an average pace of 6 minutes per Km. This is vis-a-vis over 115 minutes I took for the 12.5Kms at last year's SCMM. More recently at the ING Hartford Marathon I got to the 32Km mark in 2:56:46 at an average pace of 5:32 per Km. and ended up taking 6:11 per Km for the last 10.2Kms.

Looking at these numbers makes me even more nervous - it certainly makes me very conscious of the enormity of the challege ahead of me next Sunday morning. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that all factors fall into place on race day and I am fortunate enough to continue the trend of improving my finish time at the biggest road marathon in India!

Here is wishing all fellow runners a great run at SCMM 2011!!


Bhasker Sharma said...

Forgot to mention the one postive that might help this eyr. The FM start is 06:15am instead of 06:40am. These 25 minutes should be very valuable to maintain pace.

MJV said...

Bhasker with all your training and strategising the race splits i am sure that you can pull this one as well. All the best Bhasker...

manoj said...

That's an unbelievable track record at Mumbai, Bhasker.
Personally, I will be running 5:15 pace with D, till 30k and then take a call from there on. I will also be carrying a bottle to tide over the cramps.
It finally boils down to the last 5-7k or so... Good luck to all of us!!

Bhasker Sharma said...

Thanks MJV and Manoj. All the best to you guys too! Manoj - if you sustain that pace then you will do close to 3:45. Both you and D are in great form - a lot depends on the weather though.

manoj said...

Wow! And you just add another feather to that cap, another entry into the list of PBs...
Cant wait for the race report!

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