Thursday, April 25, 2013

A midweek run with The Running Company

I think this week will end up becoming overkill for my legs - but with the Nike 10km on next weekend, and the half two weeks after, this is probably the last week I can really push my mileage. It wasn't that I wanted to run a lot this week, but that I needed to test my legs out on Monday and I wanted try a few different running groups!

I bought my original Wave Riders from The Running Company at Bondi. I knew they had a run club, but it's really only been the past few weeks that I've felt like I could join them - knowing that when I did, I would still be one of the slowest runners in their group.

I finally got around to running with them this week - and as expected, I was one of the slowest. Strangely, I'm not the slowest going uphill, but definitely downhill - I think it is because I switch to a heelstrike. There were a few times that I would stay on my midfoot downhill, and I could keep pace (with the rest of the slowies), but I also felt like I was putting too much pressure on my body for nothing. After all, it was a general mid-week run, and not a race or a course where I was chasing a PB! In the end I kept pace with the slower runners in the group, and that's good enough for me. I'll definitely be back next week.

It was a tough run, with quite a few climbs - not that the Nike website shows this very well! I might come back to this in a later post - but of the four online trackers I use, I think Garmin Connect was the most accurate elevation profile. Generally:

  • the Nike profile is smoothed and there's no labelling of the elevation axis
  • the dailymile profile axes are labelled with imperial measurements (while I know the conversions, it would just be nicer if I could see it immediately in metric), the profile is also smoothed but not as much as the Nike one
  • the Strava profile axes are labelled with metric measurements and was the least smoothed of the four websites, but had a weird jump on the climb up from Tamarama beach where it jumps down to sea level, and then jumps back up. I think the GPS tracking mapped onto the actual beach for a bit, which was only 1 or 2 metres to my right, but none of the other websites had this problem
  • the Garmin profile was smoothed, but not as much as the dailymile one, and its axes are both labelled and with metric measurements. It didn't have the Tamarama problem, so it wins for this course.
I still like that you can quickly look at the Nike one and see the relative speed of the sections (although there's no such thing as "moving time" like there is on Strava and Garmin Connect), so I think I'll continue using it when putting together this run journal of sorts... The red section after 2km was because we attempted to make use of the almost full moon and go through Cooper Park. We struggled down the steps and decided to abort that section of the run. There were also quite a few lights on the run. 

One of my motivations for running with the Running Company is that it is relatively close to home (although I only just realised that Lululemon Bondi Junction now do their own run club on a Thursday night - they used to do theirs with the Running Company a while ago), and so I can get to know new sections to run to and through, such as the Tamarama steps! I always knew they were there, but never bothered to try running or walking through there as I'd always stuck to the beach course, not the road around and above the beach. 

Summary*: 6.6km @ 7:11/km

*Since I've been somewhat comparing the online trackers, this run was 6.8km @ 6:35/km on Strava, 6.8km @ 6:07/km on Garmin Connect and 6.8km on dailymile (no time tracking there). Also, I just briefly played with Training Peaks - it logged 6.8km too, the elevation profile looks about right and the pace data is very noisy. But it looks like I will only ever get "elapsed time" out of it and not "moving time", which is something Strava and Garmin Connect can do. 

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