Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fling Predictions

1.  Stuart Mills will be hoping this year’s Fling is a 53 miler rather than a 60;

2.  Favourable conditions are forecast and it’s a cracking field at the sharp-end, so the winning times will be sub-7 for the men and sub-8:30 for the women.

3.  90% of the field will start far too fast and will run a sub-optimal race as a result;

4.  I will tell myself to start off slow ‘til I’m blue in the face, but will get sucked into the vortex of early speed folly as soon as the gun fires;

5.  JK will run 9:22:27 (and in over 100 miles of JK "Guess my time" competitions, I think I am within 2 seconds a mile, so don’t let me down John, unless you run faster of course!);

6.  That first beer at the finish will be the best you have ever tasted, even if it is lager.

As for myself, I’m simply aiming to improve on my previous Fling appearance in 2009. I don’t think I’m any fitter than then, as my overall mileage is low, but I think I can race more intelligently this time. Then, I pushed too hard from Rowardennan, and the rough section from Inversnaid to the end of the Loch took a lot out of me. With the wheels having come off by Beinglas, I took 3 hours to cover the last 12 miles. This year, I don’t mind getting to Beinglas quite a bit slower, as long as I’m capable of running the last section properly.

The splits for an optimal race, as a percentage of your overall target time, are:

Drymen           19.8%
Rowardennan   47.3%
Beinglas          75.8%
Tyndrum        100%

So, for an example 10 hour target, your splits would be: 1:59, 4:44, 7:35 and 10:00.

These percentages hinge entirely on the supposition that Jez Bragg knows how to pace himself and ran a "good" race in 2009 (but I don’t think that supposition is too rash, based on his pacing in other Trail and 100k events). There are those who advise that you should run hard when you are feeling good, because you will slow down later anyway (and you certainly can’t argue with Stuart Mills’s results!) but I believe that there is only one physiological optimum for all of us and on the flat, that would be even pace. Now, if only Stuart BELIEVED this were true, I’m convinced he would run even faster!

Whatever unfolds on Saturday, I’m sure it will be a cracking day out. See you all there and best of luck!


Thomas said...

Looking forward to see you back running on the WHW!

Sub 7 for the win? That would really surprise me. My guess: Jez will win in a PB of 7:17.
Unless a dark super horse shows up and a new star is born.

But else I agree, very interesting field and it's all about the strategy.

I am also looking forward to your post-race analysis (I hope there is one :-))

See you Saturday!

John Kynaston said...

All the best for your run on Saturday.

If you are right with your prediction for my time I would be VERY VERY HAPPY. You have been right before!!

See you in Tyndrum (unless you arrive in time to us off at 6am or have a superb race and catch me on route!)

Stuart is staying with us on Friday night so I'll make sure he's reads your post and follows your advice.

Debbie Martin-Consani said...

The header picture on your blog always make me feel queasy!

Good luck for Saturday.

I agree with most of your predictions. The smart man's money is on Jez and Kate!

Debs :-)

Debbie Martin-Consani said...

Oh and I hope 118 was lucky for you?!

Yak Hunter said...

Thanks for the tip about the Corsodyl. I got some and that and Bonjela and paracetamol seem to be helping.
Really interesting stuff about the splits - its so hard to trust that even splits will get you there - but I've done it in a marathon. Since I ran 1h 59 mins to Drymen last year for a just sub 12 finish by your reckoning I went out way too fast. Might try and be scientific about it...Good luck with your race! I'm starting to think mine might be on after all.

Peter Duggan said...

Just 90% of the field starting far too fast? I say more!

You'll get sucked into the vortex of early speed folly? But I won't!

And, sure, you can't argue with Stuart Mills's results, but you can argue all you like with his advice... and I do!

Have to say I really like your whole post here, so see you there and best of luck to you too! :-)

pb said...

Hi Billy,
Enjoyed the first 30+ miles yesterday, not so much the later miles. I have photos of yourself you might use to illustrate your report. Some are on the prc website report but I also have a few more I can send if you let me know your email.
Hope you are feeling ok today, enjoyed your company for much of yesterdays adventures,
Peter B