Friday, 15 June 2007

Plan of Attack

Just thought I'd lay down my thinking about how to tackle the Jungfrau. Having done endurance stuff since I was a kid I have no concerns about the distance but there is a risk of sheer exhaustion (bonk, cramp, dehydration) if I don't tackle the second half properly.

Unlike most hill races the Jungfrau is literally a race of two halves. The first is like a bog standard half marathon with only 300+ m of ascent. In the second half 'the only way is up baby!' with 1300+ m of ascent on tracks and morraine. I'm tempted to try and arrange a shoe swap at the halfway stage: Kayanos followed by XA Pros. Looking at the photos from last years event there seems to be a lot of road shoes being worn on the morraine.

I found an account of the Jungfrau in which the author had analysed the times of previous runners and compared them with their 'normal' marathon times. It seems that the price to pay for the ascent is a 47% increase in time. As I'd fancy my chances at a sub three hour marathon (assuming I actually trained) I'm setting my target at sub 4:30.

So, the plan is a steady 1:40 for the first half leaving me fresh (I wish) for the second half. This will leave me with 2:50 for the second half which means a better than 4 miles per hour pace. I've finally gotten round to calculating the average gradient for the second half. Seems I've been overdoing it by training at 15% incline as 6000 ft of ascent over 13 miles gives an average gradient of 8.74%. So, I'll now, thankfully, be training at 10%. I was getting worried over the 15% regime as I struggled to keep up 5mph for a mile. Hopefully, 10% will be a lot more doable. As it happens I did some treadmill intervals on Tuesday of 7mph at 10%. My heart rate was 143 bpm which means it's not (yet) sustainable for me but there's still time to work on it. So, 5mph for the second half should do it. Easy peasy.

Just need to shed a few superfluous pounds now. Sorry Rosie but the love handles have to go ;-)


aquaasho said...

Jaysis Mick now I'm scared.....

Can I link to this on Team Geared Up to give people an idea of your training regime?

Mick said...

What's to be scared of. It's surely just a fun run to a TdMB finisher. Unless I can shift at least a stone (I'm currently hovering just below 13 stone)I'll be going nowhere fast up those hills.

Feel free to link it to anywhere you want. Good luck with the trials. What's the average gradient on that event?

aquaasho said...

I don't know about gradient but it's about 700m climb over about 5k. I ran up and down last year in about 71 minutes. To run up only, I should be trying to get close to 45 minutes (but unlikely).

I'm scared by how well you thought out you're training. I haven't given it any thought yet except to book the hotel!

Mick said...

I've checked out the gradient and its 14% so, as you've done it before, you know what that equates to on the ground. That looks like the equivalent of the Lauterbrunnen to Wengen part of the Jungfrau (the steepest bit). I've not booked a hotel yet. As it happens I did a very similar, though not as steep, run on the treadmill on Friday (see next post).

Haven't booked hotel yet. Still thinking about a self catering chalet so that I can make sure I get the food I want.

aquaasho said...

That means it was taking me about 15 minutes per mile (giving 100 per cent!) so Jungfrau could take a while!

Mick said...

13:22 mins per mile to be precise. Well done on your Europeans qualification! When do they take place?

aquaasho said...

Aw Mick they're on the 8th of July. It affects lots of things:
(1) I will miss my best friends wedding
(2) I will miss out on the next attempt on the Wicklow Round
(3) I will have to ease up on racing for 3 weeks and miss out on a chance of winning or doing well in our mountain racing league.
I kinda have to go though.

Mick said...

Ouch! Not a nice choice to have to make. Don't know which I'd go for although I'm leaning towards skipping the Europeans. Suppose you can't win and you can't lose with either.