Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tokyo Marathon

The official 26.2 mile event is today, but we aren't stupid enough to run that far, so entered a rather low-key 10km race yesterday instead, twice round the Imperial Palace, which is an almost exact 5km route which is very popular with joggers. It was pouring with rain in the morning, so we nearly didn't bother going, but the rain stopped at lunchtime right on cue and although the pavement was slippery on one part of the course, conditions were otherwise pretty good.

February running at the Imperial Palace

[Milling about before the start]

After the last slightly disappointing effort in Chiba I wanted to test myself a bit harder so set off rather enthusiastically (just for the record, my half lap splits were about 9:30, 19:40 and 30:00 respectively) and finished in 40:28 which was 2 mins faster than my previous best. And I'm certainly feeling the worse for it today - the bike ride to Yokohama and back was a bit of a struggle.

February running at the Imperial Palace

[The start of the 5K]

Jules ran 51:49, taking exactly 3 mins off her previous Shonan time, and coming in 4th woman!

Considering the route follows beside the moat, it's surprisingly hilly - at least 30m of height gain (and loss) per lap, which according to this site suggests I could have scraped under 40 mins on a flat course. Oh, it's also 48m short (over two laps) according to these guys, but that's a minor detail :-)

Imperial Palace Tokyo

[The scenery round the route was quite pleasant, considering it was in Tokyo]


andrewt said...

Hills with gentle gradient add less to your time than you'd expect, 50m short may have made uo for the hills.

Still. 2 & 3 minutes are big chunks to knock off your PBs so sub-40 & sub-50 nextrace

James Annan said...

well, I was just going by what that site said - but (perhaps due to being on the large side for a runner) I do notice that hills hit me particularly hard. Anyway, yes I think I can realistically hope to go below 40 mins in the future.

andrewt said...

Extra mass slows you on the up of course but the question is how much you get back on the down. My theory is that longer legs are an advantage on down hills - but the only evidence for my theory is that I pass a lot of runners with shorter legs on downhills.

jules said...

50 mins!?! How long do I have to acheive this mighty goal? :o I was running quite hard, but below the "ow I want to stop now soon please ow please" pace. I kind of wanted to have a good time too! And I did - while James whooshing off into the distance makes me feel all slow most of the time, at the races I get to overtake lots and lots of men, which is brilliant. Especially good in this one as it had a hill in it, and overtaking men running up hill is about ten times as fun as doing it on the flat. ...cos we all know that women are slow up hill... :-)

Yes I am sure you are right that long legs help running down hill. James kind of freefalls ridiculously fast down really steep hills.

andrewt said...

You are not a real runner if you are mocking X0:00 thresholds - few things are more important.

You should start at "why am I doing this when I could be home in bed" pace, the middle should be "nothing could be worse than this - no one will notice if I stop" pace and you should finish at "I'm about to collapse but I'm not going to be passed by a woman" pace.

jules said...

I'm definitely not a real runner but I wasn't mocking either. I was genuinely asking by when I have to acheive the target you have set. Bear in mind that running is a winter season thing here. Do I have to acheive the clearly impossible 49:59 this spring, next autumn or...?

andrewt said...

OK. I'd guess you could do this spring. Some running faster than your 10k pace is supposed to help - either shorter races or if you want to get obsessive - speed sessions

William M. Connolley said...

Well done (grr). Are you going to stop pretending that you don't practice now?

James Annan said...

Practice? What's that?

PeterThorne said...

Is that 5K around the palace next to the JMA headquarters as the map I'm looking at suggests? I have a meeting at JMA next week and am debating whether to bring my running kit now (and probably leave it in my bag lets be honest). Even I would be challenged to get lost in going round in one big circle*

*I would hope, but don't hold me to that.

James Annan said...

Hi Peter, yes, you will be right on site. Just keep the water (mostly) on your left (oh, and don't go on the gravelled area near the "start"), it would be hard to go wrong. Here's a map of the route.

Snowing hard here right now - but we are off to warmer climes for a few days.