But — how far is that?

Rusty had us run by time today. Not by distance. He didn’t really give us a pace either. “Start out with 95 second quarters, and then run what feels right.” Hmm. We were to run for two minutes and then jog for a minute and then repeat — 10 times total. To add a soupçon of additional confusion we were to run in the outside lanes so we didn’t know how long each lap actually was.

And was the 95 second quarter pace for the inside lane? or the outside? Rusty didn’t clarify

Presumably because it didn’t matter, we were to find our own pace. Practice for those races without mile markers:-)

I found it very odd. At one point, about a minute and a half into the two minute hard run, I found myself speeding up, thinking I’d get there sooner (and so get it over with sooner) if I just ran faster. But it didn’t matter how fast I ran, two minutes was two minutes — there was no “there” to get to.

Another point when I lapped some people for the second time, I was feeling very smug: “I’ll be finished long before they will be,” I thought to myself. It wasn’t until much later that I realized how silly that was. We’d all finish at the same time, when 30 minutes were up. I might go further, but I’d finish no sooner.

Somehow my brain is so used to thinking of running a distance that it is very hard to grasp the implications of running a time.

And that was why Rusty chose this workout — to mix us up a little and stop us being complacent.

It used to be common to have “1 hour” races, where the goal was to see how far you could go in the time rather than to reach a specific finish line. I’ve never done one. I think it would be weird. I’d like to try it — would it feel like a race? Would I get the adreneline boost a race gives me?

I suppose it would have to be on a track. Ug. Running roughly 40 times around a track sounds dull. And confusing — who would be counting each person. Perhaps that’s why they’ve fallen out of favor — the logistics of counting make it impossible for a large field to race.

Still, it would be odd.


3 Responses to “But — how far is that?”

  1. Dave Webster Says:

    Timing chips could handle the tedious counting, so I think the lack of popularity for timed races lies elsewhere. To race for an hour I think I’d want feedback on how far I’d gone and how much time had elapsed. But as a mind-messing experiment it would be fun to try to race for an hour without any feedback. I suppose a one-hour timed treadmill with blanked-out displays would work. I suspect I’d be a lot slower without the feedback, but it would be interesting to have the experience. Odd, indeed.

  2. georgeruns Says:

    Chips do seem like a solution. But after talking to the race director of the local half last year I gather that (at least in this case) the mats would intermittently fail and there would be stretches of several minutes where no finishers were recorded.

    This is why he always insists on recording gun time too.

    So there were about 50 runners with no chip finishing times out of roughly 2000. That’s 1 in forty. If that ratio holds then there’s a good chance that the chip would fail at least once for each runner in an hour.

  3. Dave Webster Says:

    Wow! I had no idea the failure rate was so high for chips/mats!

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