Are You Warmed Up?
Chilly conditions returned to Bushy Park this week, but this didn’t prevent a huge field of 1,219 runners from turning out and completing our 2nd highest field in cold but sunny and windless conditions. Firm ground and “even-minute pacers” led to an incredible 182 PBs this week.
Given the wintry temperature, it seems a good week to share some of my observations on parkrun warm-ups. As I live only 2.5 miles from the start-line, I’ve always assumed that by cycling to the park, I will not only dodge the hassle of finding a car-parking space, but also be giving myself an adequate pre-5Km run warm up. However, watching some of the preparation that some other runners are doing, I have called this assertion into question over the last year.
For example, I have often seen Paul Bowden (who lives close by to me) running to the park at a pretty impressive pace, then running his parkrun even more quickly (I’ve lost sight of him by around 500 metres) and then running the 2.5 miles home at a good pace too!
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that if I attempted some of the pre-run sprints that some runners attempt on Chestnut Avenue near the start-line, I’d be spending the next 20 minutes recovering rather than posting a reasonable 5km time! So, what is an ideal 5Km warm-up? Obviously it needs to be tailored according to our individual condition and fitness levels, but the consensus suggests that in order to achieve our potential, we should be considering something along the lines of the following:-
- 3-4 minutes of Dynamic stretching (not static, whereby the stretch is “held”)
- 10 minutes of easy jogging
- 2 X 2 minutes of running at half marathon pace (around 15% slower than your 5 Km pace) with easy jogging in-between bouts
- 4 x 150m with a 90-second to 2-minute jog between, starting at 5k pace and ending about a second faster for the 150m distance (which is significantly faster than 5k pace), then 1-2 minutes of calm walking before you gather at the start-line for the run director’s briefing!
Why warm-up? The main reasons are to raise blood circulation to a pulse rate near 130 to 140 beats a minute, so that you don't have to ‘go through the gears’ in your parkrun; and 2) to raise the body temperature and loosen up the muscles so they can function more efficiently, reducing the risk of pulling a muscle or straining a tendon.
Have I tried it? Not to the letter no…. Whilst I don’t want my parkruns to be “too serious”, I am keen to be running somewhere near my full potential, so, whilst I’ve not yet sorted out a “dynamic stretch routine” and still do around 10 mins of cycling rather than 10 mins of jogging, I do often park my bike at the Teddington gate to carry out the last 2 stages of the above warm-up. Having made the changes in the middle of a “PB-spree” nearly a year ago, it did seem to help me squeeze out one more PB to the sequence before.
A question of pace!
At Bushy, we have a load whole of quantity – 1,219 runners is testament to that! However, whilst we can organise 8 pacers, it is not quantity that people are looking for but quality! Yes, we thank anyone who is willing to wear a bib and carry a flag, but the runner chasing a 28:00 PB is not going to be too chuffed if they put their trust in a pacer who runs a 28:50!
So this week, we decided to have a look at the quality of our pacing team
Whilst on the topline, we were generally pretty good...
Ian Fullen – Target 20 mins – Actual 19:56
Tim Bowden – 22 mins – 21:50
Andy Wingate – 24 mins – 23:57
Matthew Jaquiss – 26 mins – 25:57
Jed Leicester – 28 mins – 27:59
Simon Rayner – 30 mins – 29:45
Michael Lonergan – 32 mins – 32:02
David Stewart – 34 mins – 33:50
...giving an average variance across the eight of just six seconds away from their targets!
However, pacing is about more than hitting a finish time – you should be aiming to run even splits across the 5km. Running 4.8km hard and then ambling down the final straight is not good! So this week we asked the pacers to hand in their Garmin splits and it was all pretty impressive!
Note! When you are pacing you don’t start on the startline, there is often some wandering across the course as you encourage your companions and you don’t always take the shortest line, so it is advisable to gain a few seconds in each kilometre to account for the fact that you actually run more than 5k – at least according to your watch!
So, how did people do…
Ian ‘Metronome’ Fullen – Ideal time of 4 mins per kilometre – Actual splits 3:54, 3:58, 3:58, 3:58, 3:58 and then 9 seconds for the additional bit giving him a 19:56
If you spread that additional 9 seconds out over the 5 kilometres, it means Ian hit his mark TO THE SECOND in each of the last 4km, but he got a bit excited at the start and so was 4 seconds ahead at Teddington Gate! Equally impressive was Ian’s ability to shout encouragement to those around him throughout the run; I once agreed to wear the 20 minute pacer tabard at the Swindon parkrun (they don’t do flags there) and I certainly didn’t have any spare breath to shout during my run!
Tim ‘Give me a target and I will hit it’ Bowden – Ideal time of 4:24 – Actual splits 4:06, 4:24, 4:21, 4:23, 4:21 and 15 seconds for his 21:50
Matthew ‘Steady as a Rock’ Jaquiss – Ideal time of 5:12 – Actual splits 5:10, 5:10, 5:09, 5:08, 5:10 and then 13 seconds for his 25:57
That is pretty good – so next time you are looking for a PB and see someone carrying a flag with a number on it, then you can be pretty sure if you stick with them they will deliver you to the big tree in the time they say they will!
Great job, guys!
Many thanks to Andy Wingate who provided the “Pacers analysis”.
The Results – PBs Galore!
The week the first runner back to the big tree was Ranelagh’s Ralph Street who clocked a very impressive time of 15:16. On his 10th run at Bushy Park, Ralph has now put together a sequence of 8 consecutive PBs spread over a time period of over 7 years!
In 3rd place (behind an unregistered runner) Bushy Park regular Andrius Jaksevicius took 11 seconds off his PB, lowering it to 16:04.
Our first lady home was junior runner Hannah Novakovic, who took an incredible 46 seconds off her PB in a time of 18:13 on her 20th run. Many congratulations Hannah.
Melanie Wood, who was making her Bushy parkrun debut, was the next lady home in a time of 19:21, followed by another junior runner Freya Thomson, whose time of 19:35 took half a minute off her PB. What an inspiring start to the year!
In all, a magnificent seven runners achieved a WAVA age grading above 80%; They were:-
Time Category Age Grade
Ralph STREET 15:16 SM20-24 84.50%
Hannah NOVAKOVIC 18:13 JW15-17 83.99%
Ruth HUTTON 20:19 VW45-49 81.54%
Freya THOMSON 19:35 JW11-14 81.53%
Kyle LANGFORD 16:23 SM18-19 81.38%
Andrius JAKSEVICIUS 16:04 SM30-34 81.22%
Liz ZASS 26:53 VW65-69 80.16%
As mentioned in the headlines, there were an amazing 182 PBs this week (Is this a record?) (Ed – the highest I can recall is 200 PBs at event 451 on 16th Feb 2013! I’m sure fellow statto Ray Franks can inform us if there has been an even higher figure!) This figure included 6 members of the 100 Club, so hearty congratulations to:
Time Category No Of Runs
Rebecca HALL 20:01 SW30-34 153
Robert CURTIS 21:37 VM45-49 148
Darren FRANKS 20:58 VM45-49 134
Tom LOVEGROVE 18:07 SM25-29 128
Andrius JAKSEVICIUS 16:04 SM30-34 113
Barbara TANTON 27:26 VW45-49 101
Given the size of this week’s field, it is perhaps surprising that there was just 1 new joiner to the 100 club this week. The sole new joiner to the club was Greg Mace who has achieved this landmark in just 2 years and 8 months from his first parkrun!
There were 7 new members of the 50 club:-
4 junior runners join the 10 club this week; They are:-
There were 118 runners making their Bushy Park debut this week - of which 82 were new to parkrun welcome aboard all, and hopefully you will concur that parkruns are for life, not just January new year resolutionists!
Whilst it is appropriate to say many thanks to the volunteers every week, they deserve a special thank you this week for dealing with so many of you! Many thanks to:-
Adam SHERRIFF • Alex TICKELL • Ann COWARD • Benjamin WILLIAMSON • Bev WILLIAMS • Chris BRIMACOMBE • Chrissie GALE • David PAPWORTH • Hayden MATTHEWS • Heather WALLINGTON • James MORRIS • John A STEPHENS • Jonathan EVANS • Joseph MOUNTSTEPHEN • Ken PEARSON • Lou COAKER • Lucy THATCHER • Malcolm J TAYLOR • Merran SELL • Niamh LYONS • Paul KEDDIE • Paul WOOD • Philip WILLIAMSON • Philip WRIGHT • Philippa SCHOFIELD • Rachel KEDDIE • Ray COWARD • Ray FRANKS • Richard BARMAN • Stephen PENPRAZE • Stewart ROSE
Not even state school teachers are quite so outnumbered by their charges! Inevitably, with a field of 1219, there were some particularly busy periods in the funnel, especially in the 25th minute when 124 runners crossed the line; more than 2 a second! That must have warmed up our timer Hayden Matthew’s hands! (Ed – Hayden had no gloves on, so his hands were not sufficiently warmed up despite some busy minutes to click and Kirsty Bangham had to temporarily take over after 30 minutes while Hayden got the feeling back in his hands!)
Well done everyone on some inspirational achievements this week – Keep it up!
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