Great South Run – reflections and lessons learned

It’s just over a week since the Great South Run 2012 and I’ve had some time to reflect and think about what I’ve learned from the race.

* 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking worked very well for me during the race. Opting to run the whole of the first mile was a sensible approach as the race was too congested to take a walking break after 5 mins – I would have got in other people’s way – it was right to wait until the race had thinned out a bit;

* Starting in the middle group was great – it meant that the people around me were in the main running a little bit faster than me – this gave me a real lift and kept me going through the first few miles of the race. It also meant that towards the end I was still surrounded by people who were, in the main, running. There were a few people taking walking breaks like me but on the whole I was surrounded by runners which again made it easier for me to keep going;

* I am getting faster and stronger – I think my training plan of 3 runs a week supplemented by yoga and powerplates is paying dividends. Enough running to see an improvement but not so much that I’m getting injured or feeling exhausted. The cross training seems to be complementing the running;

* The last two miles were still uncomfortable for me – next year I’ll train to above 10 miles to help with this;

* My knees hurt a lot in the days after the race, mainly when going up and down stairs. I think this is the start of runners knee caused by tight IT bands and quads. More stretching required!

* My shoulders were aching for a day or two after the race. This photo gives me some idea why that might be…

…I’m running with my shoulders hunched right up – I know this is an issue for me, not just when running and it’s something I really need to work on;

* I really love running in big races – the atmosphere, the crowds, the build up, running with so many other people – I’ll take the chaotic first mile for all of that – I prefer it over a small race where I’m going to be near the back anyday;

* BUPA races are really well organised. I’ve done the BUPA 10K and now this twice. You can’t fault the organisation at all and compared to certain other races I’ve done this year, the organisation at BUPA events is top notch;

* I definitely want to come back and run this again next year. I’ve already entered the race and put a target time of sub 1hr and 55 mins!

2 thoughts

  1. Some really good lessons here. I have the same problem with my shoulders, also not just when running. LD is always telling me to relax them but what other people think of as “relaxed” posture is actually a lot of work for me because the muscles are too tight! I hope the yoga will help with that 🙂

    1. I’m exactly the same – “pull your shoulders down your back” is the comment I get most often in a yoga or powerplates class. I had a Chi Running coaching session yesterday – got another one tomorrow and I’ll blog about my experience after that – and I think that’s really going to help. And yoga of course!

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