Friday, 1 March 2013

parkrun stats of the week...23rd February 2013

A bit late this week, but the parkrun statistics of note for last weekend are:

209 parkrun events run (up 4 on last week). This is another new record number of events on a single parkrunday!
26,543 runners, down 2,099 on last week!
The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 127 (down 12.7 on last week!).

14 events recorded a new record attendance this week, as follows:
Event  Record Attendance  
Chelmsford Central93
Claisebrook Cove127
Pennington Flash150

The longest standing parkrun attendance record is:
Amager Faelled  146 28/08/2010

And in the UK it's:

The highest attendance this week was 862 at Bushy Park.

The lowest attendance this week was 8 at Vejen parkrun.

81 runners (down 9 on last week) ran times under 17 minutes this week.
13 of these runners (up 8 on last week) ran under 16 minutes!
And just 1 of those ran under 15 minutes.
The fastest parkrunner in the World this week was James Poole running 14:42 at Braunstone parkrun.

The fastest 13 were as follows:
Event  Athlete  Time  
BraunstoneJames P E POOLE14:42
PooleSteve WAY15:01
Bushy ParkRowan AXE15:11
Bushy ParkBradley GOATER15:17
WoodbankAndi JONES15:31
BasingstokeDave RAGAN15:33
Sheffield HallamJaimie RODEN15:38
CardiffSam WADE15:39
PooleJacek CIELUSZECKI15:43
HuddersfieldGlen COMISH15:49
NorwichPiers ARNOLD15:53
NorwichNick EARL15:57
CardiffEdward R TAKATA15:59

The top age grade performance this week was:
Event  Athlete  Time  Age Group  Age Grade  
AberdeenCarolyn MILNE19:02    VW50-5491.51%

The fastest (valid) freedom run on the "most recent 100" list at the moment is
Runner  Date  Location  Run Time  
Peter WOODWARD17/02/2013Forest of Dean18:57

parkrun registrations this week...1st March 2013

There is still a little time for new registrations this week, but at the time of writing and compared to the figures in my post this time last week....

Totalling up new registrations across parkrun globally, shows that parkrun has attracted a further 5,177 registrations in a week, 409 less than at the same time last week.

This takes the total number of global parkrun registrations (according to my official source page on the parkrun website) up to 455,054 (up from 449,877). That is a growth in total registrations of over 1.15% in a week.

As far as I am aware, there 2 new parkruns starting this weekend:
Wallace parkrun in Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Delamere parkrun in Delamere Forest in Cheshire

For the second week running Marley parkrun is just pipping Malahide parkrun at the top of the charts with the most new registrations this week.

8 different parkrun events have added 50 or more new registrants this week and they are:
Event   Total   This week   
Marlay parkrun413160
Malahide parkrun3173157
South Bank parkrun118592
Delamere parkrun14971
Cheltenham parkrun58757
Scunthorpe parkrun26553
Nahoon Point parkrun274552
New Farm parkrun475651

No great surprises in the "largest parkrun in the world" (by total registrations) category this week, where it is still the same top 5:
Event   Total   
Bushy parkrun21681
Glasgow parkrun12909
Leeds parkrun11711
Brighton & Hove parkrun10498
Wimbledon Common parkrun10124

And at the other end of the spectrum (with the lowest number of registered parkrunrunners), but just as worthy of a mention (as these are new or future parkrun events) we have:
Event   Total   
Cross Flatts parkrun3
Hackworth parkrun16
Brandon Country Park parkrun20
Newent parkrun, Forest of Dean20
Llyn Llech Owain parkrun33

Monthly mileage record

February may well be the shortest month of the year and having set my highest monthly running mileage record in January, it was always going to be a tough ask to up my mileage any more or even get close to it.

However, having run 141.7 miles in January, I somehow managed to clock up 142.2 miles in February.

There wasn't even any conscious attempt to creep past my figure from January, it was just the way it turned out that I happened to break my mileage record by just half a mile.

I'm not sure how long I can keep up these distances. At this rate I am on for roughly 1700 miles this year, which would smash my record of 1000.8 miles set last year. I am sure the figures will drop off at some stage, but even so, 284 miles already in the year is some going for me.

March is likely to see a bit of a drop as I taper my distance and frequency of training for a couple of races, but I am still hopeful that I can get up reasonably close to those figures again. Who knows, I may even be able to set a new monthly mileage record for the third month running. Only time will tell.

365 in 365 challenge - progress so far

We are already 2 full months into 2013, doesn't time fly when you are having fun!

At the turn of the year, one of the challenges that I set myself was to attempt to do 365 training sessions in the 365 days of 2013. Given that I only managed around 180 different training sessions last year, this is a significant step up. I am only counting running and cycling at the moment and I do allow more than one session a day, but they have to be distinct, separate sessions.

The intention of this plan was purely to increase the amount of exercise I do to try to both prevent injuries and aim for some PBs at various distances in the spring.

So in total over January and February I managed to complete:
- 39 running sessions (284 miles)
- 24 static cycling sessions (over 17 hours)

For a total of 63 training sessions in 59 days. Not a bad start to the year at all! And already 4 training sessions ahead of target.

If you add to that all the core exercising (26 times) and the stretching that I am doing most days, it is a job well done so far.

Now I just have to hope that it has the desired effect and I can get some PBs in the spring.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Half Marathon race pace

In 18 days time I will be running my 3rd ever half marathon and my first since 2009.

The main reason for planning this half marathon was purely to make me train hard over the last 2 months. I wouldn't say I have trained too hard, but I have at least done good mileage, my two highest monthly figures ever in fact, being up around 270 miles for the year to date as I type.

My current half marathon PB is 1:33:47 (I think) and my first aim is to beat this. Most people would think a PB was a sufficient target!

However, given my 10km PB (36:47) I feel that a new PB should be the least I should aim for.

My second target is to go under 1 hour and 30 minutes as this seems quite a significant milestone and a nice target, but I don't even want to stop there.

Thirdly and finally, my ultimate aim is for a time around 1:25. This is the aim that I am not sure if I can do. I believe that my first two targets should be relatively comfortable, whereas I really don't know if I am capable of 1 hour 25 minutes.

To achieve my 1:25 target I need to run roughly 6:30 per mile which equates to 4 parkruns of 20:10 back-to-back, plus an extra 4 minute final 1km. Not easy!

So today I decided to try to run this pace for 2 parkruns back-to-back, really in an attempt to learn my target pace so that I can easily drop into it on race day.

I ran a 1 mile warm-up, had a quick stretch and then set off, quickly getting the pace pretty close to, but slightly faster than my target (based on known parkrun distance landmarks).

I ran my first parkrun in 19:51, 19 seconds faster than my target. During the second parkrun I noticed the pace drop slightly but hoped that it was closer to target. At 20:11 and only 1 second over, it certainly was!

At this point I decided, in for a penny - in for a pound, what better way to give myself confidence than to run 9.3 miles at target pace, rather than 6.2 miles. With that in mind I carried on straight into my third back-to-back parkrun.

The third parkrun did start to get slightly tougher, but I still managed to stay on target pace and even up the pace slightly in the last 5 minutes for a 19:54.

This gave me a total triple parkrun freedom run time of 59:58. Under an hour for 15km (9.3 miles) is not to be sniffed at, especially considering it was a training run and I never felt troubled.

That time equates to a time of 6:28 per mile for those 9.3 miles, almost three-quarters half marathon distance and still under my target pace.

This gives me great confidence that I can run 6:30 per mile for 13.1 miles on race day. Possibly even faster!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

425 to 2

A week ago I finished in 425 (and second last) place at Coventry parkrun.

This week I managed to finish 424 places earlier in 2nd place.

I wonder how many people have finished in the last two one week and the first two the next week? Not many I should think.

I even have a more impressive set of recent finishes than that:

3 weeks ago - 3rd last
2 weeks ago - 3rd place
1 week ago - 2nd last
Yesterday - 2nd place

I wonder what the next two weeks hold in store for me at parkrun!