Vancouver Scotiabank Half-Marathon 2015
For a second year in a row I will be running the Vancouver Scotiabank Half-Marathon. Last year it was my first road half-marathon distance. I ran the race after running the Buckin’Hell 19km trail race put on by the good folks of the Coast Mountain Trail Series the day prior. Needless to say, the intent last year was just to get out on the Scotia Half-Marathon course, enjoy the views, as well as a bit of competition, and just see how the legs felt given the day’s prior race.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my legs bounced back well, managing a 1:26, having no idea what to expect with no significant road running, let alone half-marathon specific workouts. I was happy with how the race turned out. It was a great day, a well-organized race, with great volunteers and a scenic course. Fellow Kintec Race Team runner, Jesse Booi was out on course, offering a little motivation over the last couple of kilometres. Always good to see a friendly face!
This year I am excited to be returning to the Scotia Half-Marathon with a bit more of a focused effort. In May, I ran 1:19 at the Vancouver BMO Half-Marathon, after a solid four-month road specific training block. I will be looking to better that effort at Scotia. To this end, I hope to learn from the mistakes I made at BMO and implement the necessary changes at the Scotia Half-Marathon. This includes:
Race day nutrition: At BMO, I did not fuel well on course. The plan was to use gels as I find it the easiest and quickest way to get the necessary carbohydrates to keep me from bonking. Unfortunately, I waited too long into the race before consuming my first gel (some 40 minutes) and had a hard time getting it down. In fact, it turns out that it probably did not go down all the way, as it all came up after I crossed the finish line, having pushed pretty hard over the last few kilometres. I must say, however, puking never felt so good. At Scotia, I plan to consume at least two gels on the course and will try to time consumption near aid stations so that I can grab some water to aid digestion. I have also practised eating gels during some of my longer tempo efforts. Like all aspects of running, even eating on the run requires some training.
Downhill/Uphill running: Scotia is a net-downhill course. That is what everyone says, and it is certainly true. However, last year I was surprised by the hilly nature of the course (mostly the second half), with a solid climb to West 4th and the final climb over Burrard Bridge. In preparation for the long descent and hard climbs, I have incorporated hilly routes for my longer tempo runs. On these runs, I have focused on trying to push hard on the downhills (pounding the quads) and pushing equally hard on the climbs. The intent is to teach the legs to quickly recover over the undulating terrain.
Through implementing the above in preparation for Scotia and on race day, I am hoping to improve on my BMO half-marathon time and put in a solid effort. In the end, however, race-day is always unpredictable and you can only give it your best effort.
Adam Way, Kintec Race Team