Auckland Marathon

A new marathon PB! Yesterday I ran in the 2016 Auckland Marathon, completing the run in 2:53:41!

Although I’m happy to have knocked three minutes off my personal best, I have fallen an agonizing 41 seconds short of my sub 2:53 target!

I was 77kg-78kg on the day, consumed three energy gels throughout the race (0km, 16km, 29km), and had either a cup of water or Powerade at each aid station. I’ve also mastered the “art” of drinking while running!

My preparation for this year’s marathon was to run faster and run less! I decreased the amount of mileage I did by a whopping 45%! From the start of the year to date I have ran 1980km.

Other “interesting” metrics:

  • This year 39% (60/154) runs were on the treadmill. Compare this with last year where 33% (61/183) runs (up until the marathon) were on the treadmill. (I’m not sure whether running on a treadmill this often is good, but it sure was convenient!).
  • In 2016, my [min/mean/max] speed on the road and the treadmill was [9.5/12.8/16.7] and [13.0/16.1/18.8] km/h respectively.

  • Meanwhile in 2015, my [min/mean/max] speed on the road and the treadmill was [9.2/12.4/15.8] and [12.0/14.4/17.6] km/h respectively.

  • This is my sixth marathon. Despite a steady improvement in speed, I’m still a long way from achieving a negative split.

Year Marathon First split Second split Difference Net Time
1 2011 Christchurch 1:31:05 1:50:37 0:19:32 3:21:43
2 2012 Auckland 1:25:16 1:42:58 0:17:42 3:08:15
3 2014 Rotorua 1:28:00 1:43:00 0:15:00 3:10:48
4 2015 Rotorua 1:29:00 1:44:00 0:15:00 3:12:49
5 2015 Auckland 1:26:15 1:30:43 0:04:28 2:56:58
6 2016 Auckland 1:24:17 1:29:23 0:05:06 2:53:41

Compared to my last year’s marathon, my speed at each kilometer segment is similar and generally follows: 1) the profile of the course (dip at 15km is the habour bridge) and 2) fatigue in the last 10km! The bar graph below shows the average speed over each kilometer (2016 = blue with text, red = 2015, 2016-2015 = green).

I have also volunteered myself to be a test subject in a couple of running studies. In addition to getting a free VO2 Max test, I’ll also get some general training advice – heart rate zones, training drills … even how to improve my running technique! A week or so ago I had a VO2 max test and got 58.4mL/kg/min with a maximal oxygen uptake of 4.46L/min. Although this is a reasonable V02 Max score for a “weekend warrior”, it was noted that my running technique has plenty of room for improvement. Stay tuned …