Here’s our 5 point guide to kicking your Stook PB in the ass.
1. Setting off on the wrong foot.
The biggest mistake we see runners make is arriving late to registration and having to rush or arriving early but then spending to much time enjoy “the chat” – and we don’t mean Mo Farah’s Somalian drug of choice. Â Without a warm up your legs go into shock when you hit them with an hour plus of threshold running from a cold start. So – a certain amount of exercise foreplay is required to get them race ready. A little 10 minute jog and some strides will get the blood flowing and your body in the right mode for awesomeness.
2. Steady on
The start is exciting. Everyone knows that. There are guns, people cheering and cowbells – its easy to get carried away…but there will be a price to be paid later in the race. If you have a target pace – give away a few seconds on the first few miles, you’ll get them back later and your legs will be much better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
3. Chill on the downhill
Between mile 5 and 6 Â there is a lovely flat to downhill section along peaceful country roads. This is not the time to bank valuable seconds…it’s time to relax your breathing, lengthen your stride a little and lean forward – let gravity push you onÂ while you get some well earned recovery.
4. Keep your legs
Stook Hill comes in 4 parts. The first part and arguably the toughest is from 6 miles. It lasts about half a mile. Don’t force the pace here, but get into a sustainable steady effort. As you turn right into the lane there is a steep ramp…it is important not to “go into the red” here Â – ease up a little, keep the head down and get through it. The hill then plateaus for a little bit before kicking up again to the crest of the hill. It is this plateau and final kick that you can attack. This will limit the damage to your legs. While your up there – take a moment to enjoy our new “Rave for the brave” Bring your own glowsticks.
5. Let it fly.
The flying mile is your reward. The better the condition your legs are in, the bigger the reward and the amount of time (and positions) you can make up. If you have some time (and a hill) practice some downhill running in advance. See how efficient you can make it.
Here’s a video on hill running techniques