During one of Bruce Fordyce’s up Comrades Marathon wins, he was the only runner in the top 30 that ran the second half faster than the first half. In other words he was the only top 30 finisher with a negative split for the race. When asked about this Fordyce replied that he ran the whole race at the same effort and therefore the flatter second half was faster. Fordyce always ran a consistent effort and did not try to run a specific or consistent pace.
Up Comrades Profile
I often do the same and try to keep a consistent effort and not always a consistent pace. Something that I find very interesting is how different my effort feels at different times of the day.
I mostly run early in the morning between 4 AM and 6 AM. I find that my total times for runs during these hours are always a lot slower than my times over the same distances when I run that between 7 AM and 8 AM or even up to 10 AM.
For example: I have a 12.2km route I run very often. When I run that during the week between 4 AM and 6 AM at what feels like a specific effort, I run the route in 01:23 – 01:26. For the same route and what feels like the same effort a bit later in the morning I average between 01:14 – 01:20. That is a big time difference over such a short route.
I always thought that I run faster with the same effort later in the morning, but my new Polar watch has proved me wrong. The watch shows that I do in fact put in a lot more effort during the later runs although it feels the same as the early morning efforts.
The pictures below shows my effort during the last three runs on this route. The sport zones show my heart rate during the runs with red=maximum intensity, orange=high intensity and green=normal intensity. Note the total time for the runs at what felt to me like the same effort/intensity.
Early morning: started at 04:50AM
Later morning: started at 07:51AM
Later morning: started at 08:46AM
The strange thing about this is that the effort I put in for all these runs felt the same to me. What does this mean? I’m hoping to find out soon. It leaves me with some interesting questions.
Do I need to push much harder when I run earlier?
Do we have optimum times of the day where our bodies perform better than other times?
How much does this differ from person to person?
What are your experiences with this? Do you experience the same? Can you answer the above questions for me?
I hope you all have a splendid week! Mine ends with the 50km Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge on Saturday.