Tely 10 tips, from start to finish

Kenn Oliver
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Each year, the Telegram 10-Mile Road Race welcomes hundreds of new runners, added to the countless more who are annual participants and to those re-entering the Tely 10 after breaks that can range from two years to two decades.

Most entrants are recreational, non-elite runners, but still have invested plenty of time and effort in their training regimens, and have probably spent as much time preparing themselves psychologically for the sometimes grueling 16-kilometre trek.

Caroline-McIlroy

Each year, the Telegram 10-Mile Road Race welcomes hundreds of new runners, added to the countless more who are annual participants and to those re-entering the Tely 10 after breaks that can range from two years to two decades.

Most entrants are recreational, non-elite runners, but still have invested plenty of time and effort in their training regimens, and have probably spent as much time preparing themselves psychologically for the sometimes grueling 16-kilometre trek.

Nevertheless, runners of any pedigree can always benefit from a little advice from seasoned veterans. And there are few more experienced with the course than Joe Ryan.

The ageless Ryan, who has completed the course in under 60 minutes 21 times over the course of a quarter-century, will run his 37th Tely 10 this Sunday.

And while she may not have the triple-decade experience of Ryan, four-time competitor and 2005 women's champ Caroline McIlroy has been a dominant force in the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Association's race circuit for the past five years. She three top 25 female times in Tely 10 history.

Here are some of their thoughts and suggestions regarding the Tely 10:

On the eve

Ryan: Depending on who you talk to, you'll hear "hydrate, hydrate and hydrate more". But I think you should be governed by your own thirst and what you feel is necessary. I have known runners who have consumed too much water the night before and as a result, they've diluted their sodium reserves and they haven't fared as well the next day.

McIlroy: Maybe it's a bit late, but I think having a look at the course is very helpful because it will give you visual markers of where you are on the course.

At the crack of the pistol

McIlroy: There's always a temptation to get yourself up near the front and that's a mistake for a lot of people. If you start too far up, then you're going to get caught up in setting off very fast, which will make the rest of the race very difficult.

Ryan: Ten miles is a long way. If you go out too quickly, you'll burn up your glycogen stores, leaving you with no fuel left in the tank for the latter half of the race. We see this happening year after year.

Mile zero to midway

Ryan: Go out slowly and try to pick up the pace in the second half. In fact, I always suggest you try to run the second half a little faster than the first. Run negative splits. It keeps you a little slower at the beginning, but you can certainly make up the distance towards the end.

McIlroy: There's a lot of downhill, and even that can be hard for some runners. It's quite hard on your knees but it also does mean people have a tendency to go fast which makes the race harder.

The climb at Cornwall Avenue

McIlroy: It's a reasonably long incline, so I think (runners should) go slowly at the start. (Having) a family member or friend on the hill to give you some support is a good idea as well.

Ryan: Cornwall Avenue is not a hill by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the point in the race that most people have in their minds "this is a hill I've got to struggle up." But if you think of it as being flat or a gentle incline, you can make it without any great effort. Shorten your strides, pump the arms a little harder and keep focused.

The home stretch

Ryan: By now, most people have probably gone beyond what they've done in practice. The average recreational runner, once they go beyond seven or eight miles, they're sort of in unknown territory.

McIlroy: Psychologically, if you get past people in the last half of the race, that makes you feel really good. If you're being overtaken, that can drain you more than anything.

Racing against yourself

Ryan: There may be times during the race you have to reach down into your reserves, we all experience it, but go for it. Don't be afraid. Let it all out on race day. You've done your training, put in the miles, done the hills... stay positive. If you start to get fatigued, tell yourself it simply means you've been working hard. And smile. When you do, you loosen all your face, neck and shoulder muscles. Enjoy what you're doing, savour the moment and take pride in what you're doing and what you've achieved.

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Telegram 10-Mile Road Race, Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Association

Geographic location: Cornwall Avenue

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Recent comments

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Great article. One other piece of advice for next year: register for a Running Room Clinic. (and no, I am not affiliated with them) I ran the Tely a few times before registering for a clinic. It's amazing how much you learn each year and the volunteer instructirs are great. However, the best thing is the group of runners become your friends that help motivate you to keep going. Good luck on Sunday.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Great article. One other piece of advice for next year: register for a Running Room Clinic. (and no, I am not affiliated with them) I ran the Tely a few times before registering for a clinic. It's amazing how much you learn each year and the volunteer instructirs are great. However, the best thing is the group of runners become your friends that help motivate you to keep going. Good luck on Sunday.