I was out running today and feel that I should apologise for messing with the heads of a couple of cyclists. I was halfway through running up a moderately steep incline during a 13 mile training run, when I became aware of two cyclists behind me. I was taking it easy and enjoying being out and I decided that some minor theatrics were in order. I decided to speed up. The cyclists of course would try to catch me, not being aware that I am a pretty good runner. I am also aware that on a hill a good runner can fairly easily embarrass a moderate cyclist and the steeper the hill the easier it is. I gradually increased my pace until I was going flat out for the conditions, judging that I should be able to maintain this effort over the top of the hill, and recover on the other side. Subsequent examination of the data reveals this to be just over 6 minute miling, or 10 mph. Read on to find out what happened.
As I came over the top a couple of hundred meters later I could hear puffing behind me. I think it’s the first time that I’ve ever been slipstreamed by cyclists while running. The first one came past and managed to say “You’re going well” between breaths, the second one gasped “you’re making us look bad!” Oh, I’d also taken a few extra deep breaths just before they came past so that I could look reasonably composed, although my bright red face probably gave me away! 🙂
They of course rolled over the top and whizzed away and I maintained my pace and form until they had gone out of sight. I then slowed down, gasping for oxygen, and caught my breath. That was enough high jinx considering that I still had nearly 10 miles to go!
I saw quite a few cyclists during the run, they all looked grim, wet, cold and dirty. Personally I am a fair weather cyclist, sticking to the turbo in anything but perfect conditions. If I do brave the bad weather then it is invariably on my hybrid with full mudguards and a comfy seat. I decided a couple of years ago that I much prefer getting wet from the inside out, rather than the outside in, if you know what I mean. (Sweat rather than rain!)