SOAR X Tour – my first virtual race series

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This post is also available in: German

Alle Wettkämpfe abgesagt und keinen Plan wie es weiter geht… Das ist schon eine verrückte Zeit. Aber ich habe meine Trainingsmotivation kein bisschen verloren und spule fleissig meine Kilometer runter.

At the first, the “Corona Racing Days” brought a welcome distraction and afterwards I revived my “Project 44”, but since my vacations there was no highlight in sight. So of course I looked around among the virtual racing formats, but nothing really appealed to me.

The Soar X Tour was an exception, because I was excited about the idea of a small running series with a limited time window. And the advertised distances were also an additional attraction.

Rules

The rules are easily described: within a time window of 10 days the distances 1 km, 1 mile and 5 km had to be covered – and exactly in this order. The course was not allowed to have a gradient of more than 2 meters per kilometer and running on a track was also prohibited. This would also have been ruled out by the fact that the maximum number of laps to be run per distance was limited.

The race was free of charge, open to all runners worldwide, and was managed via the platform OpenTrack where you had to upload your results. Additionally there were prizes to win. Not only for the fastest runners: everyone could win by lot ;) There was also a “King of the Mountain” prize and one for especially steady performances.

Preparation

After I had only done some easy mileage during my vacation, I slowly started to integrate intervals into my weekly training again. So I already had a few VO2max sessions in my legs – partly also as an experiment. Jens (Rage & Run) for example had brought Moneghetti intervals into play, which I had tried out right away. In addition, a “High-intensity decreasing interval training” was added according to a recent study.

But I did not train specifically for the distances. Especially since the first two runs were only of interval length… So I was probably best prepared for the 5 km – which I had only run twice as a race.

SOAR Racing Kit

Actually, I only became aware of the tour through the Racing Bundle. I am so easy to attract with good looks… ;) Especially exciting for me was the Race Vest in a special design, which is only available for the Tour. It also included the Elite Speed Shorts 2.0 in “Electric Blue”, which also interested me, but not as much as the top.


I didn’t need to test run the Race Vest because I now have four of them in different designs – and I’m absolutely thrilled with them. With the Speed Shorts I already ran the predecessor and was moderately enthusiastic. The new version is definitely a big step forward! Absolutely minimal and very functional. It’s worth to have a look at Tims Designer’s Notes again.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CD6bpoCHCsc/

The Tour

I had planned my competition routes in Strava beforehand to be sure that I would follow the rules (gradients and laps). I looked for an industrial area nearby, which allows different laps and has relatively flat tracks. Besides, there should be nothing going on there during my competition times, so I have my peace and quiet.

The preliminary planning also served to get an idea of the route lengths. A somehow visible ” finish ” can be very helpful. Therefore I planned the routes in a way that they always end e.g. at a crossing. So… in theory. ;)

Soar X Tour – 1 km

The first day of the race I put on a Saturday. On Wednesday I ran intervals and then took it easy. I spontaneously changed the starting point on the spot to spare myself the strong headwind. But after the warm-up it was still: 1 km all out. :)

My best time so far comes from a two year old downhill segment and was 3:45 min/km. Otherwise I have never run only one kilometer on time. So I am quite satisfied with the resulting 3:33 min/km. I think there would have been a little bit more in it, but I don’t want to complain. ;)

I also added a threshold run with 4×4 minutes to make the day worthwhile ;) Well, and as preparation for the other runs of course.

Soar X Tour – 1 Meile

After a long and a short run, the mile was actually on the agenda for Wednesday. That is always my HIT day anyway. But everyday life came in between and I had to see that I could squeeze the run on Thursday in between. I wasn’t really motivated and the timing didn’t really fit me (#mimimi). But to have enough rest before the 5 kilometers, it had to be like this.

After there was still some air left at the kilometer, I had calculated a possible pace of maybe 3:40 min/km for the mile. In the end, the mile is an all-out run, but it feels more than twice as long as the kilometer… ;) Anyway, it took much too long until the clock released me after 6:03 min. Nevertheless: new personal best-time reached. :)

Soar X Tour – 5 km

There was also a change of plan for the last run. Actually I wanted to run it on Sunday – after a two day break. But Saturday turned out to have a good time slot, and my legs wanted to work as well. So I set off for my competition route in the best running weather (sunny and cool).

I have run the 5 kilometers at least twice in competition, but I didn’t think I could do so much more than my threshold pace (4:25 to maybe 4:20 min/km). I didn’t focus on the pace, but on the feeling and especially on the pulse. It was very close to my threshold and I had made the plan to leave it there for at least the first two of three laps.

Only on the last kilometer I released the brakes, although I felt that there was not much left in the tank… Again breathing was my limiting factor. Fortunately I knew exactly where the race would end. And so I ran whistling from the last hole towards the finish crossing, only to find out that according to the GPS there were 210 meters to go… Somehow I managed to extend the final spurt and had to lie down for a while. ;)

With 21:12 minutes I pulverized my old best time and improved it by a smooth 20 seconds! What a crowning finish of the tour. I honestly did not expect this.

Conclusion

What can I say: in all three disciplines I set a new personal best. You can only be satisfied with that, right? :) Additionally I fed my power curve with new maximum values and increased my critical power by 5%. In the overall ranking I am pretty much in the middle of the field and nine runners from my age group were faster than me.

It was also exciting that I discovered a German in the mostly English starting field and networked directly with him. So we could cheer for each other at Strava and share more impressions of the races at Instagram. Richard seems to be as much of a Soar fanboy as I am ;) It would be nice to stay in contact with him. Just for that alone the whole running would have been worth it. :)

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Hi! It’s me, the Harlerunner.

This is where Thomas Pier writes about running and (much more than just the necessary) equipment. I don't run particularly fast or far. But I like to share my experiences as an ambitious recreational runner, curious early-adopter and as my own trainer.

I am happy about every digital contacting - but even more so about every kilometer run together.

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Thomas (der Harlerunner)