Race Preview: NEMAA Open Relays 2023

My first race of 2023 is the North East Masters Athletics Association (NEMAA) Open Relays.

This is a race I’ve done 3 times before in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The race is approx. 2 miles and my best time was in 2019 where I ran 10m 07s.

Last time out at the NEMAA Relays in 2019

My Stryd app is currently predicting a time of 10m 09s based on a power output of 388 watts. I think this is the best I can hope to achieve as the course is quite challenging due to the number of quite hard twists and turns which really ask questions of your ability to firstly get round the corner efficiently but also accelerate hard out of them.

Current race predictions in Stryd

It’s a 2 lap course which means the hard 90 degree corners need to be navigated twice and all in all I’d say it’s not a really fast course.

My running club Tyne Bridge Harriers will have a strong A team who should be in a very good shout for gold. We may also have a pretty decent B team in the 35 to 44 age category and I’d hope to at least sneak into that.

My race strategy will be to start the race “tall and strong” and probably check my overall average power heading towards the first left hand turn which may be approx. 300 to 400m into the first lap. I don’t want to over cook the first lap and hang on.

So if I can enter the second lap around 375-380 watts I’d be looking to click the lap on my watch heading past the time keepers and then aim to nail a very hard second lap of at least avg. 388 watts. Looking at my run data from the Quayside 5km in August 2021 I was able to hold 393 watts for that race, so I’d like to think I can have 388-390 watts as a target for a hard effort in lap two of this relay race.

Something I will be analysing post race will be my 10 minute average power as I can use that to calculate my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) which is basically the power I could hold for 1 hour. I can then use that information to dial in my training zones and also get a clear indication of what I can hope to run at next week’s Les Allcorn 10km. But more on that later.

I’ll hope to come out of this race well and target another decent long run at the weekend before easing off for the Les Allcorn 10km on Tuesday 9th May.

Thanks for reading.


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