Recce runs

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Recce runs

Post by ITFCShirts » 11 Aug 2017, 16:10

I promised to give back to the forum, given that I've taken a lot of good advice already.

Practice makes perfect I was told. Don't plan it on a spreadsheet. Well starting with the mother of all spreadsheets with multiple start times, and routes wrapped around the least frequent trains, I have a route that I am happy with.

What have I learnt so far:
- carriage placement, and refining it. I've certainly found that every second has the potential to count, or that annoying suitcase avoided. I've refined and re-refined from train thirds (back/front/middle), to carriages, and for some even which doors, on which side of the carriage

- Kensington Olympia at the weekend - part of a scoping run at the weekend (only available time), rather than the precise trains aimed for. Practice run from Hammersmith to KO (potential rather definite route) very successfully run 40 seconds less than planned, although if required would be late in the day and therefore suspect heavy legs may slow this down!

- Toilets - aka my bladder is very weak/my weakness. I have been scoping toilets, and some tight changes may need to be made more risky with toilet stops. Stanmore in particular had a 1:15min gap between arriving and departing, and with the toilets at the front of the train, this was swift but well executed. The trade off if returning to Canons Park for run to Edgware is that the ideal exit is right at the other end of the train, and Northern line isn't quite as accommodating for moving through the train between stops!

- Food - Definitely a challenge, balancing the weight vs the need for stored energy. Energy gels called upon. I will be roping in a support team at a couple of pre-arranged locations for lunch/water top-ups

- First train blues - Talk about a let down. NW Corner test, for proposed start, and tricky navigation of Amersham/Chesham, all planned based on WTT. First train... didn't arrive. Completely screwed up plans. Taking the next train potential adds 30mins to the time. Potentially better to wait for one further. No explanation to why train didn't turn up, and the next one was exactly as per WTT. Very odd. Threw out my entire training plan, but still managed to scope platforms/runs/changes/toilets(!). I'll definitely be monitoring the live departure boards the next few week days to check whether that same train consistently doesn't arrive (is the WTT wrong) or did I just get unlucky - and better for it to happen on a training run!

- Buses - Can't rely on them! Might also be my speed, and may change later in the day, but even a little bit of traffic, and the regular stopping means running is quicker on anything under 0.8 miles, but then my 5k time is sub 20mins

- staying focused and disciplined - to meet the GWR requirements, staying switched on for every single stop, and thinking "Camera on, wheres the roundel, log book", and then doing that plus getting ready to run (and on the training run switch on stopwatches, strava, etc) with route maps in hand - wow my head quickly hurts...I then always seem to forget to check the train numbers as the next train arrives as I'm bent over double after a sprint!

- Transitions in stations take longer than first thought - who would have through crossing platforms at Mile End took 30seconds. But....

- Transitions you can't see, don't take as long as expected! - Green Park, Kings Cross, Moorgate, West Ham, Stratford - All earmarked for 2 minutes, but surprisingly less, and helped to refine the routes.

- Uxbridge - why on earth don't they open the left hand doors of platform 2 onto the platform 1?!

- West Brompton - They don't like you changing to National Rail without touching the pink connector!!! Seems to be manned every time I go through it, Vital seconds potentially lost if the change is tight!

- OSI resets - still getting my head around these. Some odd ones that are linked that I wouldn't have thought of and some close that don't seem to be. Important to know on some route planning, and how to break them (still learning)

I'm sure I'll come up with a little more. I will also attempt to write up my full run when I do it in a few weeks time!

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Re: Recce runs

Post by DavidC » 11 Aug 2017, 18:39

Interesting notes - thanks for sharing
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Re: Recce runs

Post by RJSRdg » 11 Aug 2017, 22:39

Yes, attempting to get off the wrong side of the train rarely works well.... (except at Morden!)
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Re: Recce runs

Post by Iain » 15 Aug 2017, 08:34

Changes within stations - allow significantly more time if you're doing it in rush hour!

I'd be wary of letting OSIs etc dictate your route - you'll potentially be throwing away good ideas. Get a paper ticket if you need to.
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