This race, I felt, would be a good indication of whether the training I was doing was having the desired effect.
My training over the past 4-5 weeks has been the standard long run, tempo and intervals, however based on info I gleaned from therunzone.com, I slowed my intervals and tempo down. This resulted in feeling a hell of a lot less tired and enjoying it a bit more – not feeling daunted when a session came up.
The last 10k race I did was back at the beginning of October, where I managed to achieve a 42.41 on an undulating course. I always fair better on undulating courses. This was a 6 second improvement on my time from over a year ago and not much of an improvement over the last 4-5 years.
So at the New Year’s Eve race I was hoping to get better than this and more significantly than a few seconds. This course was also undulating and was where I did the 42.47 that the October race beat. I felt crap last year too so it was a mental achievement for me. I wasn’t happy with the time last year but I accepted it.
Anyway this time round I felt great from the warm up. While warming upmy legs felt springy instead of their usual stiffness, heavy ways (partially I put down to having a good stretch routine the day before). My lungs also felt great (I suffer from asthma and it has been a hinderance for the past few years as it wasn’t properly in control. Over the past few months it seems to be in control and hasn’t reared it’s ugly head in a race – whereas before it was every race I would have an asthma attack).
Feeling so great on the warm up, set my midn up nicely for the race. Some of my best races have been when I felt really rubbish so it was a nice change feeling so good at the start.
The first mile was down hillish and I deliberately allowed it to be fast. It ended up being 6.20. After that I settled into a pace of 6.50.
Unfortunately the chip time round my ankle was a nuisance from the start. It was banging against my ankle bone and I knew I was going to have a massive bruise by the end of the race.
Besides this I felt pretty good throughout. I did have stomach issues which led to me burping the whole race but this was not really an issue and I was more focused on how easy it felt compared to other races.
My last mile was also as fast as my second which I feel means I maintained the right pace. I never look at my watch so the feel of the pace I chose was right.
The race isn’t great for a sprint finish as it goes onto wet grass, however I still was able to speed up a bit to finish.
I finished in 42.14. I was pretty happy with that. I wasn’t expecting miracles after a 4-5 week change in pace but I was hoping for some more significant than a 6 second improvement, which this was. This was a 27 second improvement. I think next time I will go even faster.
I am feeling pretty good that I might have cracked my very long plateau and will continue with this style of training to see where it will take me next. I hope to get in another 10k in a month or so time and hopefully there will be another improvement to note. Lots of XC to factor in too! Eeep.
Here is to a promosiing start to this type of training!