BUPA Great North 5k – Race Preview

This Saturday I’m racing the BUPA Great North 5k which I’m really excited about. It’s the first time I’ll have gotten involved in what is undoubtedly the busiest running weekend in the North East. It’ll make a change to the usual runners envy experienced on the Sunday whilst watching the Half Marathon!

For me this race is an out and out time trial. I want to register a 5k pb before getting stuck properly into cross country training. More specifically I want to get a sub 18 minute clocking which gets me back on schedule for my longer term aim of sub 17.

I feel in shape for it. On Monday I ran the Jesmond Joggers Anniversary Championships (I’ll write more in my week 3 training diary), covering over 3.8 miles in just under 22mins 30s. That gives me confidence that I can run the pace required and this week is all about ticking over and keeping loose for Saturday.

In terms of thought process for the race, this will be an all out effort but I’ll be looking to clock around 5.35 for the first mile. This is a deliberate plan to get ahead of schedule. I know miles 2 and 3 will hurt from there but the over distance run on Monday was a reminder that I can dig in. So I’ll pace myself through the first mile and then just get stuck into running as hard and as controlled as possible and get my breathing in a sustainable rhythm.

So all going to plan I’ll have a new pb to share at the weekend. After this race I’ll put the 5k on the back burner and focus on Farringdon XC relays the week after. I’m really excited about this one having last run the race in 2012 and I love the course. The distance gives a really good opportunity to just let yourself go, but then the sting in the tail with the hill towards the end – a proper XC course. We have high hopes of a strong team this year and hopefully we can show that at Farringdon.

A key focus for me over the coming weeks will be technique as I’m still not getting my stride rate anywhere near high enough leading to overstriding and I’m convinced I need to improve here to advance beyond my current level. Anyway, that’s the subject of another blog.

If you are running the Great North Run – good luck! I’ll be posting my 5k race report and week 3 training diary at some point over the weekend.


4 thoughts on “BUPA Great North 5k – Race Preview

  1. I’ve only just discovered your blog and really like it! I love the concept of the blog, it gives it a nice focus. I’m running my first Half this month but then looking forward to trying to go Sub-20 for 5km. I’ll be looking to your blog for some inspiration and tips. Good luck with the race this weekend!

    • Hi Huw, thanks so much for the comment. I really appreciate it. I’ll check out your website. You can do sub 20 I’m sure. I’d be happy to help you as I believe you only need two key sessions a week. The “key” to the key sessions is getting the intensity right and recovering. The rest is execution which for 5k hurts but that’s why we love it!

      Keep in touch and feel free to email me also!



      • Thanks, I appreciate your confidence! Haha.
        I’ll drop you an email after my half with regards to the 5k. It’s always nice to have someone else’s opinion on your training! I train with a HRM but not as effectively as i should be really. Your training in correlation with your lactate threshold was super interesting for me.
        I’m sure you’ll go sub 18 this Saturday!

      • Yes please do. Let me know your time and I’ll get my head round where I think you are at with regards to the 5k. What is your 5k pb out of interest? Re: HRM and lactate threshold, I think it’s the way to go. Do not trust the 220-age for max hr. I am 33. My max hr would be 187 using that whereas it is nearer 204! Until you know your own levels its quite difficult to train in the right zones. Granted I spent money on the lactate test but it has given me so much confidence in my potential. Anyway, food for thought. I’d be interested to help you hit the sub 20 which is a great standard of running.

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