A little bit of a down week last week with the Easter bank holiday weekend but kept ticking over and aim to safely navigate through this week and leading up to my 10k debut on Sunday.
I’m hopeful of a strong first outing and line in the sand, a benchmark from which to progress.
Looking ahead from the Blyth 10k I’ll be hoping to follow it up with the sub 17 5k in April but that may need to be a parkrun only. We’ll see.
Plan – 45min recovery
Got back home from Liverpool and got out for a 45min blast round the usual loop. Seemed a lot zippier than normal and so it proved on the Garmin with 6.4 miles completed in 41mins (6.27/mile average). Heart rate averaging 158bpm. Feel like I’m getting stronger in my recovery zone.
Plan – 45min threshold
Regular readers will have seen that I am looking to move running clubs. The resignation went into Jesmond and I will (as it stands) be an unattached runner come the end of April.
The England Athletics system for changing first claim clubs is at best bereaucratic and its unlikely that I’ll hit the 10th April deadline for submission of my form. I don’t want to rush into anything.
That said I am keen to join a club like Gateshead Harriers and with that in mind I met up with them for a training session. I’d been in contact with Steven Medd a few times on Twitter so it was great to meet up with him at the stadium and try out a threshold type run with Tony Gardeners group.
The session itself was great with Steven leading the way around an undulating loop. Pretty much straight away after the warm up and start of the threshold I felt like I was working more deeply into my threshold zone at around 175-178bpm. Recently I’ve been finding it hard to push myself on my threshold runs and have probably allowed myself to take the foot off the gas.
Running with better runners will help avoid that. Towards the end of the threshold I started to tire and Steven got away but I resolved to keep on and I think I ended up with about 5.8 miles in 35 minutes. We then had a 2.5 mile warm down.
Total for the night was 9.6 miles. Enjoyed it and feel like I can only improve with being taken out of my comfort zone. Fully expect to tag onto some more sessions before finally making my mind up.
Plan – 50min recovery
I usually feel tired come Wednesday but felt fine today. I went out with one thought – CADENCE. I’m convinced cadence is the key to free speed and moving more efficiently at a lower heart rate.
When I had my first lactate test my cadence at threshold was 164spm. On my 3rd test last month I was up to 180spm. That is great improvement but I’m aware that I can’t quite match my treadmill stride rate on the roads.
In my recovery zone I usually average around 168spm and if I get a bit lazy (and don’t focus on it) it can slip down to 163-164spm. I’ve certainly lost some focus of late and so I went out with only this on my mind.
The target was to get to at least 174spm and in the first 4-5 miles I was on that level. The problem is always the last few miles which are slightly uphill. As I begin to tire the cadence goes.
The other thing I noticed was that I was knocking out miles at about 6.30/mile in my recovery zone. I felt like I was working but my heart rate was fine at 158-161bpm.
Unfortunately in the last few miles my average cadence slipped to 172spm and I just couldn’t get it back up.
In the end though I ran 7.7 miles in 50mins with an average HR of 158spm and cadence of 172spm. A strong recovery run.
Plan – 40min threshold
Got in the gym for the final workout before Blyth as I wanted to keep it controlled. After a warm up got into it. The weather was warm outside and it was even hotter in the gym.
Took a little while to get the heart rate up to threshold level but once there I was ok at around 5.55-6.00 miling according to foot pod. I’m never quite sure how accurate it is but it always feels about right.
Must say I struggled again on this session. I’d forgotten my headphones and so didn’t have any of my own music and the main issue then is mental. I literally can’t stop looking at the clock ticking and the time really dragged. At 30mins I tried to comfort myself that there was only 10mins to go. Heart rate was only around 170bpm so it shouldn’t really have felt so bad. I managed to turn the mind round to focussing on finishing it off and I knew this was great mental prep for Sunday’s 10k.
In the end did 8 miles in 50 minutes and felt quietly confident the work was done.
Plan – rest
Enjoyed the rest!
Plan – 30min recovery
Got out the door about 9.15 for an easy run. First time running outdoors in my new Brooks Pureflow 4s which I was well overdue for. They are a lovely shoe. Probably more so for training than racing but I love them for both.
Nothing to report. About 4.5 miles in 31mins.
Plan – Blyth 10k
Got to say I was nervous for this one. I’ve been running properly now for over 3 years and still hadn’t done a 10k road race. I suspect this will be my bread and butter distance over the next few years and I was very keen to get a good line in the sand.
I looked through Daniel’s and, based on my recent parkrun efforts, I felt like anything quicker than 36mins would be a good debut time. My coach said the same.
I knew I was in the best shape of my life but was still a bit scared of pushing hard past 5k.
My nerves weren’t helped by a trip to Alnmouth on Saturday. A great day out but it was blowing a gale! I felt convinced it would be the same the next day. Having said that it got me focused into thinking everybody had to deal with it, I just had to deal with it better than most. Also, like most Newcastle based runners, I’ve been training in the wind all winter!
Got up at 7.15. Had a small banana smoothie and some water. Out the door 8.30. Picked up Michael. Had a relaxed drive over to Blyth including a couple of wrong turns.
Getting to the course it was clear it was windy but not so bad. I think me and Michael were both a bit nervous, wanting to do well.
On the start line I was keen to get on the front which I did. Tried to get focussed. I didn’t really have a plan. I had the watch on but all alerts switched off so no distractions. I was surprised to be tucked off the leading group for the first mile.
In hindsight I probably went off too hard and then between miles 1-3 the wind became an issue. I was now a little isolated. I’d probably gone harder than a few better (and more experienced over 10k) runners behind. This was my least favourite bit of the race. Got a little negative. But then again was pleased to snap out of it and dig in for the turn around.
Working against the wind in the first few miles...
Following the grass turnaround I had my strongest section of the race, probably from 3-5 miles. I was able to catch and overtake two Morpeth Harriers. I’d been neck and neck with an Elswick Harrier for some time and had also managed to steal a few yards on him. The wind was now across/slightly helping and it felt like a slight gradient in our favour.
Feeling strong around 3-5 miles
I was in a rhythm. It was hurting but breathing was ok. Was feeling the burn just above the knee but felt strong.
It was only at 5 mile when a switch flipped. It’s something I’ve noticed in training. I run hard for 30mins and then I tire. It’s only a strength/stamina thing, something we are really working on. I undoubtedly slowed, evidenced by the Elswick Harrier coming along side and quickly dropping me. Didn’t feel great about it but I was starting to dream of the finish.
I feared losing a few more places but I think the hard work was done. Only 1 North Shields Poly runner passed me.
Coming into the home straight and last 0.2 mile I had some mental maths problems on how far was left (in metres or laps round the track) and was pleasantly surprised that the finish line was closely in sight. I sensed that the young Morpeth Harrier was finishing strongly as there were a few shouts of support for him I could hear.
Managed to pick it up to the line. Clicked the watch and looked down to 35.37 and job done.
Really pleased with that debut. Placed 27th. A strong run in less than ideal conditions and I can look forward to –
– a sub 17 5k attempt
– another 10k
– The Blaydon Race
Running ~43-44 miles
Great to get a good 10k race time in and I’d say it confirms I’m in shape for the sub 17 5k given the conditions at Blyth. So the next few weeks will be spent planning that and probably hunting down a May 10k to lead up to Blaydon on 9th June.