It’s safe to say that after the Manchester Half I needed a break.
The trip down to Manchester and the whole experience of running well was amazing and probably (definitely) my running highlight.
But I couldn’t help feel like I needed a break. Stupid things like feeling the urge to eat McDonalds, not train, not have some race to think about. Felt good.
In many ways I felt like I couldn’t really go any faster. Having ran 16.01 for 5k and 73.34 for HM I thought it would be difficult to do much more.
Unfortunately I failed in my goal to qualify for England Masters. I wasn’t disappointed in any way and I mean that. I was very proud of the effort I put in and I was beaten by some very talented and dedicated athletes. Simple as that.
But it’s been 8 or 9 months since then and I’ve done very little. I’ve had little spurts of motivation but I’ve slipped away again.
But I don’t think anything has been lost and I’m ready to “go again”.
My 10km PB of 34:49 is the obvious place to start and I’m keen to get it more in line with my 5k and HM PBs. My 5k PB of 16.01 predicts 33.13 and my HM PB of 73.34 points to 33.19. Indeed I went through 10k in approx. 34mins flat on the streets of Manchester so I know I can improve on my current PB for sure.
It’s something to aim for and so I’ve set myself a target of building back up to approx. 10km/day average or 70km per week. I know that is an achievable level of training for me and sustainable for the amount of time I need to get fit enough to run sub 34 for 10k.
The way I like to structure my training is to get back in the habit of doing a regular light run before breakfast. I think the benefits of clearing out the lymphatic system and bump starting the metabolism are huge.
Also, adding in a few manageable double runs which helps make the 10km/day average very achievable. For example, 2x 6km runs per day is pretty manageable a few days out of 7.
It’s important to note that the majority of the 70km per week (approx. 80%) is very easy aerobic running. I’m talking 5:17-5:35/km (8:30-9:00/mile). I would expect my average Heart Rate to be around 130-135bpm or even lower when I’m fit.
I also like to put in a Long Run on a Saturday or Sunday no more than 25% of total weekly distance. So based on 70km for the week that would be 17.5km, again very achievable. Once I’m used to the distance I could consider playing around with faster portions or make it more like a fartlek.
The real key though is to start introducing some “easy tempo” running and race pace running.
The easy tempo would be no faster than 4mins slower than 5km PB. So for me 16.01 plus 4mins = 20.01 or 4min/km pace. Obviously I need to be honest with myself and if I’m not in 16.01 shape this needs to be scaled back. So on a Tuesday and a Thursday I would consider a 2.5k warm up, 5k in 20-22mins and then a 2.5k warm down for the 10km total.
In terms of the race pace running. I am aiming for a 10km in 34mins so I’d sprinkle in the odd 1km race pace effort at around 3:25-3:30/km. Based on a 70km week I wouldn’t want to do more than 3.5kms at this intensity because I don’t want to do more than 5% of total at this effort level.
Once I’m feeling strong enough some of this 3.5km could be at 5k intensity. So I could do a 1k effort at say 3:12/km which is 16min 5km pace.
All of this is based on my interpretation of the Ernst Van Aaken method.
I credit this methodology with my 55:37 for 10 miles back in 2019 and also my success over 5k and HM in 2021. It works.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading.