running blog


Race pace? Help!

May is getting nearer and its only 10 weeks until the Bupa London 10K in which I’d love to be able to keep up my record of getting a new PB each time.  As most of my runs, whatever the distance, are at a similar steady pace of around 9/9+ish  min per mile I decided it was time for a bit more speed and to get used to my ‘race pace’, whatever that may be.  Last year I ran the race in 50.38 which was an average pace of 8.08.  (I’m not sure how that happened, maybe my friend and pacemaker really did carry me as I dreamt!).  So if I am to beat last years time I need to run it at an average pace of 8 min per mile or faster.  Errm help?

Today I made a date with myself to run 5K at ‘race pace’ or as near as possible to 8 min per mile.  I went to the park where I could run without worrying about crossing roads and wouldn’t bump (literally) into someone I knew red-faced and sweaty or half dead.  It was very hard work!  My legs felt heavy and I was gasping for breath.  It took me a while to settle into the right pace and my mile splits show I did my usual mistake of starting off too fast.  The fastest pace was a ‘full on’ run and 8 min plus pace didn’t feel much easier!  What did I drink/eat/inhale before last years race?

I could not have managed anymore than 3 miles at this pace and I had to really push myself mentally to finish my planned 3 miles (5K).   Working up to 6.2 miles is going to take a lot of work.  (…unless I can persuade Mo Farrah to run the race a second time?!)

So its time to get a good training plan and get on with the long runs.  I’m into new territory as up until now I’ve relied, as a beginner, on my increasing fitness from regular BMF classes and/or a couple of runs a week to make improvements in my race times.  To improve my times this year I will have to put in some hard work, train smarter and read up on interval paces and reps etc.  All advice gratefully received! Please!

This weekend I’m running the Military 10k with no stop watch or garmin to fret over my time (don’t want to ruin it).  Instead I’ll be watching my feet in the water, up muddy banks and over various obstacles and hoping to make it to the finish before lunch time and in front of at least 1 live person regardless of how long it takes!   It should be a laugh and I’m ‘sort of’ looking forward to it.  Hopefully I’ll have some suitably embarrassing photos to post afterwards.

March challenge update since my last post.   After killing myself last Wednesday I rested on Thursday and on Friday I let my social life take precedent.  Saturday 9.12 mile run and on Monday BMF class. Tuesday 3.1 miles tempo run.

March total.  15/22 days.   48.96 miles.


10K training plans.

A group of us Janathoners are running the Bupa London 10,000 at the end of May.  I’ve run this race three years in a row, getting a better time each year (56.30, 53.38, 50.38) but this year it will be very hard to try to go sub 50 mins AND run it without my brilliant friend, running buddy and pacemaker.  So I was very pleased to hear I will have some company after all in the form of some lovely Janathoners to share the post race highs and lows over a cool down and stretch  stiff drink.

We all got quite excited when we realised we were all going to run it together and Shazruns mentioned that she was looking for a training plan.  One that could deliver ‘a sub 40 10K without even trying’.  Great idea, thought I, I can either work hard and aim for sub 50 or try the sub 40 without trying route?  No brainer… So I promptly typed into google ’10k training plan without even trying’!  Trouble is the not trying bit looks remarkably like very very hard work in disguise.   Such as running 6 days a week, loads and loads of miles and intervals with alarmingly fast split times and some talk about impossible sub 4 minute kilometers!  All much harder than even Janathon itself.  Oh dear. 

I then sensibly looked up 10K plans at a more appropriate level and this time they looked a little less like hard graft and a bit more achievable in comparison.  Phew.  I will follow the last 8 weeks of a proper schedule from Bupa, running 5 or 6 days a week from the end of March.  Before then, in preparation for the Military 10K on the 26th, I plan to do 2 or 3 BMF  classes a week to train for the mud and ‘obstacles’ plus 3 runs, one of which will be a long run and another some audiofuel intervals, to make sure I can get round the course before lunch time.

Its half way through February and I was wondering, having run 125 miles in January if I could round that up to 200 miles by the end of February.  Having had that thought it’s sort of become fixed in my mind as a goal.  Problem (big problem) is, I’m only up to 140 (been overdoing the rest days)  and after re classifying yesterday as a rest day rather than a long run things are not looking too good…  Maybe 250 by the end of March? 

Janathoners running the race in May so far are… abradypus, fortnightflo, paulasposterous, runorgocrazy, shazruns.  Anyone else or I’ve missed?  Got any good training plans? Did anybody find the elusive sub 40 ‘no effort’ solution?