Saturday, 14 December 2013

Nearly a serious runner

In 2012 there was an article in Runner's World which said and I quote.

"Busting the 25 minute (5k) barrier marks you as a serious runner. It requires a commitment to more mileage and focused workouts, and can take years to achieve."

Now I know a lot of you out there will look at this statement and view it with some disdain as you will have been able to run sub 25 for what seems like forever.

But for someone like me who is not a runner and up until this January was chasing the elusive sub 30, it was a carrot. A carrot which I have half been half chasing in my quest for my body to "be the best it can be"

Following my lactate threshold test at Blizard Physio, we set a target of going sub 24 for 5km as my body should be able to complete this given the results that were achieved. It won't be easy but with the right training should be achievable.

A sub 25 minute 5km equates to an average speed of 8:02 / mile.

So today as I had a rare spare Saturday morning I tootled over to Bircotes for the Blizard Physio breakfast run. Their breakfast run is a free timed 5km run which is held on roads near their clinic with a free breakfast afterwards.

I had made a conscious decision yesterday to go on the hunt of a new PB for 5km. My PB currently stands at 26:48 and I set this during the Doncaster 5km race in July this year.

So I should have prepared correctly and had an early night last night, right?

Well erm yes I should but it was my Wife's Christmas party in Leeds so I went to Leeds and had 7 beers and then the train home was delayed and I didn't get in until 00:30.

As you can understand this isn't ideal preparation and when my alarm went off at 06:45 I nearly had second thoughts about going along.

So lets get this right.

I had 6 hours sleep, 7 beers and I was going to attempt to run 5km quicker than I ever thad previously.

Yup. Not my wisest decision.

My tweet from before the run
I drove over to Bricotes for the 08:30 start and got chatting to a few of the regulars. We then set off on a 1.2 mile run to the start line. This was completed at an easy pace and was a superb warm up.

During the plod over, Jay (who I know from track) asked one of the other runners what time they were going for today. After they said 8 minute miles, it was decided that Dave would pace me round the 5km and as long as I stuck with him I would get close to the elusive 25:00.

The course is a three lap course near Bircotes and each lap is just under one mile in length. There is a hill on the first part of each lap but then it gently rolls back down over the remaining 2/3 of the lap.

So we set off, me on Dave's heels. The first hill really elevated my HR quickly and I was quickly in zone 3. I had had a discussion with David Tune over which zone to attempt the PB at and he said zone 3 which meant my HR needed to be between 169 - 186 bpm for the entire run. I have never tried to stay in my tempo zone for this amount of time and knew I would struggle to maintain this amount of effort.

I had made a decision to not chase the PB and had deleted all data field from my watches view except HR and HR zone so that I couldn't get either too excited or depressed with my time or speed.

The first lap flew by and after we passed the starter she read out our time which was 7:57. Wow we were only just off the pace and I felt fine. On the second lap I pushed too hard up the hill and suffered for the rest of this lap with a higher HR (178 instead of 171). Wow those 7bpm made a real difference to the sustainability of my effort.

I shortened my stride on the third ascent of the hill and my HR didn't spike too much. I was really struggling to maintain my effort and nearly gave up but then I though MTFU there is only 1 mile to go. You've done the hard work, now finish this.

I didn't enjoy that hill. I was really struggling on ascent 3.
After my moment of MTFU, I felt fine for the rest of the third lap (apart from being exhausted) and after we turned the final corner I decided to kick on as I knew I wold be on for a PB. So kick on I did. I pushed up the final ascent of the hill and everyone who had already finished was cheering me on.

It is so encouraging being told to push on and that you can do it. With the encouragement I really kicked on and sprinted for the finish line. My HR rocketed up to 190 BPM during my sprint for the line which is the highest I have seen it when running.

No one can deny that I worked for this PB.
I think this would win at the World Gurning Championships
But both feet are off the floor and blades hands make an appearance.
My time for the run was 26 minutes but the distance was 3.14miles which is 5.05km. So what was my 5km time?

Well according to Endomondo it was 25:44 which is a 64 seconds improvement over my previous PB of 26:48.

WOW! A new PB and with poor preparation. I wonder what I could achieve with proper preparation?

Well I was aiming for a zone 3 run, I think I succeeded.
Now all I need to do is find 45 seconds improvement and I will be a "serious runner".

Thanks to David (the coach), Dave (the pacer) and the rest of the team at Blizard Physio who have helped me improve as a runner. I'll definitely be back at the Breakfast Run aiming for more PB's but after I have put in some more training.  Also thanks for the photos.

Thanks for reading,

Michael (AKA the Blogger by those at Blizard)

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