In November 2013, I booked in for my first lactate test at Blizard Physio.
Since then I have been training consistently to my HR zones.
When I went for that first test. My long steady runs were at around 11:00 min/mi. And I was struggling to keep my HR steady. Yes I know I have got (a lot) fitter in the past 16 months but my running has been rejuvenated and has improved a lot.
My 5km PB was 26:48, now it stands at 22:48.
My 10km PB was 59:58, now it stands at 50:20 and will be beaten this weekend at Gainsborough
The only thing that changed was running to HR and having someone who encouraged me. David Tune of Blizard Physio has been a guiding force in this turnaround. He encourages me relentlessly. When I'm feeling low, he picks up on it and takes time out of his busy life to talk to me. I can't ask for anything more from someone who I respect as a coach and friend. I can't recommend his lactate testing service enough. It has changed my outlook on running.
I'm not going to pretend I enjoy running but..... I now consider myself a runner. I'd still rather go for a swim or on my bike if I'm honest but I am getting better at the necessary evil that is running.
Before I get too maudlin, back to the point of the post.
Yesterday I went for a steady run and breezed through 5km in 24:58. A sub 25 5k on a steady run at an average of 8:02 min/mi.
A year ago I had only just managed to dip under the magic 25 minutes on an all out run with a pacer and felt awful at the finish line.
Thats a 27% improvement in my steady run pace in 16 months. The scale of this improvement astounds me.
I have come close to dipping under this target several times over the last three months, missing out by a mere 20s on Christmas Day but I was so pleased to complete it yesterday. It has been a constant itch and now that it has been done, I feel relaxed. Who knows what's next. I don't but I can't wait to find out.
Thanks for reading,
Michael (a runner)