10K Training Road Race. Training Day 8

This training run lands on an Easter weekend and I have decided to do my training run on the Friday instead of the usual Sunday. And it’s worth noting that this is the last weekend before the actual Race Day which is next weekend (Sunday 27th April). Whilst preparing for the run and right up to leaving the house I wasn’t at all decided if I was going to go hard and meet my record of 50 minutes or if I was going to run my baseline speed which is around 54 minutes. One thing I had decided upon was that I was going to start off at a slower running pace and build it up from there.

I started exactly as I said I would by running at a slightly reserved pace just to get settled. Slowly my pace picked up to a fairly good speed somewhere between my baseline pace and fastest pace. This slow build up seemed to serve me good and allowed my body to adjust and idenetify any potential ailments or deficiencies in my body. However, even after several KM‘s, I was still undecided as to whether I was going to push hard. Around the 3-4 KM mark I felt I was struggling. My breathing was off, my posture was off and my stride was just not good. I could hear voices in my head telling me to stop, but I didn’t. I kept on going albeit awkwardly and uncomfortably.

To overcome this struggle I tried my drift technique but it didn’t work and probably because you cannot force yourself in to the drift. The drift needs to happen naturally and really only when you are comfortable in your run. Secondly I tried the pace marker technique which is to use street lights or drive ways as markers to regulate your run speed (run faster between two markers and then jog at your base line speed between the next markers and so on). This technique did have some positive impact as my run quality started to improve as I approached the 4 KM mark.

At the 5KM half way mark I checked the time and was surprized to see that I was a couple of seconds after 25 minutes. This would mean that if I maintained the same running pace for the last 5KM I would match my best time of 50 minutes. So without further ado I was mentally ready to go for it and meet my personal best. This positive thought of 25 minutes alone set me up for a great return run and I even had thoughts/flashes of trying to do the run in 49 minutes.

At some point around the 8KM mark I did merge in to the drift and started having some really positive thoughts that were inspired by my decent run time. The thoughts I came up with are relevant to other parts of my life but they seemed to push me onwards. But, be careful here, I find that if you get too engrossed in the drift it can negatively affect your run speed as you are no longer thinking of keeping the pace up because the drift aims to help you take your mind off the run and the struggles that come with running especially when you are running solitary.

On the home run I received a heart shaking shock. I was running past a gated driveway and all of a sudden I hear the shrill of a little lap dog barking at me. Because it was so small I didn’t see it as at I approcahed the gate. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest and definitely upset my running pace. It must have taken me several minutes to get back on track after the shock.

The last few hundred meters were tough as I felt the body fatiguing under the unplanned fast running pace. As I approached home I checked the time and read the time to be 50 minutes. I was quite pleased with this time but at the same time mildly disappointed as I was quietly confident that I might surprise myself and run it in 49 minutes. So, with that said, perhaps I have set myself a new target for my next run.

Lessons learnt.
  • Be aware of your environment when running as distractions or scares (little dogs) can come at you at any time and affect your focus.
  • Build you pace up steadily no matter what speed you can run. Building your speed allows your body to get use to the physical activity but also allows your mind to reconcile the pain you are about to endure and your reasons for inflicting the pain.

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