Sunday, 20 May 2012

How not to run a 10K

Crewkerne 10K Race Report – PW

I set out for my 10K this morning with high hopes of a PB... aiming for sub 52 minutes (and secretly dreaming of a sub 50).  I had my usual breakfast of porridge with honey and pumpkin seeds and in an effort to channel the famous Tarahumara running people, I also sprinkled Chia seeds on top.

For those of you who have not heard of the Tarahumara, they are a reclusive native American tribe who live in the canyons of northwest Mexico and are renowned for their long-distance running abilities and are the focus of the book Born to Run byChris McDougall.  I highly recommend this book and still re-read it regularly when my motivation is beginning to wane! 

We headed over to Crewkerne early in order to park and pick up my race number in plenty of time before the start (and of course ensure at least 5 toilet visits before the run). 
At race registration! 

As we lined up at the start I got talking to a couple of other runners and discovered that just around the first corner was a 500m climb.  It turns out that my first mistake was not checking out the course profile beforehand.  The course was extremely hilly with only about half a mile of flat road the rest consisted of steep and winding (and never-ending) uphills with some fast downhill sections. 

So, after the gun went off I powered up the first monster of a hill and could have done with an oxygen mask at the top but undeterred I continued passing people up the next hill.  By the time I got to the top I was starting to get concerned, I was purple, very out of breath, my legs were complaining and I was only 1 mile into the race. 

And so my second mistake becomes obvious... lack of sensible pacing.  I managed to hold on for the next mile and a half and then the wheels really fell off.  I went through the 5K mark at 26.03 minutes and then just got slower and slower and all those people I had overtaken started to overtake me... it was somewhat depressing but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it but watch them zoom past me.
In the final two miles it became obvious that the Tarahumara gods had abandoned me and no amount of chia seeds was going to rectify this situation.  
Then I met my saviour in the form of a local club runner (Unfortunately I didn’t get his name).  We chatted and he paced me up all the hills and got me to the end in one piece (I am fairly sure that left to my own devices I would have crossed the line on my hands and knees).  Not only that but the poor chap had to put up with me breathing and puffing like a steam train into his ear... what a champ!     

The finish line was up yet another hill back into the centre of Crewkerne... I think the organisers must have sadistic tendencies to devise this course ha!!  I eventually (and painfully) crossed the line in 55.32 – a personal worst!! 
Down the finishing stretch

So, lesson learnt.  If I had researched the course beforehand I would have paced myself – taking it really easy on the inclines in order to maintain a reasonable pace and I would have probably managed a more respectable time.  Despite this I had a great time and really enjoyed the race.  It was really well organised and I would definitely do it again next year. 
Me with my finishers pack

I’m back on nights again so I have had to balance this coming weeks training around my need to sleep!!   
  • Rest Day

  • Easy Run – 5 miles

  • Strength Training
  • Brick Session – Cycle - 30 minutes then Run – 30 minutes

  • Swimming
  • Cycling – 30 minutes spin session

  • Tempo Run – 4 miles
  • Swimming Lesson

  • Cycle – 1hr 30mins

  • Easy Run – 7 miles

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