Pushing my pace

I consider myself a long distance runner, though in the past few weeks, I’ve done very little suffering from that post race binge. My technique these days resorts to the ultra way of doing things such as walking up a hill, which you can get away with if you’re on a 50+km run. Not so when you’re just running around the local reserve.  Imagine my horror of realising that you’re 2 weeks away from a 10km race where you’re expected to run fast.  I stupidly entered this after getting a request looking for a relay runner as part of a triathlon.  It sounded exciting at the time, doing something as part of a team.  Now the reality is the cyclist is on a TT bike and the swimmer is gearing up for a race of her life (possibly after getting jeered by the cyclist).  I’m in that boat, I now need to run fast.

So I decided I’d do a 10km test run last night at threshold.  I had no idea how long I’d be able to sustain a threshold run, nor did I know how fast that threshold would take me.. would I fall to bits? Would parts of me fall off because they’ve not been asked to go that fast for some time? Would I die in a heap? And at what km would that happen?


There was only one way to find out..


Huffing and puffing around the course I laid out, which involved a few road crossings, lots of tarmac (urgh) and ascent I was keeping a good pace, including a sub 4min km thanks to a steep descent.  I’ve since move to the top of a hill where the only way is down to start (and up to finish).


I was doing well, I even managed to keep down the ikea sandwich although the regurgitation burps weren’t pleasant (nor was the original sandwich). I made it to the 5km mark, briefly stopping to give some foreign folk directions (usual occurrence for this time of year in Edinburgh).  My average pace was about 4:20min/km thanks to the downhill, then the uphill section started.


I honestly thought this would break me, my heart was pumping and my legs were getting tired. The sharp banks sapped the legs, my first 5min/km split occurred here, and I thought it was all  downhill (uphill) from here.. the hill at this point was a gradual incline for 4kms.  To my surprise the next was sub 5 again, and then again.. I was pushing hard now though.


I completed the 10kms in 46mins.  That’s 10mins slower than the PB I set a number of years back. I think I can shave time off that, if I can shave some weight and put in some proper hard sessions.


I used to think that I quite enjoyed the slow trail running but actually I got some satisfaction from a short sharp and tough session.  More of these I think!

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