The PB chase

As I mentioned on my first post there are a number of reasons why I run. One of the main reasons is to push myself to my limits and keep on improving race after race. Running is, I think, one of the best sports to participate in because everything relies on you, and your results will be determined by the decisions you make on running gear, training, nutrition, sleep and other things.

Running is challenging both in the mind and for the body, and testing both of these things is something that I enjoy. Your mind may tell you to give up on a number of occasions throughout a run but your legs can still keep moving, so the challenge is to get your mind in line with your body. I guess it depends on the motivating factors for each runner as to when or if you decide to stop or walk in a race or on a training run. Currently when out on training runs I sometimes ask why am I doing this (mainly when it’s blowing a gale and tipping it down with rain!!) but the thought of a sub 3 marathon pops straight to the front of thoughts. Yesterday I was speaking with a customer, whilst I was working at Teddington, about our running goals and I started to envisage or imagine that feeling of crossing the finish line, near Old Trafford, in Manchester and achieving sub 3, picking up that medal, and that is what is driving me on! Also, as I previously mentioned, knowing I would have a guaranteed spot for London next year would mean the world to me!

This year for me is mainly about chasing PBs. I believe chasing a PB is probably one of the biggest reasons people run, they want to better themselves and see that improvement in time, health, or fitness etc. This is something that I admire in all runners, the fact they want to improve their lives and I think running is definitely one of the best ways to do that. This year for me is mainly about PBs and improving my running. However, I still hope to keep things fresh and enjoyable and not become to bogged down in the, “I absolutely need to do this time” stuff. This is why I don’t tend to use training plans at the moment. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or not but currently I run based on how much time I have in the day and also how good I feel in terms of being recovered (via decent food and sleep!) from the day before. So far this has seemed to be working and I think as long as I get the miles in and then work on goal pace I should be able to do the times I am going for, but we will see. Training plans may become a big part of my life after Reading Half and Manchester Marathon!!

I had recently been looking for races in and around London and the other day I stumbled across the Mornington Chasers 10k around Regents Park. Of course I decided to enter, having the day off work, because I need to work on some speed, Regents park is awesome to run around and I haven’t raced in a 10k for ages and this is flatter (than Devon!!).

IMAG0503

This photo is dedicated to all of those people that on a Sunday morning either had a hangover, had a lie in, or decided to run at the gym because it was cold etc. Just look at what you missed! 🙂

This was the scene for my stroll to the start line in Regents Park. Due to the miles I racked up in December I was hoping for a PB, if not near, even though a lot of those miles were nearer 7 to 8 minute miles. My previous PB for a 10k was 38.27. However this time was for a rather undulating course in Bude, Cornwall running in the wind and rain so thought a PB would be possible today.

Luckily for me on the start line I was chatting to another guy about his running and he said he was aiming for sub 36mins in the race. This was perfect for me as I was aiming to do the same ideally, so I had found my pacer! I let him go off a bit faster than myself but knew because there were some slight inclines that I could gain on those and  would try to pick up speed on the last 3kmish lap. It worked a treat and my pace was good for the first two laps, just sub 12 minutes for each so it was on. Some of the other guys started to slow a little but I tried to keep steady and pushed it up hill (thanks Devon hills!!). It was definitely a challenge to run at 6 minute per mile pace after doing longer slower runs but I just about managed the speed. I gained on “my pacer” along the last lap and managed to out sprint him on the finish to his disgust. “That was cheeky!” gave away his competitive nature!!

I sprinted in just under 36 minutes I believe (awaiting time confirmation) and he got there aswell which was good as by sprinting I probably actually pushed him on a bit on that final stretch. So i’m going to claim that I helped him get sub 36! Overall the race was perfect; excellent weather, beautiful park, route well marshalled, good atmosphere, good support and this all cumulated in a PB which I am well chuffed with.

Now to try and find a few more races but also up the miles again and try and get nearer to goal pace. This run has given me good confidence in my running to go forward with and now I know how much work needs to be put in to get nearer 1.15 for a Half and then Sub 3 for a Marathon.

Hope all your PB chasing is going well!!

Steve

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