Don’t outsprint your finish time

This post is basically going to summarise my weekend, including Mile End parkrun, BUPA Westminster Mile and BUPA London 10,000. To begin with though I want to share a pearl of wisdom. On Sunday after completing my Westminster mile I made my way to the finish line to cheer on others. In one of the waves a young man that looked like he had jogged the majority of the course decided to go for an almighty sprint over the last 50 meters. Maybe he was aiming for a certain time. Ironically in sprinting for the line his timing chip fell off. Moral of the story is, make sure your timing chip is fastened accordingly to allow for monumental efforts in the last few meters. Secondly pace yourself, it may just be a mile but it’s not a sprint all the way. Thirdly don’t outsprint your finish time by pushing too much and getting injured.

On Saturday 23rd May I decided to partake in the Mile End parkrun. Initially the idea was to take it steady and use it as a loosener for the Westminster Mile and the 10k. Those of you that have read my blog before will know roughly what happens next. I clearly lack some self control because after crossing the start line I went into parkRACE mode. I felt quite comfortable and as always enjoyed the slight ups and downs of the Mile End course. I finished in 17:44 knocking 5 seconds of my course PB, that I had equalled a few week back. It could be argued that this was not great mile and 10k preparation but I think it was good to get up to speed. 

The BUPA Westminster mile was the first race of the weekend. This was my second time racing over that distance having done the City of London Mile in 2014. However I couldn’t really compare the times as I did the mile last year after finishing the Hackney Half Marathon that morning. I did the City of London Mile in 5:43 and so when registering for the Westminster  mile I put down around 5:30. This put me in wave B at 9:45 which was good because I didn’t have to wait around all day nervously. It also meant I would be near the front of the wave and have space to run into. To my surprise I ended up running the mile basically on my own. I set off pretty quickly from the start line and there were two or three runners alongside but I then got into my stride and kept a consistent pace. It was surreal to be running along Birdcage Walk out in front. As I got closer to the finish I had the urge to look behind and see if anyone was coming with me but I kept my head down and took the tape in 5:05. I am happy with this time however I would’ve like to have achieved a sub 5. Maybe if I had runners to chase I could have done it and maybe if I didn’t PB at Mile End parkrun the day before I could have got those 6 seconds. I’m not going to dwell on those questions too much as with more track work I’m confident I’ll get a 4-something minute mile in the years to come. Depending on rest etc the City of London Mile on June 14th may be a good opportunity.  

 After my mile I watched the other waves including Steve Cram in the Olympians wave and David Weir trying to break the 3-minute mile in the wheelchair wave. It was great to watch the various waves and see the variety of performances and sprint finishes. 

 

I have to say well done to Emma, Frankie, Judie, Gemma, Lizzie, Kevin, Stephen, Harry, Tim, Chris & Pete for their great efforts over the mile. 

The second event of my BUPA Bonanaza weekend was the London 10,000. Again I found myself in wave B having put in an underestimated goal time. As I found in 2014 this is good as you have room to manoeuvre for the first half but you then have to weave a certain amount in the second 5k. I find it hard to understand why some runners put in over ambitious goal finish times as it must be so demoralising. Surprisingly I felt quite fresh given the efforts in the mile on Sunday. I therefore set off at just below 6 min miling and planned to  hold onto it to get as close to 36 minutes as possible. As the run progressed I passed a lot of runners and found it motivating to chase others and move through the field. I kept pace and crossed the line with the clock showing 38:27ish. I knew this meant I’d gone close to 36 due to starting in wave B. When the results came in I had done 35:59 equalling my 10k PB and achieving that sub 36 mins I was after, job done.   Overall a productive weekend of running and great fun outside the Queens humble abode. Over the next few days I will be taking it easy with the Bristol 10k coming up on Sunday. 

The BUPA medals have taken their pride of place next to the others collected in May. I’m not sure I will ever race this much in one month again but it’s been a lot of fun. 

I hope you all had a great long bank holiday weekend whether you were running or otherwise. See a lot of you soon.

Steve

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