Tag Archives: mile

The Strava Mile – London

A month or so ago I received an email from James Poole (Advent Running co-founder & Adidas Running Captain) inviting me to an event he was collaborating with Strava on – the Strava Mile. I’m good friends with JP, use Strava and really enjoy mile races, I was in!

Before I knew it race day arrived. After a big weekend of mileage at Endure 24 and a tough 10 x 1k track session on Tuesday night my legs were feeling a bit sorry for themselves. I opted to run the 4k or so from work to Mile End track to try and loosen the legs up. Struggling to hold a few 4 minute kilometres I wasn’t expecting to be breaking any records on #MyMile.

I was greeted at the track by Claire, Bill and Johnny from Iffley Road. They were supporting the event and providing tees to runners. As I’m a Team Iffley ambassador Claire gave me some of their lovely Thompson shorts in a new blue colourway to race in.

The event was a lot of fun; it was great to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while due to training predominantly on my own for the last few months. As the start time of 7pm neared James hit the mic to let us know the schedule, there was to be 4 mile races: Sub 9, 8, 7 & 6 and below. With my legs beaten up I was glad the final mile was sub 6 and not 5. I thought I would be left suffering at the back in a sub 5 race. It was great to watch friends flying round the track, many of them achieving personal bests. For some it was their first mile race, I suppose there aren’t that many around so it’s great for events like this to be organised.

I ran a few strides to try and get the legs ready for action. There was a large group in the sub 6 race. I positioned myself near the front but decided I would try and crank the pace up in the final two laps if the legs would allow me. With my mile PB at 4:44 I knew I wouldn’t be able to get near that but thought 5 would be a good target. In hindsight I should’ve tried to get the inside lane like James Brewster (pro!) or started a bit further up as I was forced to take a wider lane on a couple of occasions costing valuable seconds. I got into my stride and was on the right pace for sub 5, 3:06min/km.

It was great to have people to chase down, surprisingly my legs felt good after completing the first lap and going under the Strava gantry to cheers from friends.

Going through halfway I was still on pace and another sub 5 was within reach, I started to pick it up to try and bank a few more seconds and make sure I would achieve the time.

The last few laps went by in a blur; I gained ground on some of the runners in front and crossed the line in 4:55.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1036670638/overview

I was really happy and surprised with the result. It always makes me wonder what time I could achieve if I trained and tapered specifically for a mile race.

After everyone had run their miles we grabbed some tacos and beer. The event was a lot of fun, thank you James, Strava, Iffley Road, Eddie (Camden Town Brewery) etc for putting it on. I really hope there will be many more events like this in the future.

I hope everyone else that was there had as much fun as I did. See a lot of you soon.

Steve

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Westminster Mile 2017

On Sunday the 28th of May I took part in the Westminster Mile. Having done it in 2015 I was looking forward to running up the Mall and crossing the finish line near Buckingham Palace again. The first time I took part in the event I didn’t know what time I would be capable of so ended up in the B race. I was in good shape and ran 5:05 which meant I lead the race from start to finish and took the tape. It was fun being at the sharp end of a race but on reflection had there been someone to chase I could well have dug a little deeper and scraped sub 5. With that lesson learnt signing up for this year I predicted I would run nearer my PB of 4:44 (achieved in the City of London Mile last year, thanks to some “pacing” from Ken Hoye) to get in the A race and have people to compete with.

With the sufferfest of Night of the 10,000m PBs still vividly in my mind I decided to take it easier in the couple of days leading up to the mile. 

I did a steady 8k run commute on Friday and swam with Lorna on Saturday morning to loosen the legs up. The A race started at 9:30am so we took the bus to get there around 9am, this gave me time to sort race kit and take an SIS GO Caffeine shot. I opted to try the Cola flavour; it tasted good and perked me up.

 

I did a few strides and then made my way to the start pen. Hugh Brasher gave a speech and there was a minute silence before the start to commemorate the victims of the Manchester attack on Monday. Something I was annoyed about was the fact that one runner had turned up late and was shuffling his way through the start pen while everyone else was observing the minutes silence. There are more important things than running, show some respect!

Hugh Brasher set us on our way. I was a couple of rows back from the start line so I was a little boxed in but was thinking “get up to speed, find some space and then push in the second 800m”. To overtake a few runners I went wider around the bend than I would’ve liked getting on to Horse Guards Road. Once I’d found some space I was feeling good, I glanced at my watch to check I was running sub 3min/km pace to finish in under 5 minutes. I passed the 800m to go sign and upped the pace; I had a few runners to chase which was good. 400m to go: my legs were burning and I was breathing HEAVY but I was on target. 

I turned the corner onto the home straight, I saw the clock showing “4:30 something”, I knew I’d gone sub 5 again. I sprinted through the finish, crossing the line in 4:48 in 20th position.


I was really happy with how the race went, especially off the back of increasing my mileage during the week. However, almost immediately after crossing the line I always wonder “how quick could I run a mile if I trained specifically for it?” and “could I have gone a few seconds quicker (PB’d) if I’d rested just that little bit more”. Maybe in the next couple of years I will set aside 6 months to a year to see how quick I can get over the mile, 5k and 10k distances. We’ll see…

After finishing the mile Lorna and I headed to Richmond Park for a steady 15k run. 

Lorna is using a coach at the moment, focusing on her form and doing easy trail runs before the mileage cranks up ahead of the Great East Run in September, I’m excited to see how much quicker she gets. It’s been really nice to run around Richmond Park the last couple of weekends, there’s no stress about the pace and it’s good to get off the roads especially with OCC coming up at the end of August.

June is going to be a pretty busy month for me. I have: Orion Forest Five, Endure 24, Strava Mile, LBH relays, Orion Fell Race, and the Orion Fast Friday (10,000m).

See a lot of you soon

Steve

The Soar Indoor Mile/Winter Warmer

On Wednesday the 1st of February I decided to take part in the Soar Indoor Mile at Lee Valley Athletics Track. I heard about the event a few months back and wanted to get involved, I was in two minds whether to opt for the mile race or do one of the 3,000m races. I decided not to sign up in advance due to being in marathon training, I wasn’t sure if my legs would be up to a fast mile or 3k the day after a big track session. I made the decision to race after doing The Running Works club run at lunchtime as my legs felt “ok”.

Having raced over the mile distance on a couple of occasions I’ve learnt about the pain and heavy breathing that comes with the occasion, despite the tired legs I still thought it would be “fun” to see what I was capable of. Plus I’d never had the opportunity to run a mile on a 200m indoor track and I wanted to see how it would compare to doing a road mile. I got the train from Liverpool Street Station to Ponders End to make it in time to watch the BMC 800m races. Once off the train I bumped into Martin White and Lydia O’Donoghue and we had a good catch up whilst walking to the athletics centre. We spoke about training, races coming up (Lydia is running Tokyo in a couple of weeks) and whether we were looking forward to the mile and what times we were expecting.

At the City of London Mile last year I had a solid run and clocked 4:43. Factoring in Track Tuesday I decided I’d aim for 5 minutes and see how it goes, if I had to ease up then so be it. Having arrived at the track I caught up with Andy Cohen-Wray (Athlete in Mind), Alex Van Oostrum (Freestak), Marcus (The Marathon Marcus) and Douglas Cameron (Southwark parkrun) whilst watching the BMC 800s, 3k races and some of the mile races unfold. 

With money on the table, the standard was high. The women’s and men’s A races were just before the men’s B and C races. The winning times were 4:05 by Dale King-Clutterbuck and 4:50 by Faye Fullerton. As well as their great performances two age-group mile world records were broken; Anthony Whiteman ran 4:12:94 to beat the V45 record and Lucy Elliott crossed the line in 5:03:60 to break the V50 mile record. In the 3,000m races the winners were John Sanderson and Tamara Armoush in 8:22:81 and 9:34:10 respectively. It was really inspiring to see these athletes tearing it round the track putting in cracking performances.
As race start time was nearing I headed up to the warm up area to do a few strides. My legs were feeling tired just putting in a few hundred metres of effort and so I knew the race was going to be hard. With 10 minutes or so to go we were summoned to the call area so the organisers could check who was present and line us up in number order. 

Having signed up on the night I was given the number 147 (maximum break!) and this meant I was to start in one of the outside lanes, ideally I’d have been on the inside lane. We lined up and before we knew it we were off.

 Photo courtesy of AVO (@alexvanoostrum)

I sprinted off the start line to take to the inside lane before the bend, it was myself and Douglas setting the pace for the first lap or two. I went through the first 200m in 37 seconds; on pace for a 5 minute mile (Andy and I had discussed the pace required). 400m down in 75 seconds and my legs were feeling ok, a quarter of the race was completed and they went by pretty quickly. After the first couple of laps I went passed Douglas and tried to hold sub 5 pace. This was when it got harder, I was racing the clock.

The laps were going by really quickly yet I still had time to think, I remember thinking “try to keep tight on in the inside lane especially around the bends and off the corners push on using the cambers to pick up speed.” I was still on pace after lap 6 but I could feel my legs tightening and I wasn’t able to stride out as well as over the first 400m or so. With 400m left I had 75 seconds to go sub 5 with 200m 35 seconds. I tried to up my pace over the last lap but struggled over the final 100m. My legs wouldn’t cooperate so I had to settle for crossing the line in 5:02.

 

Immediately I was disappointed not to go sub 5 again but I was pretty pleased taking into account the big track session on Tuesday and having done the Southern XC champs on Saturday followed by a 26k run on Sunday. Excuses excuses I know! 

Overall I enjoyed the race, it was really well organised and it was great to catch up with a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in a little while. I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on Soar running and signing up to their next event, even if you aren’t in PB shape a mile or 3k can act as a great speed session and give you a good indicator of where you are fitness wise. Over the next few weeks I’ll be focussing more on mileage as I prepare for the Boston Marathon, I’m really looking forward to banking some steady long runs.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

LBH No bridges relay, Fast Friday & Harry Hawkes 10

On Wednesday the 22nd of June I took part in the LBH relays. Normally the route is along the river near Westminster bridge but due to roadworks and the referendum the race had to be moved to near the O2. I ran in the LBH Bridges Relay last year and really enjoyed it. It was a 2.3 mile lap including having to cross a couple of bridges and go round a few sharp corners. Our team, including the super quick duo of Pete Huck and Kip, managed to win by a pretty big margin. 
This year we sorted a team in short notice. In my team was Ben Johnson, Luca Guarnieri and Pete Huck. As we were walking to the start area you could tell we weren’t exactly pumped up for it. We had all taken part in the track session on Tuesday night and because Luca didn’t know we were running until the afternoon he had already ran 20k that day. Not ideal race prep. However it was good to turn up and represent Run-Fast, we supply the race bibs for the event. 

I ran the first leg for our team. Similarly to last year I was about a minute off the lead when I handed over to Luca. Due to running the City of London Mile a few days before and the track session I was happy with posting a time of 12:07 for 2.3 miles. Considering having 20k in his legs Luca ran a solid leg and then Ben and Pete sped round the course. Pete clocked the quicker slap of the evening in eleven minutes. We had managed to finish top 10 which was a good effort, some of the teams there were pretty quick.  

 Wanting to take part in Night of the 10,000 PBs next year I decided it would be good to get a track race under my belt. My colleague Mary let me know about Fast Friday that Orion Harriers put on so I decided to sign up. I opted to take part in the 10,000m race as I wanted to see what 25 laps of a track felt like. As my 10k PB on road was 34:58 I put down 35 minutes as my goal time knowing my legs wouldn’t be fresh post City of London Mile etc. 

After work I headed to Walthamstow track and arrived approximately an hour before the 8:15 start. I picked up my race number and caught up with Mary whilst watching the first couple of races. 

 Martin and Lydia who I know through the Running Works were racing so it was good to watch and cheer them on. I ran a couple of laps of the track to warm up but before I knew it the race was starting. My legs were feeling a bit tired from track and the LBH relays in the week but I was hoping they’d loosen up after a couple of laps.

Luckily for me they had to combine two of the 10k races due to the floodlights not working. I thought it would be better to be in a race with more people around. Another good thing was that there was a pacer on 35min pace for the first 9 laps. I went out a bit quicker than this but after a couple laps settled in behind the pacer. I held 3:30min/km for the majority of the race and the laps soon went. There were a couple of other runners around me and we took it in turns going in front. 

With a few laps to go my legs were still feeling good so I upped my pace to make sure I’d go sub 35 minutes. I finished in 34:50, I really enjoyed my first track race and can’t wait to do another one. Hopefully I can taper for my next track race and maybe post a time in the low 34 minutes if not quicker. After my race I watched the 5,000m A race. Adam Kirk-Smith who used to live with Mary and runs at track smashed it running sub 15 minutes. It’s great doing events like this and watching and running with people quicker than you. It makes me want to train harder and get to that level.

To finish my week of racing I took part in the Harry Hawkes 10 miler on the Sunday. Having ran the race with my girlfriend Lorna in 2015 I knew it was a good fun event to do. Lorna was running it again but was using it as more of a training run having done a long run the day before. I had rested post Fast Friday and so was hoping for a 10 mile PB (having not raced many 10 milers before).

My primary aim was to run sub 60 minutes. Having run half marathons at quicker than that pace I thought it would be doable but I didn’t know how tired my legs would be. Off the start I was close to my half marathon pace but after a couple of miles I realised my legs were pretty tired.  

I had to ease off but managed to finish in a time of 59 minutes. I really enjoy the Harry Hawkes 10 route along the river. As long as it fits in the race calendar I’ll always be back. 

Lorna ran really well finishing only a couple of minutes slower than last year. This was good considering we ran 71 minutes last year together, she had done a long run the day before and had to stop to tie her shoelaces.  

    
 Overall it was a busy 8 days but I’m happy with the results:

City of London Mile: 4:43 (PB)

LBH Bridges (No bridges) Relay: 12:07 (all important 2.3 mile PB)

Fast Friday: 34:50 (10,000m PB)

Harry Hawkes 10: 59:00 (10M PB)

See a lot of you soon

Steve

The City of London Mile 2016

On Sunday the 19th of June I ran in my third City of London Mile. In 2014 I ran the race after completing the Hackney Half Marathon; it was a really good idea to put on a wave which allowed runners to travel across from East London to take part. It was the first mile race I took part in; I really enjoyed it and although I was fatigued from running the half marathon in the morning in the heat it gave me a benchmark to know how fast I could probably run a mile. I ran 5:42 which I was happy with considering I ran a 1:21 half a few hours before (not far from my PB at the time). In the first year I was still working at the London Marathon Store and had heard about Run-Fast/The Running Works/City of London Mile via social media. In April 2015 I started working in The Running Works, I couldn’t wait for the City of London Mile to come around as I knew it would be a fun day to work, and run in one of the waves.
Last year I ran in wave 2. Having ran the Westminster Mile in 5:03 a couple of weeks before the COLM I knew I would get close to that elusive sub 5. Being in training for Race to the Stones 100k scuppered my plans a bit. I needed to be doing more mileage so had ran 19 miles on the Saturday before the race. Despite the long run I felt pretty good on the day and managed to run 5:02. I was happy with the result but ultimately I wanted a time with a 4 at the start. With a shortage of mile races around I knew it would be a fair while until I could give it another crack. I really enjoyed the event last year, the atmosphere was great again and it was awesome to see so many friends racing and beating their PBs. I found it really good fun to cheer on other runners, from elite athletes to parents and children in the family waves. The mile distance really is great as it is so inclusive. There was a similar atmosphere to parkrun, there’s a great sense of community.
This year in the build up to the City of London Mile, James, David, Nikki and I headed across the city to show our support for the Ealing Mile. It was a good team outing and another opportunity for me to attempt that sub 5 again. You can read about what happened here: 

https://steveskinner3.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/ealing-mile-sdw-hackney-half-marathon/

After going sub 5 at the Ealing Mile I wanted to try and scrape some more time off. Having been to track regularly over the last year and a bit I was quietly confident, however due to lots of running in the Black Forest and Endure 24 etc my legs were feeling a bit knackered. On the Saturday Lorna and I did a long run to Greenwich and back in preparation for the Zagori Marathon in Greece, it was a really nice day for it, it’s always good to do a long run along the river. On Sunday I woke up bright and early to head towards St. Pauls and the race village site. I couldn’t believe our luck with the weather, it was so nice and sunny. The first couple hours of the day went really quickly, helping to set up The Running Works retail space and putting out signs etc. At about 9:30am I had to run down to Monument station to let one of the vans into the race area, this doubled up as a warm up/shakeout ha. I got back to The Running Works tent to put on my racing singlet and split shorts and then jogged down to the start line outside St. Pauls for 10 o’clock.

In the lead up to the race a number of friends had signed up and were aiming for a time similar to mine, sub 5 again. In the store we had a board put in place for people to write down their predicted times, initially I had set mine at 4:57. This kept creeping down as Ken (massage therapist at work) was coming in to the store and putting down one second quicker than me. This resulted in the hashtags: #KenVSteve, #SteveWho, #KenWho etc. Andy Cohen-Wray had also been making predictions and was dishing out the trash talk pre-race on Twitter. In wave 1 was a couple hundred people, including: Ken, Andy, Robbie Smith, Adam Lennox, Fabio Rizzo, Alex Van Oostrum, Billy Rayner, Ed Price, Paul Martelletti and Gemma Hockett. I positioned myself a couple of rows back from the start line and then before we knew it we were off. Knowing that if I ran around 3 min/km pace I would finish sub 5 I glanced at my watch a couple of times in the first few hundred metres to check I was on the target pace. I felt good after the first 800m so started to up it. I was overtaking quite a few runners and as I took the few corners around Bank I could see Ken. I tracked him down and then on the last corner before the straight up Cheapside I passed him. My legs were still feeling good and I managed a decent kick up the home straight despite it being a little in to wind.  


 I ran straight through the finish line not looking at the clock but I knew I had gone sub 5 again. I love the adrenaline rush you get from racing, especially over the shorter distances. I’ve started really enjoying pushing the pace on shorter reps at track. Having not stopped my watch on the finish line I was wondering what time I’d done. 

In the finish area Ken, Andy and I congratulated each other on a great run, Ken beat his estimated time finishing in 4:48 and Andy ran 5:07. He’d raced the day before and has been racing a huge amount recently, or at least that’s his excuse ;).

 

After completing my mile I spent the majority of the day in The Running Works tent selling our COLM tees and taking photos of people with the selfie frames. I feel that the event was even more enjoyable this year than last. One of the massive contributing factors to this was a lot of the lead volunteers were Advent Runners. James and Claudia did a great job in helping organise the start and baggage drop areas. The whole group of volunteers were so enthusiastic and energetic in helping make the day great fun for everyone. Another reason this year was better than last year was the Amba Hotels, Mizuno Running City of London Mile t-shirts. It was great to see so many people wearing and running in their bright yellow tees. The selfie frames were also great fun, since the event so many great pics have been posted on Instagram and Twitter using #RunCityMile and/or #CityMileSelfie. A fair few runners from The Running Works Run Club ran in the mile which was good. A lot of them were doing their first mile race, for some it was their first race full stop. Well done to Spencer Herbert, Kay Ma, Effy Bailey, Jo Osmond, Adam Turnbull, Yann Lancien, Rohan Chaffey and Martin White for running great times.
 A special mention has to go to Tony Lee. Tony started running with us in the couch to 5k group a couple of months ago, since then he has been doing parkrun regularly, he smashed one in 25 minutes a few weeks back. On the Monday before the mile we ran the distance on a route near Shadwell basin, he wanted to see how it would feel and what time he could run. We managed to clock a time of 7:31, this gave him a good gauge as to what he could do on race day. Straight after we’d finished the mile he wasn’t out of breath and he could easily ask me what time we’d done, at that point we knew he could run a mile much quicker than that. On race day Tony flew round the City of London Mile course finishing in 6:59! It’s been amazing to see how much he has improved over a short period of time and to go sub 7 is awesome, well done Tony! 

 I hope everyone that attended the event had a great time. I’m looking forward to next year already! Fingers crossed it doesn’t clash with many other races and more people can make it.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

Ealing Mile, SDW & Hackney Half Marathon

On Friday my work colleagues Nikki, James, David and I headed across London to take part in the Ealing Mile. I’d raced the mile distance three times before and knew that it was going to be a bit of a suffer fest, especially due to it being hot weather. My first mile race was the City of London Mile in 2014, I ran in the post Hackney Half Marathon wave and managed to get round in 5:40 something. I know I’m biased as I now work for Run-Fast but it was a great event, I made it in time to watch the elite and family waves, it was great seeing so many people running whether pushing themselves to their limit or having fun (or both!). Last year I ran the Westminster and City of London Miles finishing in 5:03 and 5:02 respectively, both of which were the day after doing long runs in training for Race to the Stones 100k. As I wrote in a previous blog about goals, I wanted to do sub 5 minutes in 2016 and therefore I thought this would be a good opportunity to go for it. Still recovering from the London Marathon etc I didn’t know whether I would have it in my legs but with a mile you may as well go out fast and hold on as it’s such a short distance you’ll only have to suffer for a little while.

Myself and James jogged around the route to warm up, “This seems much further than a mile” we said. It’s really deceiving how long a mile is, after doing half marathons, marathons and ultras I guess you’re always going to think of it as a really really short distance, it’s still a fair way. Legs loosened up and numbers pinned to our tops we were ready to go. The race started at 12:30, we toed the start line drawn in chalk on the path. “3,2,1, GO!” We were off! Having researched what pace I needed to run to break 5 minutes I set off around 3:05 minutes per kilometre pace. I glanced down at my watch a couple of times to check I was staying around that pace. The first section of the course was flat; you then take a left round a corner to a nice slight downhill section. After a few hundred metres I was breathing heavy but my legs were feeling good, due to the downhill probably ha. As the organisers knew the “Run City Milers” were attending the mile, they had written a couple of motivational messages on the ground; “Go Nikki!” and “#RunFast” to name a couple. 

Note: this pic wasn’t taken mid-race.

The course was marked in chalk which was good. You run passed a little playground and down into the corner of Lammas Park. As the path wasn’t closed off to public there were a few pedestrians to negotiate round. After taking the corner at the bottom there’s a tree which splits the path, I opted to go right around the tree as off the bend I was on that side of the path (not sure this was quite the racing line ha). From here you head up a slight incline. It lasts for a few hundred metres but given that the first part of the course was slightly downhill it feels like you’re climbing Everest and its taking forever. Finally there’s a left turn and a short flat section to keep pace. There was one more turn to take; I could hear another runner breathing down my neck so kept pushing. On the corner there was a couple pushing a buggy, there was a small gap to go on the inside of them but I quickly made the decision to just run around the outside. This allowed the runner behind me to close the gap, with 200 metres he edged passed me. This was the first time in the race someone had been in front of me, luckily my legs had a little kick in them, and I managed a little sprint to finish first in 4:58. Now that I’ve done sub 5 I don’t have to worry so much about my time in the City of London Mile, therefore I might do the Orion Harriers Fell Race on the 17th of June (great fun last year!) and a long run the Saturday before the event due to training for the Zagori Marathon.

  

Team Run-Fast (Run City Milers) and the Ealing team

On Saturday Lorna, Emily, Michele, David, Todor and I headed to Seaford. Post road marathons we all have a couple of trail races/events coming up so thought it would be a good idea to run on the South Downs Way (over Seven Sisters) to Eastbourne. Late last year I went on a training weekend with Run-Fast to the same location and therefore knew how steep the climbs were over Seven Sisters, I also knew just how beautiful the views were along the coast and couldn’t wait to run there again.   

   
We all ran steady and walked a few of the climbs; we were just after time on feet and some hill training. It was really nice weather, not too hot because of the breeze off the sea. It was a great 19k or so route from Seaford to Eastbourne, one which I hope to do again soon. Once we arrived in Eastbourne we found Harry Ramsdens Fish and Chip shop, it was so good. The girls then had a little dip in the sea before we got a MASSIVE ice cream and headed for the train to get back to the concrete jungle.

To end the weekend of running I took part in the Hackney Half Marathon. Initially I wasn’t going to enter, mainly due to racing the London Marathon a couple of weeks ago. However, Jon who runs with The Running Works Run Club had signed up, using it as a training run/race heading towards his Ironman later in the year. He said he wanted to run around 1:40 and I thought this would be a good pace to run post London and in the heat. It’s always boiling hot on Hackney Half race day, I’d raced it in 2014 and 2015. Another friend, Michalis, was aiming for 1:40 too and Lorna was going to pace him. 
Unfortunately before the start we got split up, I was with Lorna, Jon and Ash who ran with us. Michalis must’ve got into the start pen earlier. We were due to start at 9am but for some unknown reason we were stood waiting for about 15 minutes, not ideal in the heat, I just wanted to get running. Once over the start line we weaved are way through a few runners, we had to do this because we got in the start pen a little late and were nearer the back of the 1:30-1:45 group. To go sub 1:40 we needed to average 4:44 min/km pace, wanting to find some space and run with Ash with the tunes, we averaged closer to 4:30 through the first 5k. With it being really hot I knew we’d pay the price for going out fast in the end but as we were having fun and everyone was feeling good at this point we carried on at a quicker pace.   

After a couple of miles Lorna caught up with Michalis and went on to pace him. We were banking quite a lot of time in the first half of the race; we went through halfway in around 46 minutes, that’s a couple of minutes quicker than we wanted really. 

 It was great fun running with Ash, he supplied the tunes and at every water station he’d run ahead quickly to grab me and Jon water bottles. 

He was also taking lots of pics and selfies; screw spending £50 on finisher’s photos!! Ha As we were running we passed quite a few runners, it was funny when people heard the music, turned around and were like “Hey Ash, how’s it going!” We saw so many Advent Running, Run Dem, Nike, Victoria Park Harriers etc people and the crowds were great. We were still holding closer to 4:30min/km pace throughout most of the second half of the race.   

We got to around 19k on this pace but then the fast pace at the start and heat took its toll. When you’re running around the Olympic Park there’s very little shade and as you are nearing the end of the race it’s getting hotter and hotter. We were putting in a lot more effort to try and hold a decent pace, long gone were the moments of enjoying the music and high fiving kids. 

We got to 20k, Jon was suffering quite a lot. We had to reduced are speed drastically and just get it done, we knew we weren’t going to go sub 1:40 but could still PB. After a short walk to steady himself he got running again. We finished in 1:41:49, a shiny new PB and a good race in prep for Jons ironman. I was happy with the run, obviously it would’ve been better if we’d have gone sub 1:40 but there were a couple of reasons why we didn’t. Overall it was a fun race and I’d made it a Hackney hat-trick.  

 I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed the sun.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

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