A new PB :-)

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Just a short post to say that I managed to get a new personal best at 5km today at the Standard Chartered Great City 5k!  The race was pretty crowded at the start but I don’t think it cost me too much time, I had to weave a fair bit so maybe it took five – ten seconds off me but no more than that.

My official chip time was 19:25 so I only managed to shave three seconds off my previous PB but it is always a great feeling doing a distance faster than you have ever done it before.  It also means that I have the confidence of knowing that I am probably the fittest I have ever been (backed up by the 10km PB from a few weeks ago).   I now need to use this as a base to continue building and getting stronger, hopefully I can break the 5km PB again on Saturday at Parkrun.

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I feel like I’m getting somewhere

As I mentioned in earlier posts, May was a rough month and I wasn’t able to achieve anything like what I wanted.  June was a bit better but it is only over the last few weeks that I’ve been able to get more training under my belt and it now feels like I’m starting to make progress.

I’ve had a few really good runs over the last month.  Right at the start of July I got a new PB at the Regent’s Park 10km race.  It was a great race actually, really well organised and everyone was friendly and fun so I’d recommend it to anyone.  I ran off at a fast pace, around 6:05 for the first mile.  I wasn’t able to keep that going and the pace fell away but I still came in with a PB of 40:43 so I was pretty happy.

I then did the JPM Corporate Challenge.  It’s a weird race, distance of 5.6km has never made any sense to me at all and it gets incredibly crowded so it is tough to do anything special.  I had a great start as I was right up at the front of my pen so could get away without any crowd issues, that helped me do a 6:01 minute first mile.  After 1.5 miles I got stuck in the huge crowd of people from the pen before me, not sure I’ll ever really understand why people lie about their predicted times as they just end up being a road block for honest runners who are faster but have to start in a slower band…  It drives me mad and happens at every race.

I then took a week off work to do a holiday in the Canary Islands with my girlfriend, it was pretty relaxing and the hotel was amazing!

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I ran four times when I was on holiday which made me feel great because otherwise I’d have just felt like a fat mess as we were eating and drinking out loads.  The weather was brutal though, it got up to 34 degrees most days so I tried to avoid running in the hottest part of the day.  One run I did was really strong, screenshot below.  It was effing hot out there when I ran this one, even at 10am.  To churn out a 6:28 min mile average (with 6:15 GAP according to Strava) in the heat had me feeling really pleased with myself, I think sleeping lots and relaxing makes a huge difference to my running ability.

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So I’m now feeling like I’ve got a good bit in the tank.  I did a good gym session on Wednesday night and pushed myself hard on some interval work, throughout all of it I felt stronger than I have before.  Today I did my first big run since the marathon in April and ran for 14.5 miles.  It was tough but not as tough as I thought it would be and I kept my pace solid throughout.

The plan now is to build on the strong foundations of the last few weeks.  I want to start swimming and am going to try to do that tomorrow for the first time in London.  I’m an absolutely crap swimmer but I did a bit on holiday and it really felt like it was helping my legs heal up so I’m keen to give it a go here and see whether it makes a difference to my recovery times and general fitness.  I also think that I need to bite the bullet and do some tough interval sessions and tempo runs, I always avoid them but they do so much to improve speed and stamina so I need to brave it.

The next two weeks have a few really good chances for me to get PBs…  On Monday I have the Standard Chartered Great City Race.  It is a 5km race and if I get a clear run I feel like I could push my 19:28 PB.  The problem is that I almost certainly won’t get a clear run, just like the JPM race it is going to be crowded and horrible.  I think I estimated that I’d get a fast time so maybe I’ll be in a good pen but as I said earlier, everyone just lies about their times and then holds me up at the start.

If I don’t break the 19:28 PB on Monday then I’ll try at Parkrun on Saturday.  I honestly think the PB is close to falling…

At the start of August I have another big opportunity with my second shot at the Regent’s Park 10k.  There is no reason why I shouldn’t beat my time at the start of July…I am getting fitter so hopefully I have a PB up my sleeve and hopefully it will be closer to the big 40 minute mark…

So in sum, a big two weeks ahead and I am going to keep ramping up the pace work along with some swimming to see if that makes a difference…fingers crossed that the next update will have some good news.