The Middle Ground

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29/03/2013 at 22:12
Curly - Aye, certainly fair comment. Not expecting to match that on Monday - 2 minutes off across 10k isn't going to happen, though I've trained my endurance far more than speed in the weeks between races so hope to make a noticeable slice of that improvement stick. Setting out to pace at 7:13 miles initially, and will see how it comes together. After 45:40 on debut I'll be happy with anything sub-45 this time.

Excellent work from both you and Phil today too. Congrats both. Really looking forward to seeing what you both produce in your respective marathons over the coming weeks when you finally put full grunt behind all your hard graft.

Top comeback race from Dash too. Well done, fella - bet that felt great?
30/03/2013 at 06:39
Ta Bob, it felt good to be racing again but a lot harder than it should have been. To be fair, it wasn't the quickest course but then again I was over a minute quicker last year.
Hopefully, Lincoln 10k on Sunday should see that time go down.
30/03/2013 at 09:04
Still seems like a pretty good effort on comeback, and good luck next Sunday.

Was considering the Lincoln 10k myself at one point actually. Was a toss up between that and the Wollaton Park 10k I'm doing on Monday. Mate of mine was considering it too, and that would have probably swung it the way of Lincoln if he'd been able to make it.

Although there's the big feck off hill with the cathedral in Lincoln, I think the 10k route avoids it, and it's quite a fast course?

Should be a good 'un for better testing your progress.
30/03/2013 at 09:56
Sub 18. Solo. That is all.
30/03/2013 at 11:00

^ Good effort!

Well, moment of truth this morning. Despite the wind managed a massive pb of 19:28 on the watch. Think it might be a couple of seconds over that as I was still untucking my arms from inside my top when the starter said go! Well pleased with that though. Much faster than I was expecting and what McMillan suggested which is perfect confirmation that I need to work on my endurance. Just need to do it now!

30/03/2013 at 12:36
Loving the a Welshman I give my full approval!

Nice racing Phil your form sounds invincible to be honest! And possibly relatively better than the Finchley 20 when not at your best for that?

Curly...good to get some idea with the pacing for marathon day there too no matter what your conclusions are for marathon day! That said, the number of very long runs you have done will put you in a great position regardless I hope! I'm still wondering how to tackle Brighton re pacing.....but am thinking along the lines of no quicker than 7:40-7:45 per mile (read RW for race day disasters in the latest issue and you will see why I'm so nervous about it lol! ).

Great race from you there too Dash!...and that answered my question on your next race in itself! Perhaps it's similar to the Winchester 10k I did recently with the hillier bits there? As Bob says, I've heard Lincoln is meant to be pretty fast unless I've got that wrong?

Duck - congrats! Weren't you going for sub 18 for quite a while? You must be so chuffed at that, brilliant result!

Great progress there too that the Medina parkrun? Don't know much about it whether its flat/hillier etc, but that must equate to a time not a million miles away from a sub 40 10k! Perhaps it's just a case of a few more training miles for the stamina?

Looking forward to hearing how your 10k goes Bob! Oh and I didn't get the job as I expected...but got another interview on the 12th!

Hope you get some clearer answers with the VCD Kelly or get some answers for whatever it may be? That said, from the length of time I've been about on here, it sounds as if you are not a million miles away from PB shape? So I don't quite get the rubbish comment there!
30/03/2013 at 12:41
Parkrun today in Cardiff as I'm back here visiting my family for Easter! Got an official PB which I'm waiting to see too...but stopped the watch on 18:59....if it ends up at 19 flat, it will be the 4th race in 7 months I'd have got a rounded result like that! Splits were 5:55 (despite the congested start), 5:58, 6:20 (flagging a bit after the first two miles which were faster than I set out to do) and 5:41 for the last 0:14 recorded on the Garmin. My brother also raced this and was only about 15 seconds behind....but that was a good return for the miles he's been doing relatively to me...expecting to be trounced by him if he picks his mileage up soon! Ran 7 or so miles back together and managed to stumble over on some uneven concrete with tree roots underneath! Nothing more than a grazed knee and hands but it was about time I had a fall...I've got away with one for quite a while!
Edited: 30/03/2013 at 12:48
31/03/2013 at 20:40

Anyone need a hotel for VLM?  Decided to pull out a little while back with a combo of head cold (now gone), tweaky hamstring (gone I think) and an extension to the skiing holiday (still going on and loving it) which means mileage has gone.  It's a good base, anyway!  A great base for the MD season about to happen...

31/03/2013 at 21:06

Ok, evening everyone! Sorry for my very brief post yesterday, had to shoot off to work straight after parkrun and haven't had a moment to report or read back on what's been going on recently. I'll get to my weekend in a moment....

Phil, great time at Maidenhead and what a strong position to be at this stage. Chomping at the bit must not even describe it right now!

alehouse, good sensible advice as always. 

Dash/WJH liking the mile reps from both of you. It's a great workout for a whole range of distances.

Curly, shame 3:15 might just be out of reach but a very sensible decision by the sounds of it - it would be awful to go off just too hard and blow up!

iower, be patient and work on that slow mileage and longer tempos and it will come! 

Ratzer, awful shame! Good point about the base though  are you getting a deferral to next year?

31/03/2013 at 21:30

So, my weekend since Friday's been pretty good.

Firstly, Friday. Was down at the indoor track at 7:15am Friday morning to get a session in before work. Plan was to use the outdoor track (which was open) but given it was a bit frosty it was safer to use the indoors. So 12*100 w/45s rec was the session. 

Ran 13.6, 13.7, 13.7, 13.5, 13.4, 13.4, 13.3, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.7, 13.1  for 13.5 avg. What a coincidence - 13.5 is  the magic 100m split for a 54 flat 400m. And considering these were done off a standing start that shows a really good level of fitness already. It was tough, but managable. Next time I'd rather do something like 10*100 w/30s rec but the end result was/is mostly the same. I'm feeling like I could run a pretty good 400 right now in ideal conditions.


31/03/2013 at 21:35

Then... Saturday. Up until 8:50 I wasn't even going to race it - the plan was to run round with CS, get a long run in and do a quality session Sunday morning. However with her in taper mode before Paris, and me not getting many opportunities to be at parkrun these days, I just decided it was best to have a blast.

It was no specific pb attempt, I had made the decision beforehand to run entirely to feel (but w/Garmin just for splits feedback afterwards) and I didn't even think I had a good 5k in me any more. Weather was great, coldish but hardly any breeze.

Given I was running entirely to feel I had no idea of pace, and I fell into the top 4 quite easily. No-one particually quick had caught my eye at the start, so even after 400m I was wondering if I could sneak my second parkrun win (the winner - Nichola Gauld - was long gone already so it would have been gender - rather than overall - win). 

The first k went by and I was already well ahead of the rest of the pack, side by side with third. It all felt quite easy at this point and I was quite happy just to let things flow for now. Third dropped back and I was entirely on my own, Nichola well out in front. I just focused on running strongly at what felt like about 6:00/m at this point. At the turn I had a quick look behind and had about 100m on third and fourth behind.

Got a light tailwind now and was still feeling very strong. Still felt like I was holding back a bit and estimated at this stage I was going to run a decent solo 18:40 or thereabouts which would have been fine under the circumstances. After about 3k I had a quick flick to the average pace screen on my garmin.


"Well", I thought. "That's something isn't it?"

There was now just a mile left and I knew I had it in me. The final ramp navigated and still on course for sub-18. The '600m to go' turn and still on course. 200m to go and time clicked over to 17:30! One final, characteristic sprint to the line and I squeaked over in 17'59.

Splits came out as 3'25/3'40/3'38/3'38/3'32 then an extra 3s. It just felt.... easy. No other way to describe it. Looking back to my 18'07 in November when I was almost dry-heaving at the end, this was so relaxed and comfortable in comparison, which makes me wonder how much faster I could have gone.

FWIW Nichola won in 17'14 and I was second, so I techically picked up my second parkrun win (hell if it says it on the First Finishers page I'm taking it). Like any good pb it came totally out of the blue!

Edited: 31/03/2013 at 21:37
31/03/2013 at 21:47
Well done Duck! Not long before you will be in decent shape for 800/1500!

Saw your time WJH!
31/03/2013 at 23:17
Top parkrunning iower, WJH and Duck! Congrats all.

Will have another crack at lowering my own PB on the coming two Saturdays hopefully, but first the 10k tomorrow morning.

1C with a windchill of -4C forecast to greet both the runners at the start and the first day of April as your friend and mine that blasted wind from the east makes a 'welcome' return. Ah, hang on a minute April 1st - someone's having a Fool's joke with that forecast right? No? Bugger...
01/04/2013 at 09:12
Great parkrunning all. In particular, Duck. That's a nice milestone ticked off and without even specifically training for it. Funny this running lark?

Good luck today Bob.
01/04/2013 at 15:17

nice one Duck.

anyone clock the PO10 change in that "parkrun" is now a category in the results?

And to think I drove for an hour to find one to count as 5k

01/04/2013 at 21:03


The spirit said go, the legs said no...feck off.

Was bone chillingly cold (feels like -3C according to Garmin) and I over-estimated my ability to cope with the change of terrain and hillier profile. The hills just ground me down as the race went on, as the splits will show. Lessons learned - more hills in training, and (much) more experience required. Felt every bit the wet behind the ears novice today.

I tried to go out sensibly and keep something in reserve for the hills to come, but a) that still wasn't enough, and b) I just don't think that's the best way for me to race. From what I've done so far, I think I'm going to be a hanger-on-er rather than a negative-split-er. After the conservative start and then the hills starting to put me behind the target splits, I found myself quite demoralised, and no matter how hard I tried to summon them, I just couldn't find those extra gears I'd found at Rushcliffe 4 weeks ago when I'd got plenty of pain, but it was offset by the knowledge I was well ahead of all of the various targets. 

I also didn't find the decent group to run alongside and get into a groove with that I'd enjoyed in that previous 10k, so the splits make fairly miserable reading of 7:21, 7:16, 7:36, 7:37, 7:45 (!), 7:49 (!!) and then a final blast downhill at 6:11 pace to the finish, though the Garmin measured the course short so that final sprint was for 100 yards less or so than you'd think.

All in all pretty disappointing, though I did still manage to duck under 46 minutes (just) at 45:59 - 19 seconds outside my time at Rushcliffe, and it was purely gun timing rather than chipped, so that might have accounted for a handful of seconds. On the bright side, for whatever it's worth (not a lot probably) the change of course profile does mean the Run Britain Rankings classify this more strongly than the Rushcliffe race, with that now having been relegated from the counting performances, and this one ranked as my second strongest run just behind my 21:57 parkrun, and the handicap is down from 12.3 to 11.8 on the back of it...

...and for an hour or two at least I sit in a very lofty position indeed on the RB Handicap Improvement Rankings for the month! 

Back to the quicker of the two local parkruns on Saturday in cowardly search of a relatively flat track in an attempt to restore the dented pride. 

Edited: 01/04/2013 at 21:04
01/04/2013 at 21:18
Well done Bob! You really can't compare a fast flat 10k to a hilly one so maybe you need to take that into account more than you actually are? Perhaps start more conservatively too going by the splits - maybe that's the only thing you did wrong on the day? I used to do this as well and still do (as with my Parkrun on the weekend and fast start at Eastleigh)! Also as you say, with it being a much hillier course and with less than ideal sounds as if you could have potentially been a minute quicker (?) over a faster flat 10k in good races like that can disguise pound for pound progress! As with hills, I try go respect them and never push up too quickly and just try and keep the effort level as close as i can to running on a flatter part of a race! Thats how I see things through my current learning experience so it will be interesting to hear what the others say! Still pretty good going though....I bet you PB at Parkrun next week and better your first 10k time sooner than you think! and remember when I had a bad race back in January and resulting strop with myself....things can change quite quickly and you will look back on today and smile about it!
01/04/2013 at 21:25
....saw the changes last night on PO10 Stevie...not really sure it's needed, a 5k is a 5k whether a Parkrun or part of a 5k race series! They all show up on the profile race listings as well anyway! That said, I never prepare the same for a Parkrun in the same way I would any other race (have a rest the day or two leading up, eat/drink more sensibly and get a good nights sleep). So in a way it suits me that they are separate! It seems to give more credence to Parkrun being a race more than a timed run as to what they say with that now though???? Unless I am not interpreting that correctly? Either way I love Parkruns and they have definitely helped to sharpen me up for the races I've done so far this year!

Love to the way everything came together on the day Duck...and it sounds like you will smash that PB again sooner rather than later!
Edited: 01/04/2013 at 21:27
01/04/2013 at 22:11

Been a bit absent from here, a cursery read back shows....Dash is back racing and doing it well... Duck is reet fast over 5k (well done)......iower ran a big pb (well done)......... WHJ ran a pb to get in line with his recent 10k breakthrough (well done).........Ratzer has pulled out of VLM but is fit so all is not lost........Bob is waffling on about dented pride even though he ran a strong 10k on tough course (well done )............and Phil ran a whopping good 10 mile race the other day (well done)
The parkrun Power of 10 thing is annoying, but apparently the request came from parkrun not Power of 10. Well that is according to Tim Gross (the Power of 10 guy). Guess it’s part of the “this is a timed run, not a race” thing that parkrun management prefer to refer to it as. I wonder if it will lead to less ‘competative’ or club runners from using parkrun? Not sure myself.

I joined my local gym this weekend and am happy to say that running on a treadmill is ok, with only a little discomfort. Also using the cross training machine and stationary cycle is also ok. So yesterday I ran for 25 mins + 10 mins on bike, 10 mins on cross trainer and some core stuff. Felt like hard work as I have not done anything for a week. Then today I ran 4 miles on the tready plus repeated the same additional workouts that I did yesterday. Felt better today, ran progressively starting at 12kph (about 8:00/mi) and built slowly through to 13kph (7:34/mi ish) then ran the last mile winding up to 15kph averaging out the whole run at at a reasonable 7:31/mi, though that felt much harder than it did before the injury. Understandable I suppose. Plan is to build up to an hours aerobics and then work on building the running proportion of that hour up until I can comfortably run an hour without discomfort. Then I will start to mix it up a bit with harder runs and then maybe start to think about running outside again. Shouldn't take long to build up to the hour of running, though running on a tready is boring, so I need to get some podcast’s lined up to make longer workouts bearable. So far have Marathon Talk, parkrun show and Mayo and Kermode’s film reviews, any other good podcast recommendations?

01/04/2013 at 22:56
Good to see progress YD! Great that you've managed to get the benefit of a gym and hopefully at a reasonable budget? That fitness will come back reasonably quickly with the big base you built up? Any more thoughts on a target race to come back with/future alternative marathon plans or is it a case of the injury clearing before taking those decisions on?

Last week was pretty crazy for my standards....52.5 miles approx so a record for me there although that included the previous Sundays long 22 miler on the Monday. I did a tapered 14 today with my brother for good company at an average of 8:10 pace which felt ok if a little tired at times. Taking things much easier in terms of reduced mileage/rest days in the lead up to Brighton now but will look to keep intensity in key sessions. Managed a few HR readings recently which I'm hoping will add to a decision for target pace (wishing I did more of this at the start of the year!) the moment I'm thinking 7:40 up to half way which is roughly 1:40 leaving 1:50 to get a sub 3:30....and if im feeling good, anything better is a bonus. Im also thinking about wearing a knee brace following last year and VLM 2010 despite much better preparation this time round. I have felt my knee ever so slightly on occasion and it may come handy for all I know near the end.
Edited: 01/04/2013 at 22:57
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