Janey I'm guessing from the name your a lady so 42 minutes would be a rather fast 10K. I only managed around 44 minutes in the Oxford Town and Gown last weekend which is way off my PB but checking the results table only 9 of ~1400 ladies finished in under 42 minutes so you're clearly performing an awful lot better than me!
Well said MsE. As I sometimes go to races not to run but as the guy in the green jumpsuit on the big white taxi I know a fair bit about those who need to be told to man-up. There are those people who expect free painkillers to be handed out because they have non-specific aches and pains immediately after a run who wind me up, but normally runners aren't too bad [apart from those doing the XC run in modern pentathlon who insist on being stretchered off the course and whose team mates can't possibly help because they have another event later in the day]. However an attitude like Scudd's (or Ian M's hungover friend) can sometimes be dangerous. I'll never forget the guy at one half-marathon who apparently 'got wasted' the night before (his friends words, the patient in question was incapable of talking coherently) and rehydrated with lots of coke to be able to run. He made it to within sight of the finish line before collapsing and thankfully we got him to a hospital resus bed before he suffered a cardiac arrest so he was still alive a year later when I next went to that event (had he collapsed part-way round the course where it would have taken longer to get to him the outcome may have been different). I'm sure he'd decided to take some MTFU pills to deal with the hangover on race day and it nearly killed him (incidentally caffeine + exercise the morning after heavy drinking is a recognised trigger for heart problems so I'd strongly advise against it). Some people need to be told to man-up but others need warning about the potential dangers of their actions. As MsE says care needs to be taken with how things are expressed on a public forum, and as I think Scudd said in a later post the problem is those giving answers on forums like this can't feel what the person posting can feel. At the end of the day I guess personal experience is the best guide as to what pain to run through and what is a serious warning sign.
Genes, age and training distance all make a difference. Taking my erratic training as a case study:
First 10k fun run in 2005 on no-training in my mid twenties was around 47min, I aimed for 5min/km as an easy get round pace and sped up towards the end because I could tell I had a lot left. I first trained regularly in 2006 for a marathon but running dropped off afterwards so ~6 months later I managed 40:33 for 10K in 2007 on only moderate training. In 2008 having been so close I then trained specifically for sub-40 and managed 39:53min, and carried on the training for my first half-marathon and second marathon. I let the training drop off after the marathon that year due to a knee niggle that really slowed me down in the last few miles and only ran sporadically for quite a few years with no races (lung going pop on a hill session stopped one attempted return). 2013 I trained briefly for a 10K from nothing and ran 48:04 then another break until a half-last October (well outside my PB). With serious 10K training since January for a 10K this coming Sunday I'm not sure where to aim but if I manage significantly under 45min I'll be amazed. It took quite a while to be comfortable again running anything under 5min/km (whereas 10 years ago that required no training). This morning was the first time I managed to run 1km in under 4min so 10x1km at that pace definitely isn't happening!
Rather a long answer but I think my point is two-fold: 1) a 10K close to 40min was an awful lot easier mid-twenties than early-thirties so age matters a lot 2) recent serious distance training may be a contributory factor - I'm quite happy doing a 10 mile training run at the moment so either significantly longer runs are needed or ageing has made a much bigger difference on pace over stamina.
One final point is that I now live somewhere rather flat and suspect the lack of decent hill sessions makes a difference
I've been wondering about the terrain for this one. I've only got road running shoes but given how wet it has been this year and how much mud I keep encountering even on normally good grassy tracks near home, I'm wondering if new footwear is called for. Does anyone know the tarmac to potentially muddy track ratio for the full and/or half (I've not put my entry in yet, still undecided on which to do as it has been a while since I've trained regularly and nothing seems as easy as I remember)?
So I really fancy the Great Clarendon Marathon in October (Salisbury to Winchester XC) but haven't run a marathon in a few years, have been rather lazy and am behind with the training already (and know with a busy summer fitting in enough long runs is going to be really difficult) so thinking about only entering for the half. That seems a bit of a cop out though and the Oxford half-marathon the following weekend is also tempting being as I live there. Is racing half marathons consecutive weekends a good idea? My PB from the rather hilly langdale half road race is 1:37 which I'd be tempted to try to match on the equally hilly Clarendon XC and then go sub 1:30 on the faster home course in Oxford - is this madness or reasonable with 16 weeks training?