It’s Thursday after the London Marathon and my legs are feeling loads better today, with only mild hamstring tightness and bruised feet as remnants of Sunday’s race.
Yesterday, I went with Lis on a training run around the Cannon Hill Parkrun course. She did remarkably well, maintaining good mid-foot strike form and even finished with a kick. I’m proud that she’s finally gone outdoors to run and she found the experience to be positive, mentioning the ability to go faster and the fresh air as major advantages of running outside. This is all in preparation for her Race for Live event coming up in May at Walsall Arboretum. Of course, this will require a bit of Parkrun tourism from me the day before to reccy the course.
I love racing and having a target to work towards is what keeps me going. I always enter more races immediately after completing one, and it’s been difficult not to press the “Enter now” button to enter a marathon for next year.
Lis and I made a deal over dinner the other night where I promised I would not enter another marathon until I can hit a sub-1:30 half marathon. This would be getting into the realms of good club runner territory and for context, would equate to a 19:26 5k, a 40:22 10k or a 3:09:22 marathon. The irony of this is that hitting a sub-1:30 half marathon target would also mean a good shot at a male good for age marathon, requiring a time better than 3:10:00. A good for age time means a near guaranteed entry into the London Marathon and many other highly sought after races around the world, which is obviously better than waiting for that fateful day in late September when you find out whether you’re in or out.
Whilst we’re on the topic of good for age places, Suz West, the lady I finished the London Marathon with, was only 29 seconds away from a female good for age time of 3:50:00. I feel slightly guilty because I may or may not have been the cause of her missing this target; if she had never run with me, would she have beaten 3:50? As you can see, the women’s good for age criteria is much more generous than the men’s. With the correct training, I’d hazard a guess that most sub-23 minute female Parkrunners would be able to meet that time on a less congested marathon course, which means a good for age place for at least the next two years.
The Wythall & Hollywood race is a very small scale, local event and I’m not expecting more than 200 runners. This is the first year where they’ve organised a 10k, which is simply 2x laps of the 5k course that’s now in its 4th year. The roads are completely closed off and looking at last year’s 5k results, I should place in the top 20 runners, with a good number finishing at around my 5k average.
The Cardiff 10k is a favourite of mine, after running it last year. The course is pretty much flat and takes in parts of the Cardiff Half Marathon and Cardiff Parkrun. Due to a poorly planned toilet visit, I found myself too far towards the back and had to fight my way through to get a good spot. I was never knowingly overtaken and with a good starting position, I should be able to hit my target of a sub-42 minute 10k by September.
The remainder of my spring and summer will be mostly dedicated to gaining speed. I know I have endurance but looking at the way my body is composed right now, I look like I’m built for 10k and half marathons. I lack more serious muscle to really drive in 5k and I personally think I’m slightly too bulky to efficiently run marathons.
Finally, I’m saddened by Dave going on a temporary hiatus from Parkrun. We both agree that we’re so closely matched right now that we’re capable of a lot more together than on our own; our half marathons are further evidence of this. Hopefully he’ll keep his legs ticking over during his break for our next, eagerly awaited, smackdown.