This week’s running – 6th to 12th of April 2015

This is not the Ronnie Barker 10k

No! Not the Ronnie Barker 10k!

This week was all about final prep for the Ronnie Bowker 10k.

Bank holidays = more running

I don’t know about the rest of you but boy did I need those four days away from the office over Easter.

Conscious that I had my first 10k race of 2015 at the end of the week, I opted to cover 5k of super-easy running at Cannon Hill Park to make up for some lost volume from the small taper. I convinced Lis to tag along, though she went off and did the latest week of her Couch to 5k programme.

The park was heaving thanks to the gloriously good weather on Monday. I’m glad I had nothing with a set pace scheduled because I’d have been fuming at the people casually drifting all over the paths without any regard for others.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

1x 1600m, 2x 800m, 1x 1600m

After dipping my toes back into intervals again last week, I decided to cover this particular session once more as a sharpener before Sunday’s race. I knew I wouldn’t be in PB shape over 10k due to lack of specificity, so this jack of all trades session would cover the bases and leave me better prepared for more focused 5k and 10k focused training blocks.

April is an unpredictable beast, climate-wise. Only the previous week was I freezing my arse off, yet this session saw me donning a vest for the first time in 2015 outside of racing. The good weather brought everybody out of hibernation with dog walkers and fellow runners in droves.

The first 1600m effort was again at 3:58/km; my approximate 10k pace. I did question how I’d been able to run at a faster pace at six times the total distance for my previous sub-40 10ks.

Suitably warmed-up, the 2x 800m reps came next. My legs wanted to go even faster on the second rep, forcing me to hold things back to be able to complete the session.

The final 1600m effort went from feeling too easy after the 800m at 5k pace, to hellish all in the space of about two minutes. I had to lean against a barrier to regain some composure ahead of the 2 mile jog back home to cool down.

In all, I was very pleased with the paces and precision of the splits. Here’s the Garmin data for the session.

5k from work

The rise in temperature (and hay fever symptoms) along with the fatigue from the previous day’s session hit me hard during the 5k from the office. Others were clearly taking advantage of the pleasant weather and it made a change from being the only one out there on the canal towpath as was so frequent during the winter.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

2 miles easy

Without realising it, this run became my sixth consecutive day of running (for the second time). With that in mind, I quickly cut the plan down from the scheduled 10k to just 2 miles in an attempt to feel fresh ahead of Sunday’s race.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

I try to make sure I volunteer a couple of times each year at Cannon Hill and there’re few opportunities better than the day before a race. As somebody who runs at the event most weeks, I feel it’s important that I at least contribute something back periodically. Yeah, the whole arrangement can appear to be a bit twee at times, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels bad when it’s the same faces, week-in and week-out, that make the event happen.

I was plonked to marshal right by the MAC, a high traffic part of the course. Given how windy and wet it was that morning, I had very few casual park-goers to warn of the stampeding runners that went through the area.

It was incredible to witness the first place lad dash past with over a minute on the person behind. What was even more remarkable was the same lad continued to do a speedy workout afterwards whilst many Parkrunners had still yet to complete their initial 5k!

Also worthy of note was Elsa’s return to Cannon Hill along with Lis’ official debut at the venue. I look forward to seeing them both participating on a much more regular basis!

Ronnie Bowker 10k

For the full breakdown of how the Ronnie Bowker 10k went, please click here.

And here’s the part you’ve all been waiting – this week’s entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

Stay on course

Race courses are measured on the tangents – that is, assuming the shortest line around corners and bends. This means that the best, fastest possible way for you to take a turn involves “running” or “cutting” the tangent: You start near center of the road then aim to hit the corner right on the corner before swinging back out. (If you ever want to see this done beautifully and at greater speeds, watch a multilap, or “criterium,” bike race.)

What this does, or otherwise leave the course itself to shave a few seconds off your time, or avoid the rest of us suckers who are actually bothering to follow the rules.

Yes, that is cheating. And yes, it does matter.

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