The goal was PB redemption at the Bristol 10k
This week was all about preparation for the Big B – the Bristol 10k.
11 canal miles
I was battling with myself on Sunday whether to go out and cover the scheduled 10 miles or not whilst I was in Wales. Ultimately, the lazy Andy won and I decided to sack off the long run until the Bank Holiday Monday – that’s what extra days off from work are for, right?
I felt sluggish and out of sorts once I finally laced up and began running. Saturday’s Cardiff Parkrun looked to have taken a chunk out of me!
Work on the canal towpath resumed, with the remaining tarmac sections either completely gravelled over, or part-way through the process. This left long sections that were coated in concrete to really dull my legs whilst freshly gravelled sections lacked traction to make it feel like I was being dragged backwards; incredibly unpleasant when already tired.
I thought I had set out on my run at a reasonable time to avoid all the fair-weather walkers that come out in their droves on a bank holiday. Nope – no such luck. Four people were in a world of their own, taking up the entire towpath and despite my warnings of “Coming through!” at 20m and 10m, they managed to almost completely ignore me coming towards them.
Here’s the Garmin data for this run.
4x 10 seconds and 4x 20 seconds
Suggested by blog-reader Carl, this one’s a bit different from the norm. With a PB attempt looming at the end of the week in the form of the Bristol 10k, I wanted to sharpen up my legs without adding to the fatigue. It consisted of a good warm-up in the form of the usual 5k from the office and then hurling myself up a slight incline a number of times. In effect, I was basically running batches of strides for 10 seconds and then 20 seconds with a bit of added resistance from the incline.
The 10 second bashes took a while for me to get into my stride, but the 20 second stretches were all near-identical in terms of pace.
I felt fantastic afterwards, with that distinct buzz from running fast but seemingly without any additional stress.
Here’s the Garmin data for this mini-sesh.
5k from work
Another simple 5k plod from work. Due to the amount of crap I was accumulating in my office, I decided to ferry some of it back home in my commuter pack, which made for a rather uncomfortable jog in hindsight.
I spotted three families of geese along the towpath. One over-zealous mother goose decided to hiss at me all the way from the opposite side of the canal – let the horror begin!
Here’s the Garmin data for this run.
4.5 canal miles
Eugh. I was long overdue for an awful run and certainly got one in spades. This was supposed to be the usual 8 miles out and back along the canal towpath, but needed to be cut short drastically due to me foolishly under-fuelling.
It was a real struggle simply to maintain the 8:30 miles and the addition of the swirling wind helped not one bit.
But hey, this was at least my last run before a couple of rest days ahead of the Bristol 10k. For additional salt in my wounds, my Garmin crapped out on me and all I have is an approximate 40 minutes or so that it took to complete this run.
Cannon Hill Parkrun
As is now customary, I volunteered my services at Cannon Hill since I was not running. I wanted to try my hand at number checking – if you’ve ever been asked to provide a time after exiting the funnel, this is to provide a paper trail of sorts in the event a timing mishap occurs.
I dragged my buddy James with me to show him what Parkrun was all about. He visited from Japan and regularly runs 5k in training, so to see the front-runners covering the distance in around 16 minutes was nothing short of astounding for him. Who knows, he may have even been inspired to take Parkrun back with him to Japan and start an event over there!
This event also marked the return of Dave Burton to the fray after his extended lay-off from injury.
I’m actually itching to run at Cannon Hill again, but it will probably be a couple of weeks before this happens due to more race tapers or simply being out of town.
Bristol 10k 2015
Click here to find out how the Bristol 10k went for me.
Enough jibber-jabber from me – here’s this week’s entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:
Keep moving forward
You’re in your car, zipping down the highway in rush-hour traffic, when a pack of gum or a bottle cap gets away from you and flies out the window. Do you slam on the brakes? Do a U-turn and thread your way through the oncoming cars to retrieve your lost goods?
Not if you’re sober, you don’t.
So why on earth would you do it in a race? The consequences when you’re running aren’t deadly, of course, but they could be injurious. And even if no collision occurs, it’s highly annoying to see someone freeze in the middle of a pack to pick up a gel packet or a glove.
Don’t be that person. Let it go. Or – if your lost item is valuable enough – step off the course as soon as you safely can, then walk back along the side of the road to pick it up.
If you can, apologize… with a British accent.