Sticking to the Game Plan

28C and 10k…. Shouldn’t be an issue for someone running the MdS.

Well, that’s if they stick to the plan and stay injury free.

Sunday saw my first entry into a 10k race. This might be surprising, but I’ve never really run a 10k properly- obviously I have covered that distance many times, but I’ve never raced it!

I arrived at The Hurst in Tadley with sub-45min in mind. That would be 7:15 splits. ‘Should be fine’ I thought, it then started to warm up and I began to contemplate whether I should really push for that (with a niggle in my calf) or whether I should just trot around and enjoy it. Anyway, as the start arrived and we assembled at the starting line I could hear people chatting about the first half being mainly down hill and how they don’t usually make a negative split at Tadley, as the first half is so much easier. Hmmm… Maybe I could bank a couple of 7minute miles and then cruise the last half! Oh, there’s the klaxon- GO! And I off I shot!

What a stupid idea- I went off at 6:45 pace, caught up in the excitement of the start and enjoying (as the guy described it) a forgiving down hill start to the 10k. I eventually settled into a nice 6:45-6:50 rhythm for the first 5k. Maybe this could be achievable, maybe I could get way under the 45min target! And then BOOM- I blew up, my legs went dead, concentration was shot an I couldn’t run at a good pace.

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For the last 2miles it was about hanging on, plodding 8minute miles whilst the world and it’s mother started pouring past me! A number of v60 runners, a guy pushing his toddler in a pram and (annoyingly!) lots of people running 45min 10ks who had paced themselves correctly!

Lesson 1: stick to your game plan
Lesson 2: what works for the guy at the start line does not work for me
Lesson 3: it’s hard work running in the heat
Lesson 4: consistency is the key
Lesson 5: don’t run a 10k on the hottest day of the year an try to run a PB

All of these are key to success in the desert! I just need to remember them, not be tempted to copy others and not stray away from my game plan!

3weeks until the Lakeland 50! I hope it cools down before then… either way, I’ll definitely be sticking to the game plan!

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