Friday, July 07, 2006

Killarney 5k

First of all, please accept my apologies for the last entry. I know it wasn’t a pleasant read; thing is, it wasn’t a pleasant run either. I hope there won’t be a repeat performance, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Luckily, my stomach calmed down eventually and I dithered if I should run 5 miles on Thursday or not. I eventually decided to run, because my legs usually feel better after a recovery run than after a rest day. This meant that I wouldn’t have any rest before today’s race, but that was ok by me. I’m not focusing on the 5k, and the ongoing marathon training is more important to me.

The race start was at 7:30 pm, and I drove the 20 miles to Killarney after work. When I collected my number the woman asked me what category I’d be in, fun run or competitive. I said something like “well, I’ll run as fast as I can”, after which she put me into the fun run category. Whatever. I saw plenty of people warming up with 40 minutes to go. I didn’t copy them, just did about 10 minutes of warm-up and got to the starting line with about 2 minutes to go.

As soon as the race started, I got into a nice steady rhythm that seemed appropriate. I don’t know really how to run short races. Mike advised me to start slowly and finish strongly, Rob on the other hand just ran a 4-mile race and his strategy was to bust your lungs early on and then hold on for dear life. I settled for something in-between, a pace that I felt I would be able to hold for the next 22 or so minutes. The markers were in km, and I missed the first one. At 2km I checked my time, and it was 8:15. I didn’t have the necessary oxygen supply to my brain to convert that into minutes/mile pace (6:36, maybe I should bring a calculator along for my next race), but I figured that I was doing pretty well. More importantly, I felt good. I also did my usual trick of playing “catch the runner” once the field had settled, and once again I managed to overtake quite a number of them without being overtaken myself. Which is nice. I forgot to check my time at 3km, and at 4km it was around 17:15, which of course meant that I had slowed down a bit. I pushed on again for the last km. The last km was actually the most difficult because the finish is on top of a hill, and any strong finishing kick has to done while running uphill. I like hills, and managed a decent kick to finish in 21:03, which is a PR by 19 seconds. This was totally unexpected. I hadn’t done any speedwork, and I still felt Wednesday’s 19 miles in my legs.

As a result, I’m feeling very pleased and smug right now. Who knows, maybe I would be able to do a sub-20 minutes 5k if I trained for this distance and tapered for races like this. But I won’t, because I don’t fancy doing intervals, and anyway, according to Lydiard, marathon training is the best training for all kinds of shorter distances anyway. Oh, and one more strange thing. I used to think my max HR is 186. After my last 5k, on New Year’s Day, I thought it was 188. Today when I crossed the finish line, the HR monitor said 193! Figure that one out.

There is just one thing bugging me. If I put my 5k time into one of those race calculators, I should be able to run something like 3:24 for a marathon, yet my PR is more than 30 minutes slower than that. That’s annoying for someone who considers himself a marathon runner, even if it’s a rubbish one. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to bust a gut in Dublin 16 weeks from now.

6 Jul: 5 miles, 47:48, 9:33 pace
7 Jul: approx. 5 miles including warm-up and cool down. 5k race in 21:02, 6:47 pace

17 comments:

  1. Well done Thomas, a PR off of no speedwork is a good indicator. I honestly don't think sub 3:30 is out of the question if you stay healthy and stay away from those beans. Still can't get that post out of my head.

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  2. Nice race Thomas! It strikes me as funny - we have 5K's around here, but even while running them I'm thinking miles. When I was reading your account and you referred to 4K I was thinking "What? how'd he get to 4K?!?" Then the fog cleared and I got it.

    Anyway, good speed... you'll have to pick another one after more of the marathon training and see if you've improved!

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  3. Race calculators suck. I've never seen one that has been accurate. Changing race distances is way more complicated than a simple calculation.

    Nice job on the PR. You're definitely geting faster!

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  4. The race calculators are a little too optimistic most of the time. When I enter in my 8K, 10K, and half-marathon times it says I should be running a 2:48-2:49. Although I would love to be able to do that and I think that maybe one day I will be capable of doing that I will be happy if I run sub 3:20 on Sunday. And I agree with Mike that if you continue your current training a sub 3:30 is doable.

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  5. Thomas,

    Great race.

    I think a 1/2 mara will be a better idicator of your marathon time. Then again I ain't a runner :)

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  6. Niiiiice, Thomas. That should give you a great meeting heading into the marathon.

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  7. Good job Thomas! We knew you had it in ya, with no taper and right in the middle of the 'program'. I'm with Mike on the sub 3:30 too. I have yet to reach predicted marathon times on my shorter distances as they assume you have the necessary speed endurance meaning lots of MP runs. You should feel smug ;-)

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  8. Congratulations on your PR Thomas. With your current training program, I'm confident that you'll have many more (assuming you lay off the Mexican food for a while).

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  9. Well done -- 19s is a big, big jump on 5K. Sub 3:30 should be totally doable, especially since you'll continue to improve. I actually had a similar 5K pr going into my last mary training and finished in the 3:20's. Of course, I'm not a "real runner" so what do I know?

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  10. Great race with a wonderful final time. I find the 5km very difficult because you must run too fast from the start until the end. No time to relax, only stress!

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  11. great job! i love 5ks because they're over so quickly! (geeze, i must be lazy!)

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  12. Well done!
    And a PR to boot :)
    I enjoyed your report and am always amazed that you manage to fit all your training in with working, being a husband, raising children...
    That's dedication to the goal!

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  13. Congrats on the PR. I'm with Mike and the others, don't rule out a sub-3:30.

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  14. Nice PR. Nicer still when it comes unexpectedly!

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  15. Congratulations on your PR.

    Race calculators are very optimistic, the last time I used one it told me I should be running a 3:45 marathon.

    So I guess we all need to try another calculator or stop slacking and try to meet these times ;-)

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  16. Just catching up on various blogs - great run!

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