I backed off a bit this week - total 84.3km. This was for a dual purpose. My mileage had been gradually increasing for a month or so but I had not taken a recovery week. With some big weeks coming up, including a massive effort planned for the 9 days we are on Rottnest, I thought it was time to ease back for a week and absorb and consolidate the training of the past few weeks.
The second reason was that this would give me a chance to sharpen/freshen up a bit and race the Bridges 10km. Apparently this will be last year that the traditional "Around the Bridges" route will be able to be used due to the Barrack Street foreshore development which is a shame.
So this week I replaced the Tuesday medium long run with a 3 x 3 x 400m interval session and cut back the length of the Thursday medium long run.
The interval session is a pretty regular session for me now in the week before a 5-10km race. Last time I cut it back to 2 reps per set but went back to the 3 reps today.
Plan was to come down in time over the sets as follows 87/84/80
4km warm up in 18:49
Dynamic stretching and drills (2:47)
400m rep 84.2
(100 rec 44.6)
400m rep 86.9
(100m rec 49.1)
400m rep 84.2
(400m rec 2:09.3)
400m rep 82.9
(200m rec 1:23.6)
400m rep 82.4
(200m rec 1:22.8)
400m rep 82.0
(400m rec 2:15.3)
400m rep 78.5
(400m rec 2:11.4)
400m rep 80.3
(400m rec 2:25.0)
400m rep 73.6
Total 5.8km with 3.6km of work in 25:36
2.7km cool down in 13:35
Session was very comparable to when I was doing it late last year in preparation for 5-8km races. I deliberately pushed harder on the last rep but ran pretty well within myself for the other reps as I haven’t been doing much anaerobic stuff (ie nil).
On Friday I did some strides after a recovery run, just to maintain some muscle tension and feel ready to go rather than sluggish come Sunday. Not sure if I have recommended this articel before but if I have, here it is again - Managing Muscle Tension http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=21918
On Sunday, I had a great run at the Bridges 10km – in fact I think this may be close to if not actually my best race ever.
Took 1:16 off of my 10km PB and not only broke 37mins for the first time but 36 mins as well.
Won the 40-44 age group and really pleased with my overall effort especially when it got hard into what was a very strong wind over the last 2km.
There was a very strong easterly blowing (+30km/hr) and I went out a little quicker than I planned to but wanted to try and tack onto the back of a couple of runners into the headwind towards the Causeway. Backed off slightly when the pack thinned after the first 1km.
Felt like I was running comfortably and controlled and the end of the Causeway came at just the right time (approx 3km) and we had a tailwind for the next 5km. I had constant pressure from Kevin Matthews (also 40-44 age group) behind me which meant that I was never able to take the foot off the pedal the whole way.
The uphill into the wind over the Narrows with approx 2km to go was hard but I think everyone was finding it hard as no one passed me there and I felt like I was making up some ground on the runners in front of me.
Once we were off the Bridge it was about 1500m to the finish and I was determined to hold my position and pick off anyone in front of me if I could. The new straight finish was a massive improvement and I felt quite strong as I ran to the finish especially when I could see the clock and that I was going to go under 36 mins. (I had been hitting my splits at each km but hadn’t really looked at my watch since 5km as I was just running on maximum effort so what was the point of looking at my watch, I wasn’t going to slow down on purpose and I couldn’t run any harder).
3:31 (17:45 at 5km – only 4 secs off my 5km PB)
3:40 (28:32 at 8km – an 8km PB)
3:37 (35:54 – PB by 1:16 and 2 mins quicker than I ran in this race last year).
Not sure where I finished - maybe around 20th but I did win the M40-44 age group which was a bonus!
Lots of PBs run - congrats to Sugar for another PB and also top 10 overall, an age group win and a team win, not a bad trifecta.
Spent the rest of the day basking in satisfaction. Had a couple of donuts and vegged on the couch watching the Paris Marathon then had pizza for dinner which thanks to Sammie spinning the winning letter on the wheel at Hero's Pizza didn't cost us anything - another bonus!
Good luck to Clown and Epi in Boston on Monday 18th, Bruce in London and Dave and JK in Zurich next weekend.