A quick update this week – mainly as it’s late and I forgot to write anything last weekend. After my disappointment at the mile, this training block had started to drift a little bit. With illness and injury disrupting training and leading me to reassess my targets down, my motivation had started to drift. From relaxing and deciding to enjoy these final races, I was in danger of losing all motivation, feeling I could skip runs on the plan if I felt like it. In fact, after trying to pace a friend to an 18 minute 5K PB at Parkrun, I didn’t run for the rest of the weekend.
As I mentioned, I’d decided to adjust my targets down for my remaining races, but still being on PB pace for those races – so 5:40 per mile for the 10K (35:12, down from my 36:16 PB) and 5:50 per mile for the half (1:16:28, down from my 1:18:23 PB). This seems very precise for a plan where I’m talking about relaxing those targets, and that’s been part of my problem mentally recently with adjusting down, but still seeming focussed. I was worried that even though I was being less ambitious, that my form was actually even nowhere near those targets and that I was going to embarrass myself. I was probably, being honest, afraid of failure again.
And so tonight’s track session meant a lot for my confidence. With the season starting to turn, the track was wet with rain that had lashed across before our 7pm start, the sun was just starting to hide behind the trees, and the wind was blowing hard across the track – as it would turn out, particularly on the back straight and bend. My two other running partners were treating the session – three two mile efforts at 10K pace with 5 minutes recovery inbetween each – as a hard training session. I was in a way taking it a bit easy. I wanted to run at a 5:40 mile pace and for it to feel easy.
There isn’t much more to this story than that. I set out to run the 8 laps at 5:40 a mile pace (and ended up dipping to 5:35s) and it was just kind of easy. Being able to go in, and do that session comfortably without fading through the subsequent efforts, was a massive boost to my confidence ahead of the Standalone 10K this Sunday. So now we’re ready to go…