Having made my return to racing recently at the Midland and National Road Relays and not suffered any ill effects I’m now turning my attention to doing a couple of races to see how far away I am from a top 250 UK ranking. I’m starting with a couple of 10Ks in early May at the Silverstone 10K on the 7th May and Bristol 10K on 11th May. These are really just a test of my fitness but will give me a good idea of how far I’ve got to go to be back at my best. It looks like it will be a busy week as I’m also running a flat out mile to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the great Roger Bannister first breaking the four minute mile.
So, let’s take a look at what it takes to achieve a top 250 UK ranking over 10K, how close I’ve gotten to this in the past…and subsequently panic. My 10K PB seems like a good place to start. In 2012, before being ravaged by injury, I was in decent shape and running well. At the Northbrook 10K I ran 34:33 placing me 1,312th in the UK according to the Power of 10. So just 1,062 people to overtake! If that was in a race it’d be a pretty tall order!
Actually, looking at the improvement in performance I’ll need it is a pretty tall order. Over the last few years it has taken a time well under 32 minutes to achieve a top 250 UK ranking over 10K. In 2013 the 31:49 was 250th in the UK ranking and in 2012 31:43. For my to achieve this I’ll need an 8% improvement on my PB.
But what does this look like in terms of pace per mile? My PB of 34:33 is a pace of 5:34 per mile and, to achieve a top 250 UK ranking, I’ll need to drop that to around 5:08 per mile. This pace is somewhere between my current 3K and 5K pace. So I can run this fast, just not for long enough. Which prompts an obvious question – what am I going to do to achieve the improvement in performance I need? I haven’t yet got an answer to this question. My focus for now is to see how my next 2 races go and build a strategy from there.