May is for 10K

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.

Midland Road Relays

My return to running fitness took another huge step forward last weekend as, after what felt like a very long absence, I toed the start line of an actual race.  I was competing for my club at the 12 stage Midland Road Relays in Sutton Park on Sunday and using it as an opportunity to test out how well my hamstring has recovered.

I absolutely love the Road Relays.  This event is certainly my favourite on the club race calendar.  It is one of those very rare opportunities where you feel a part of a running team. The Road Relays are a great chance for club mates to watch each other race and cheer each other on rather than being spread out along the course in the same race.  It is a running club only event so you need to be a member of a club to take part…and if you’re not a member of a running club you should read this compelling article from ukrunchat.

Read More

If Carlsberg Did Job Interviews…

It was with equal measures of excitement and trepidation that I set out last Saturday morning to make my way to the Hertfordshire countryside to meet with the guys at Ashmei Running having been shortlisted as a potential brand ambassador.  Yes, you read that right.  Me, a brand ambassador!  I admit the closest thing I’ve ever done that could be described as ambassadorial is wearing a suit to work but by some miracle (or possible administrative error) the good people at Ashmei had read my application and shortlisted me for their programme. Read More

What is Target 250?

I’ve been sat staring at my computer screen for hours now.  Trying to find the right words for my first blog.  But where to start?  I guess I’m suffering from writers block, which isn’t a particularly encouraging sign when I’m trying to write my first blog!

I shouldn’t be surprised by this, though.  I’m generally a private person.  I tend to keep my thoughts to myself and quietly reflect on things so sharing my experiences, thoughts, and feelings publically through a blog was always going to feel a little uncomfortable for me. This reminds me of a quote from famous running coach Percy Cerutty (more on him later):

“You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone” Read More

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