Last year I ran a massive PB and went well under 35 minutes and I felt I was in potentially similar shape this time but it didn’t quite happen despite doing more speed-work in the buildup.
I’ve signed up for Paris Marathon so as usual it’s good to get the flat and fast Dewsbury 10k done as a marker for where I’m at fitness wise and how much I have to do.
One of the biggest failures of my last marathon attempt at London was a lack of focused speedwork in the buildup so I’ve been rectifying that with a weekly treadmill session (it’s hilly here and it’s winter!). For the last 6 weeks , I’ve been working various speed sessions including a 5k time trial at 16:40 so I felt I definitely had a shot at another sub 35 and potentially a PB.
The weather was absolutely perfect as it was last year – cold but no wind and dry and a record entry this year of nearly 2000 runners (1700 starters) and I lined up a few rows back from the fast guys at the front and we set off at 9am sharp.
The first mile is just about settling into a rhythm and not getting trampled out of the start and my plan was much the same as last year really – get to the halfway turnaround in around 17:15 – 17:30 and kick hard on the way back as it’s ever so slightly downhill on the way back so slightly faster and I figured 17:00 flat or just under would be achievable. That would bring me in around 34:30 and in with a shout of beating last year’s unexpected 34:27.
I felt comfortable hitting halfway in roughly 17:30 but unlike last year where I hit the afterburners and essentially ran a 16:35 negative split, this time I just couldn’t kick the pace up for some reason.
Rather than panic I figured it might just take a few hundred meters of the return leg before I really got going but I never did and ultimately I ran pretty much an absolutely even split on the way back.
|1||5:32 /mi||5:28 /mi||28 ft|
|2||5:38 /mi||5:34 /mi||36 ft|
|3||5:50 /mi||5:40 /mi||63 ft|
|4||5:35 /mi||5:40 /mi||-52 ft|
|5||5:37 /mi||5:41 /mi||-41 ft|
|6||5:39 /mi||5:41 /mi||-27 ft|
|0.23||5:21 /mi||5:24 /mi||-7 ft|
Sadly coming round the final corner and seeing the clock in the high 34:xx’s I knew I was just going to be over 35 minutes which was a shame given the extra speed-work I’ve been doing but I guess that’s racing on the day.
Interestingly last year, I had done no speedwork at all in the lead up to Dewsbury but I did have several weeks of consistent running over 70mpw compared to this year’s more “considered” approach to the marathon where I’m running more like 50-55mpw but doing a speed session each week. I’m not sure how much that difference played into my time but it’s the only real difference in the last two races.
On the plus side, I got a speedy looking race photo for a change. Normally ever race photographer catches me when I look like a squashed troll.
Final Result: 35:03 Chip/35:07 Gun | 53rd of 1714 and 8th MV40