A “comeback” race in as much as I felt reasonably close to fitness and wanted to double check whether I was right or painfully wrong ..
- What? Wistow 10k
- When? October 30th 2016
- How far? 10k
- Website? [race website goes here]
I’ve been struggling with a hip problem since a fall at a race in Feb and had only done one race (last month) since then and found a lot of frustrating and slow miles have been all I’d been able to manage until recently.
Having made a decision in August for the sake of my sanity to basically write off the remainder of the year and focus on building base miles back up I’ve had a good month of solid 30 mile weeks and found that running shorter distances each day has led to some speed coming back so I felt the time was right to start getting back to doing some test races (and parkruns) to establish a new baseline of fitness and “reset” my PB’s.
I live in a hilly area so had to drive an hour to get to the race because I wanted to run a totally flat (this one has only 38ft of elevation change!) so we figured a family trip out was in order and my wife and son came along to cheer.
The race is a fairly new one having only run (I think) for the previous 3 years but this time was a sell out at 300 people and the local running club – Selby Striders did a great job with parking and registration. Everything went smoothly with number pickup and I went for a 10-15 minute warmup jog out along past the start line and to see where the finish was but nothing too heavy.
My plan was essentially to use this purely as a fitness test. I knew I had reasonable speed and over 5k was back to reasonably close to my PB (17:10) but I felt I would likely be a good minute or so off my 35:29 PB for 10k because I’ve done no speedwork in my training yet so the plan was simple – fairly quick to 5k in around 17:30 and hang on to see how long and how willing/able I was to suffer to the end!
Miles  to [3.1]
I stood on the front line with a few speedy looking dudes but with zero expectation of hanging with anyone beyond the first couple of hundred meters because my realistic goal pace was going to be around 5:45/mile but I expected the winner to be somewhere below 33 minutes based on the last couple of years results (as it happened, the winner was apparently 31 minutes).
The first mile flew past pretty quick as they always do and I settled into a steady pace behind several guys who were steadily pulling away but I was happy getting to 5k pretty comfortably but with the very definite feeling that the suffer-fest was about to begin..
Miles [3.1] to [6.2]
Having gone through 5k in 10th place I could feel myself slowing and having to work a lot harder despite the perfectly flat course and ideal weather. The guys in front had now split into a couple of groups and gone well clear and there was one person tucked in behind me that I could hear wasn’t working as hard as me but the field was reasonably strung out already.
To be honest, I was now thinking about just trying to maintain an even pace (albeit slower) through to the finish and maintaining decent running form. I had to remember this is the first 10k I’ve raced since Feb when I set my PB and I’d done nothing to give me the endurance at this speed so my expectations were I think reasonable from here.
The guy behind me eased comfortably past at about 7k and continued moving into the distance at a comfortable pace while I was able to check there wasn’t anyone who should be close enough to catch me (now moving at about 5:55-6:00/mile) between that and the finish so it would be 11th for me.
The figure of eight course loops back into the village where it started for the final 2k and I was able to up my pace along the main street and round the corner to the finish for 11th in 36:19 so about in the middle of my goals really.
I was happy with the time and result, it’s not that close to my PB but I can’t expect it to be really but I was happy to be able to go out at 35:00 pace for the first half and while I slowed off, I feel confident that I can now reintroduce speedwork back into my weekly training and that my injury niggles and issues are hopefully behind me.
As I move up to the V40 age group in Nov, one of my aims is to get my 5 and 10k times down another minute or so from my PB’s because this would likely give me prize swag in a lot of races so more speed is in order soon!
It’s been a frustrating year for the most part but this felt like the start of a comeback and with one of main upcoming goals being 2:45 at London Marathon in 2017 I feel I can continue building back to around 50-60mpw with quality speed sessions up to Christmas then hit a marathon training plan from Jan.
Great local race if anyone is in Yorkshire and highly recommend it. I suspect as it grows and gets more popular the flat and fast course will see some extremely fast times in the future.