I went to last nights Yeovilton 5k knowing that I wasn’t going to PB, nor come anywhere close. It was a bit of a shock to the system running 3 miles at a hard effort but got around in 22:18 or so. I had initially targetted sub 22, but after 4k knew it wasn’t going to happen, and ended up walking a bit. Looking at the heart rate data, I can see I was giving it a good effort. I probably had a bit more in me but with “nothing to play for” it seemed silly to blow myself up.
Ultimately I was using this as a test to see where I am, and it explains why some of my sessions have been tough – I’d been trying to do my reps at a pace I just am not capable of at the moment, and all my other runs have been too fast as well.
So in essence its acted as a reset switch. I’ve popped the times into my favourite McMillan Calculator, and set my training paces.
Comparing this with where I was last year, I am a bit behind. If I review my race history, I ran Yeovilton in 20:46 last September, and then ran Bristol Half a week later in 1:36. I have to consider that my aim for next months Yeovilton race.
I set my 5k PB this year at Newbury parkrun in February (20:22) and ran Reading Half a month later in 1:30, with Reading parkrun in 20:24 a week after that. So by that logic, if I can set a 5k PB in October before the Great Birmingham Run, I could still be on to break 90 minutes there.
Lots of “Ifs” right there, but I am hoping that over the next few weeks my body remembers it was fitter not too long ago and catches up with itself. The improvement curve should be steeper than it was last year as I am trying to regain previous fitness as opposed to breaking new ground.
As I was changing my Garmin workouts I also reviewed what I did last year and tried to analyse what worked and what didn’t. I quickly identified volume as being something that seemed to really help. It appears that around 50 miles a week is my sweet spot to peak at, so I adjusted my plan to increase the volume a bit, increasing it week on week whilst not breaking the 10% rule.
Another thing I know works for me is more hills. I know I have some hill specific sessions, but I am going to run some hillier routes on my easier runs to build some strength through my legs. I have to admit I’d been avoiding them since we got back, but now my paces are properly reset I think i can handle them with a bit more confidence that I’m not going to end up blowing all the way round!
I’ve still got the weight to lose too which will help, but its being stubborn. I’m finding it tough to keep up a consistent calorie deficit, though I must admit I’ve not been as strict on MyFitnessPal as I should be, and its partially because we have been doing a lot of post-wedding socialising.
I think the major adjustment recently is that I am enjoying running again. My mojo is back and that is more important than anything. Time to get my head down and work hard!