After my recent confused stumbling through the murky world of our industrial food industry, it is time to get back to something simpler. Running: it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, isn’t it?
You may remember that I ran the Runner’s World Trailblazer 10k back in June. The over-stuffed goody bag thrust into my sweaty hands at the end of that race included a copy of Runner’s World, a magazine I had never actually read. I haven’t really read any running magazines if I’m truthful. Like I said, one foot in front of the other; there can’t be much more to it than that.
Coincidentally (or possibly not), this issue featured a guide to running your best 10k. Which I had just done, as it turned out, but clearly this had been the result of blind luck and outrageous fortune, as I certainly hadn’t ticked off any of these top tips. Had I nailed my 3×2? Well, there may be some 6×4 in the shed, if that helps. Had I timed my caffeine kick? My what? I didn’t realise I was meant to have a caffeine kick. I had a cup of coffee with breakfast, but I’m not sure that counts. I clearly have a lot to learn still.
Although I, genuinely, still struggle to udnerstand pacing instructions (“Short, fast efforts at a pace that is 15-40 seconds per mile faster than your current 5k pace with equal to double the length of rep time as recovery… [starting] with shorter efforts such as 200m or 30 seconds at the slower end of the pace spectrum outlined above.” Que?), a lot of the advice was straightforward enough that even I could follow it:
- Warm up with a proper run (although there was still some tricky stuff in there about “threshold” pace)
- Have a coffee 60 minutes before you need it to kick in, for a mid-race boost
- Start slower (5-10 seconds a mile slower for the first couple of miles) but prepare mentally for a strong finish
- Latch on to a group running at your pace or quicker
- Keep running quickly through corners, taking the shortest line
There were more, but those are the ones that jumped out at me. Clearly I have some significant work to do still. Not least working out what my 5k pace is. It normally depends on whether I’m going up a hill or down one; there aren’t many other options down here in Devon.