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Second bite

December 10, 2009
Bicester Airfield from above
Image via Wikipedia

Sunday brings with it the Andy Reading 10k at Bicester, and another shot at the 40 minute barrier. With a reputation for speed and run over an airfield, this may be my best chance at breaking through the threshold before the end of the year.

Following on from the results of the Eynsham Maylarch 10k, nearly two weeks ago, I was very happy to see that I’d run the 18th fastest 10k in the Abingdon Amblers this year. Given that there are some real speed demons in the club (the fastest time is a rather nippy 33:32), I’m happy with that. However, if I manage to run a sub-40, there’s a good chance I could nudge my way up to 17th.

So, having run a number of 10k (or similar distance) races this year, I’m going to go to the race with a game plan. (Which I will promptly ignore in the excitement of the first surge through the start line, in all likelihood.) Regardless of whether I actually manage to stick with these intentions, my tactics for race day are…

  • Start slow, finish fast. Rather than blowing up after 2km having started at something crazy like 35-minute pace, I’m going to aim to keep my first 5km consistently around the 4 minute mark. The plan – and the best practice – is to speed up for the second 5km.
  • Wear unrestrictive clothing. I’ve been pondering on whether the base layer and leggings combo I sported at Eynsham might have been a bit restrictive for a fast-paced run. It’s going to be cold at the weekend, but I’m intending to go for shorts. (If nothing else, it’s an incentive to get round quick and have a cup of tea.)
  • Try not to focus on timing. It sounds contradictory, especially given the target, but I always find I tire quicker if I’m watching the seconds drift past. In past races, I’ve always manually marked off the splits, but I might need to re-evaluate this if I find that I’m fixating on the time.

So, all that’s left is a fast 5km training run tomorrow, a rest day (not exactly a rest day since I need to catch up on some Christmas shopping), and then it’s the big race… Fingers crossed, and no pressure…

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