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Target setting

March 11, 2010

The Bath Half Marathon had a split timer at the 10k point. While I was eager to receive my chip time, I was intrigued to know how my split compared with the 10k times I had run in 2009. Before I conceived of running the Paris Marathon, and even during the early weeks of building up my training for the marathon, the 10k had been an almost obsessive focus.

To give you a quick summary of my 10k running to date, it went something like this:

  • I started running with the goal of completing the Oxford Town & Gown in May 2009 in under 45 minutes. I achieved it – but by the smallest of margins, clocking in at 44:59.
  • I ran several other 10k races, all the time knocking seconds or minutes off my time. Eventually, I got to the point where I realised I was capable of running a sub-40 minute 10k.
  • At this point, I lined up races, desperately trying to get through the threshold time. My penultimate race of the year saw me get a PB of 38:46… Shortly before catching a nasty cold-flu that completely knocked my ability to get even close on the Boxing Day race that closed my running year.

So, having achieved my sub-40 goal, I subsequently hadn’t run the required pace. In increasing the length of my runs, I had been worrying that for what I’d gained in stamina, I’d lost proportionately in speed. While my time for the half marathon was a great psychological boost for the marathon, I felt the need to pick at the scab of the 10k.

My Bath Half chip time, showing a 10k split of 39:46

The second time I've ever run a sub-40 10k, and I still managed to tack on another 11k afterwards

Once the website was back up and running (the Bath Half website had failed spectacularly because of the sheer quantity of people looking for results) it was a pleasant surprise to find that my speed seemed to be doing okay. Just as well, really, because once this marathon-running jaunt is over, I’ve decided to set my sights on running a 36-minute 10k. Nothing like a challenge…

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