Sunday, 1 November 2015

Pumpkin fueled running

How was your Halloween weekend? Trick or Treating? Spooky films? Maybe a Halloween themed run? Whatever you got up to this weekend I hope you found time for a run to burn off those Halloween treats. 

Our Halloween creations, pretty impressed with how they turned out!
For me my weekend running took me back to parkrun for the first time in a few months. My current challenge is to try and crack a sub 20 minute 5K by the end of the year and this weekend I realised how hard it was going to be. 

Two weeks post Chelmsford marathon I thought I would join the many runners who smash their smaller distance PBs in the weeks after a marathon as they capitalise on being in peak running condition. 

My current 5K PB is 21.00 set at Hackney Marshes Parkrun earlier this year so I have just over a minute to shave off my PB. The challenge to run sub 20 is a joint venture with running buddies Chris and Tony. Our plan is to have a benchmark run next week to see what shape we are in and then have a crack at the 20 minute barrier just before Christmas.

This weekend was my sneaky attempt at squeezing an early benchmark run in to see where I was personally and figure out what I needed to work on to smash my PB. 

My Saturday morning parkrun was fuelled by a delicious homemade pumpkin soup on Friday evening, well what else should you eat on a Halloween weekend?!  

Come Saturday morning I opted for my usual pre run breakfast of flapjack, peanut butter and banana. However again this weekend I found that although this breakfast suits me for a longer, slower run it doesn't suit me for shorter, faster runs, so I need to think of a better, lighter breakfast.

My new trainers having their first proper run out this weekend,
they feel pretty nippy!
Raphaels Park parkrun, my previous review of this parkrun can be found here, was an excited mix of spooky Halloween costumes and lovely, rich Autumn colours. 

In terms of the run I opted to run the 3K there before starting with the run itself. I wasn't really sure what I was capable of so just set off at a fast pace I was comfortable with. A sub 4 minute km followed for my first km before I settled into a more stable 4.15min/km pace. 

Raphaels park parkrun is a tough course as although all on Tarmac paths it's three laps all include two decent energy sapping climbs. 

Looking pained crossing the finish line, photo courtesy of Raphael Parkrun
I finished the run in 21.41 which is my fastest time on this course and a time that I think would relate to around 21 minutes on a flatter course. 

I realise I have a lot of work to do, I didn't have an extra gear to go to in the last k or two nor did my breathing feel comfortable when trying to push the pace. 

It's dawned on me too that running 4.15min/km pace is hard and fast and I need to run not just a bit faster but at least 15 seconds a kilometre faster to achieve my goal, yikes it's going to be tough! 

So I need to press on with more speed work and strengthening exercises to whip myself into shape!