I finally did it! I finally got a 10k pb! I have really struggled with 10ks over the last 12 months and until today my 53.22 PB stood since July 2014. I’d PB-ed over every other distance in the last year but progressively got slower and slower in the 3 10k races I did over the summer, finishing in 54.52, 56.09 and 56.10. I put a lot of this down to them all being on hot days (us runners are forever finding excuses!) but I also struggle with endurance at that speed. I would go off too fast in the first half and really struggle in the second half. Give me a half marathon any day where I can take my time and get into a groove.
As each 10k got progressively slower and slower, the 10k distance grew in my mind into this big horrible monster that I would never defeat. A lot of the barriers to getting a new PB were mental. It never ceases to amaze me how much of your bodies ability is ruled by the mind.
Today I turned up for the MoRun 10k at Croxteth Park. It was the first proper cold run of the year. We had to collect our race numbers on the day which meant arriving earlier than usual for a race and subsequently hanging around in the cold for a while. When I started, I couldn’t feel my toes for the first mile or so! I had no game plan for this really, but to stay as close to 8 minute miles as possible.
The first half went pretty well and I completed the first 5k in about 25 minutes. So far, so good! The route is similar to the Croxteth parkrun, but every so slightly different. It’s 2 laps for the 10k. It’s a mixture of paths and trails, so some parts were quite muddy but scenic. It’s relatively flat too.
I found the second half a lot harder but a guy in a spiderman onesie caught me up and said I had been his target for the first half and had kept him going. We ran together for a bit but as you can see in the fifth mile I had to stop. I don’t know why I had to stop, I just felt like I couldn’t keep going. Like I said above, so much of my running performance in 10ks in related to my mind!
I somehow managed to catch up to spiderman again in the last mile and then when I could see the finish line dug deep and managed to finish just before him. My watch said 51.21 – I was made up with a 2 minutes PB! I then picked up my bag and had received a text with my official result of 51.18 – I was made up!
I feel like I’ve made a breakthrough with the 10k and it’s been done by some strong consistent training throughout October. I still feel as though I have slightly plateaued though, as some of my paces on regular routes are dropping and the interval training with club doesn’t seem to be having as big of an impact as it once did when I first started. I think that I need to add something new into my training to continue improving, so I have decided to focus on trying new things instead of training for the Liverbird marathon. I’m going to take part in my first cross country race tomorrow and also want to try adding some swimming into my weekly training to see if that helps. I’m hoping to blog more consistently too about my training as I know that just race reports can become boring after a while!