Back in May I ran the Bristol 10k – yeah, I know this blog is super late. I did it in 58.34 mins which is 2.92 mins slower than last year, I feel this is an acceptable margin since I’ve not been able to train much past 10 miles a week yet. I kept an even pace of (according to Strava) 9.22-40 throughout with a random 8.29 min mile at the start for good measure.
I had a good mix of music to run with and it was inspiring seeing so many running friends out on the course. Southville group on the bridge cheering people on! I think one of the best signs was ‘run like winter is coming’. Afterwards I went for a victory lunch with friends at a cafe on the harbor.
I reflected on those 2.92 minutes. What could I have done differently?
- Mileage. Even though my weekly mileage may seem small there are plenty of articles out there that say training on 10 miles a week is doable. It still keeps up fitness (I break it down into hill runs, faster runs, etc) and keeps off the odd pound.
- Don’t run with a post-holiday hangover. Ever. Just don’t do it. Sure, run with a hangover in your holiday. You won’t be quite as travel worn. You’ll still have the determination. Once you’re home, though, that’s when tiredness starts to catch up. I’d gotten home Saturday afternoon and raced Sunday morning. I don’t think it was wise.
- Sleep. I hadn’t had much of it the week leading up to the race. I was knackered come race day morning. Waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed is much better than waking up thinking, ‘should I really be running this?’ I’ve run races with a hangover before but being travel tired is a different kind of exhaustion that you can’t fix with good hydration.
- Carbo-loading. In Spain I ate mostly fresh fish and red meat. Absolutely delicious food but mostly proteins and good fats. Carbohydrate options were scarce past veg or fruit with meals and bread sides. I did my best. I took one for a team at breakfast times in the hotel. Since there were tables upon tables of breads, fruits, and pastries here I used this as the daily Carbo-loading opportunity but it still didn’t feel like enough with all the tourist walking. It was a newbie error, I admit.
- Race Day Magic. It’s entirely circumstantial. Don’t rely on it to get you through.
So, it looks like I skipped a few of the basic fundamentals we learn as newbie runners right at the start of our racing lives. Each of those bullet points probably accounted for seconds of that 2.92 minute fail. It’s important to remember these and get back into the habit of good racing practice. I hope to sign up for more races over the latter half of 2017.
The best thing this race did was remind me how fun it is to be out in the crowds again … adding a well-earned update to my medal hanger was rather satisfying!