So after the issues of parkrun, I knew for my own sanity I need at least one decent road races before Leeds. I have targets in mind for Leeds but I’ve yet to hit form on the road. I’ve seen the Even Splits 5k series advertised but never had the opportunity to do one. Thankfully things fell right allowing me to do the October race. £7 to enter with chip timing and means next race would only cost £4. After an hours drive up from Sheffield. I arrived in plenty of time to pick number up and see the B race that proceded my race.
The race took place at the new Brownlee Triathlon Centre. The centre has a 1 mile cycle track, which meant 3 laps plus a bit to get the full 5k distance. I warmed up on the path at the side of the route. The race started a short walk away at the bottom of the track, the route then went through the finish line up the hill and down again to the bottom and we repeated that 3 times.
I set myself 3 targets. My minimum target was sub 18 and jokingly said to Sarah if I didn’t achieve that I would retire from racing. My next goal was to run a season best and then if everything clicked aim for a personal best. Now the route wasn’t as flat as I thought and the climb at the start of each lap is long but it’s a drag and you know about it on the final climb. You need to be able to recover fast and seriously attack the drag back down. It is a course that has serious potential and I think will become very popular over the coming months/years.
So I decided to aim to run 5:30 for first mile and then try and sustain that pace. I had to weave in and out round the youngsters who had parked themselves at the front but by the time we had cross the finish line to begin the first of 3 loops they had already faded. I was soon up into the top 6 chasing a lad and Kevin Ogden up the hill. I pulled past them on the sweeping hill but they stuck with me as we looped round the top and then began the descent back down. It was a serious quick section, my pace went from 6:10/mi at top of the climb to 4:48/mi going back down. I felt really good on the descent and then I was in a tussle with the lad I had taken on the hill. As we ran down to the bottom loop, past the start line we began to close the gap on the runner in 3rd place as we started to climb. The first mile buzzed for 5:27. Well happy with that and showed the pace was there I just need to learn to sustain it.
As we headed back up the hill, I stayed with 3rd and 4th as much as I could. The second climb I was a tad slower and then the two in front was stronger on the downhill and a gap had opened up. I was still running sub 5:40 pace coming down but next time need to be a little bit stronger. As I began to run on my own I dropped a bit of time on the bottom turn as watch buzzed for 5:41. Still ok with that, I carried on working hard but as I mentioned that 3rd climb really does take it out of you and my pace dropped to 6:33/mi but I also wasn’t as fast going back down hill. I again dropped pace on the bottom loop but then kicked with what I had left and on the last turn the finished line seemed to take an eternity to come as I could see the clock ticking away. The 3rd mile was 5:51 and then took me 30s to cover the final bit I crossed the line in 5th place in 17:30 on the watch. Official time was 17:31.
It was my fastest official 5k road race time of the year, I was happy to be back running what I should be doing week in week out and I feel my speed endurance is slowly coming back but I’m still 20s off where I was in November last year. However, I have the Podium 5k on the 18/11 and then the final Even Splits 5k the following Wednesday. I think a few more weeks of training and weather permitting I can have a really good crack at running a PB at Podium 5k. I just need to make sure I don’t fade as much in the final mile like I did here. The field at Podium should be stronger so should have more people to run/chase.
Good thing for 2018 is the Even Splits 5k is every month from Feb to Nov so will be doing them as a way as keeping track of my form/training etc.
- 5th in 17:31
Kit used in race
- Ron Hill Club Vest
- Zeon 6 inch Racing Shorts
- Adidas Adios 3 racing flats
- Sockmine Griplock lightweight running socks
- Garmin 220