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Victory at Spring Shakespeare 10k

How did I bounce back from a very disappointing personal performance at Trafford by taking a victory just 6 days later? Firstly those who follow me on a regular basis will know I live/die by how a race goes. Up till last week everything had been going well but on the day it didn’t, for me I needed to get back out and race ASAP. Although the plan Saturday was a tempo run, I felt fresh after catching up on some much need sleep after the tooth issue finally got sorted on Thursday. I missed track session to give body chance to recover from the work on my mouth. That then meant I was fresh for Saturday.

It did mean another early start for Team Hayes with a 6:45 start down to Stratford-upon-Avon. My goal was to improve on last weeks time. I had thought I was in condition to run sub 35 but after last week while still a goal for this year, realistically I need to get under 36 minutes for 10k, having only done it once in an official 10k race (although done that pace in a few 5 milers and my HM PB back in January). I think now winter training is pretty much over (more on my training later this week). After arriving at the airfield, I paid money and then looked at the route. It was a two lap course, with a few out and back bits. The wind wasn’t bad but enough to know I would get it in places. The airfield was very run down and I did a run on the course and besides the first part that looks to also be used for drag racing, the rest of the route had a poor surface, with weeds and potholes littering the route.

After doing a warm up plan was to go off with the 5k runners and then try and hold pace for as long as possible. The race had not one but four different distances all racing at same time. Firstly the marathoners set off as they had a short loop to do, followed by the half marathoners who had a different loop to do first. Then the 5k and 10k set off at same time. As the hooter went two 5k runners were quick out the blocks but I was in 3rd and leading the 10k. The first 800m was quick but as we turned round the first out and back bit I knew these turns would cost me some serious time. The turn was basically round an oil canister or something similar, meaning you had to almost stop to turn. As I turned you could feel the breeze in your face and you had to pick up speed, the route then turned back on to the main runway as I chased the leading two. The turn saw my pace drop by almost 30s, not a lot but it does make a difference. The first mile buzzed in 5:31, had it been a straight mile it would have been quicker. After reaching the far end of the runway we arched round and then on to the service path that ran along side the runway back the way we came. This was also into a head wind, I had closed the gap on the leading 5k runners and sat behind them, We then took another left and had another out and back section. Another tight turn back the way we came, by now I had opened a gap on the other 10k runners but was still focused on the time, as we ran back the way we came we had to take a sharp left back onto the service path. Again the turns cost valuable seconds as the second mile buzzed at 5:39.

I was a little panicked as it seemed like what happened at Trafford was happening again, I was unable to hold a 5:30 pace, however I was still with the leading 5k runners and knew the route was costing me time, as unlike the previous week, I felt in control. The 3rd mile was another out and back, this one seemed to go on forever and the surface was shocking, we had to run round a shipping container at the far end before going back the way we came. At this point I had passed the 2nd place 5k runner and was having a good battle with 1st place in the 5k. My pace picked up and as we ran past both half marathon and marathon runners I was leading on the final turn, the 5k runner sprinted to the finish line as I was directed to the right to begin lap 2. Both my 5k split and the winning time was 17:31.

It was now about keeping the lead, having no one to work off it became tough trying to hold a fast pace (I think some tempo runs over spring/summer will help) I managed to hold same pace for next mile, again the turns and wind costing me seconds. The hardest mile was 5 as it all seemed to be in the wind, as I turned around I could see my lead was large, it was mine to lose but I was struggling to keep pace up. Hitting a 5:56, 5th mile split.

The last mile was tough with the long out and back section on the worse section of the course plus I was now having to weave around traffic, the lead bike doing his best to move them over, after the final out and back turn I could see the chasing pack about 40s back, I dug deep and tried to push on as my pace had gone the wrong side of 6 minutes, what was annoying is I ran faster for 8 miles back in January running a 35:33 10k split! This time though I had to make do with 36:05 on the gun for my 3rd fastest ever 10k, more importantly my first race win of 2017.

If I compare my Inskip HM and my last two 10k races, I ran slower mile splits for first miles but over 6 I was running a faster average pace. So maybe at my next 10k it might be worth instead of going off hard running slower but holding it. The thing with Inskip was I was running faster then my target pace so wasn’t worried if it dropped, yet at 10k I want to be running consistent sub 5:40 miles. Food for thought.

Anyway was happy with the win and know come spring/summer with more speed work I will get faster at 10k. That sub 34 will come it’s about everything clicking on the day. For now focus is on getting regular 10k’s under 36 minutes.

  • 1st in 36:05

Kit used in race

  • Zeon Running Vest
  • Adidas Responsive 5 inch shorts
  • Adidas Adizero Adios 3
  • Sockmine Cool Runner
  • Adidas Sweat Band
  • Pinrace pins
  • Runderwear Running Briefs
  • Garmin 220

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