Monday, 26 January 2015

A need for speed

I haven't focused on speed work for running for well over a decade. Sure, a few intervals here and there but nothing consistent.

parkruns have definitely changed this because each time I do a parkrun I want to better my time set at that venue previously and, if possible, to set a new overall 5km PB.

PBs (Personal Bests) are funny things and I think they should established on an annual basis. It can kill your confidence to consider and compare yourself to overall PBs, which you may have set yonks ago.

I'm 14 years older - and far better at distance running - than I was when I set my Best Ever times on 5km, 10km, 15km, 21km and my one-and-only marathon - all very respectable times. Back in those days I mostly ran short and fast distances with a lot of short, high-intensity training and then mostly half marathons on weekends.

On Saturday morning I did parkrun at Woodlands again. Two weeks ago I took almost two minutes off my previous time set in August last year. Yesterday I took another 13 seconds off despite having to work through queues of walkers on the second lap.

589 parkrunners were logged at Woodlands yesterday - their biggest number I think! And these are the people who are timed. There's a good dose who are just starting out and as they only do one of the two laps in the reserve they do not get timed.

The other fun aspect of parkrun are the overall results. Yesterday I was 31st overall, 3rd woman and 1st in my age group. Whoop-whoop! My time is nothing special though (26-mins) and I'm yet to crack sub-25 on any of the parkrun courses.

I'll be back in Parys in two weeks where I hope to improve yet again on this course, which is currently a minute faster for me than Woodlands.

This morning (Sunday) I did the first of the Urban Series orienteering events. It was held at Golden Harvest Park. I ran nicely - could have done better / ran faster in some places (as always). I took second place - yay! I haven't been this high up the rankings for a while. OK, so Sarah, Tania, Michele, Jess weren't there... It's still cool.

parkrun and the Urban Series events are certainly proving to be motivation and incentive to pay more attention to speed and to put in some sessions over the coming months.

Will it be possible to claw my way to the times (like a 21-minute 5km) that I was running 14 years ago? I draw inspiration from some older running friends who are clocking faster times now than they did 10 or 20 years ago... so there's definitely hope for me too.

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