Poole 10k 2010 Road Race

June 6, 2010

Today I completed the Poole 10km road race for the 6th time. The race, professionally managed by Poole Runners covers two 5km laps around Baiter, White Cliff and Poole Park itself. Its pretty much the highlight of my running year. I do of course have a soft spot for it, being a very popular local race, but beyond that its a fast course with lovely scenery and normally attracts a large crowd of 1500 or so runners, which of course means a sizeable group of spectators – A bit of cheering , clapping and the occasional kind word goes a long way to keeping them legs moving, even when the lactic burn is really starting to kick in!

So, having finished the race in 48 mins exactly (Thats my time…official time to come), driven home and recovered after plenty of water and carbs, I was thinking – I’ve done that race 6 times, what can I actually learn from it this time, which I can take forward to improve my running? This thought came after the realisation that I had not achieved a personal best. So, heres what I came up with:

  • Some of my training runs are lazy
    What will change? I need to up the pace a bit, especially on the shorter (4-6 mile) runs
  • I can run without music. In fact, I noticed a positive improvement in pacing after I removed my ear phones at the 4k mark today. Its all about pacing – After 7 years running with music, I realised I’ve sub-consciously trained myself to ‘run with the beat’, which is not ideal when you have a fixed distance to run, in a target time, which of course is going to require some strict pacing. I also noticed that I find it easier to regulate my breathing without music, simply because I can hear myself breathing.
    What will change? At least one run a week will be MP3-free! On the longer runs I’ll try alternating – Mile on, mile off, or longer
  • I’ve got pretty good at a) Grabbing a drink at the water station and b) Actually drinking some of it without slowing down too much
    What will change? Nothing…more of the same!
  • Speed work is actually really important! (See Brian Macs page on Lactic Acid which covers how speed work improves your body’s lactate threshold)
    What will change? Not alot actually. I already do speed work of sorts, picking up the pace to around 90-95% effort once or twice during a middle distance training session. I’m potentially setup to get some track sessions in soon, which will involve repeats. If they happen, then great – Beyond that I’ll try to get more speed sessions into my middle distance runs.
  • I need more sleep in the 2-3 nights before a race
    What will change? I’ll try to get to bed earlier…although work/commitments/hobbies often get in the way of that. Maybe just more planning!

So, a few things learned from a really enjoyable race today, looking forward to Berlin Marathon in September more than ever now, and to my nest training session which is tomorrow evening.

Update 07/06/2010…
Just found the official results which show a chip time of 00:48:02 – 42 seconds slower than my personal best. I believe a course record was set yesterday by the winner – ‘Gordon Mugi’ who finished with a time of 00:28:55

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