Life Begins At Sub-40

January 20, 2013

This time last year I set myself three running targets for 2012 with a base and stretch version of each. I hit one stretch target, one base target and missed one altogether.

This year I’ve decided to fly in the face of conventional wisdom and stuff all my running eggs in one little basket. I believe that there are two holy grails in recreational running – the three hour marathon and the 40 minute 10k. The three hour marathon is well out of my reach (for now?!) and I fancy a break from the marathon this year, so I’m going for the sub 40 minute 10k.

So, given that I’ve broken 41 minutes no fewer than four times including a PB of 40:07 last December, this should be a piece of cake, right? Well, not exactly. I spent a lot of last year in very, very good shape. I’m really not sure I have much more to give. In going for a target like this not only do you have to be in peak condition, everything has to go right on the day. Get a cold, you’ve blown it. Go off a little too slow or a little too fast, you’ve missed the boat. It’s a windy day, you’re scuppered.

On top of that, my schedule in the first half of the year isn’t exactly conducive to running a super fast 10k. In mid-February, not that I am complaining, I’m off to Australia on holiday for three weeks. In late March, I’m doing the Water of Life Half Marathon. In May, for some unfathomable reason, I’ll be wading through ice baths, crawling under barbed wire and enduring multiple electric shocks at Tough Mudder. Yes, I am an actual idiot. In early July, I have the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, a 5.6km race where I’ll be representing the mighty Huddle Harriers. At least training for that will be pretty much perfect for 10k performance, but it’s another non 10k date where I’ll be looking to peak. There is a strong likelihood that I’ll be well into the second half of the year before I can have a serious attempt at sub-40. If I pick up an injury at the wrong time it could be game over for the year. Despite all these excuses, I believe I can and will do it.

I do have some other running “to do” items this year but they are primarily stepping stones to better performance rather than targets themselves. I’d like to continue to improve my dodgy running technique. I’d like to get physically stronger and more flexible. I intend to do a bit more off road and trail running.

Lastly, I’m going to join a running club. Choosing which club to join is proving challenging! I’m looking for a club where I’ll have access to decent coaching, where the midweek track sessions are at a convenient location and time, where I’ll be welcomed and meet nice people and where there will be plenty of runners of about my standard! I have a (very) shortlist in mind, but any suggestions for North London clubs that the fit the bill would be gratefully received. I get the impression that runners rarely change club once they have picked one, so I’d like to get the decision right!

I’m going to have a go at my first 10k at the February edition of the Regent’s Park Winter Series in a couple of weeks time. I’m a long way from top condition right now, so this will be a benchmark race rather than a realistic attempt at the target. On the other hand, if the stars magically align, you never know…..!


2 Responses to “Life Begins At Sub-40”

  1. Mick Says:

    Good stuff Col – I like the look of Tough Mudder – have you done it before?

    • Pingu1874 Says:

      Cheers. I’ve never done Tough Mudder or anything like it! I’m not really built for that sort of thing – strength and balance are not my strong suits – but I’m doing it with a team from work so hopefully it’ll be fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: