A tough day at the 10K

Ever since I ran a PR in the 5K four weeks ago, I have been anticipating this morning’s 10K race.  My 5K finish time improved by almost a minute, so I have been looking forward to seeing similar improvements at the 10K distance.

Instead of achieving a new PR in the 10K, however, I failed to match not only last December’s PR of 50:47 but also last March’s 10K finish time of 52:49.  I ran a 53:27.

I had set my target pace as 8:02 minutes per mile and I was able to keep this pace for the first 3 miles.  In the middle of mile 4, however, I felt I had no energy and sagged to an 8:30ish pace.  In mile 5 I slowed down to a 9:00ish pace and slowed down to a 9:40ish pace in mile 6.

I checked my heart rate data after the race was over.  Clearly, by the time I had finished up mile 3, I was maxed out on my heart rate.  In fact, in last months 5K, even though I was running faster, my heart rate was a little bit lower than it was this morning.  No wonder I had trouble in the final three miles.

My lesson learned from this is that I am going to use a combination of pace and heart rate in my next race, a half marathon.  If nothing else, using heart rate along with pace as a guide to how fast I run in that race will prevent me from feeling horrible at around mile 10 or mile 11.

I’m not upset about this morning’s result.  I’m a non-injured runner.  And non-injured runners should always be happy runners.

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One thought on “A tough day at the 10K

  1. Sorry I’m so late to the game on this one, and sorry you didn’t get your PR. But I love your attitude! Being injury free is such a big deal, and I believe one of the biggest benefits of the Maffetone Method. Being uninjured means more consistent training and that means progress. I believe consistency trumps everything. I just started racing with two consecutive weekends of short course triathlon. I know exactly what you mean by the shock of suddenly charging at 30 BPM over the usual training intensity. I also did not get any faster, I was about the same as the past. But I like the bright side: I’m older and still just as fast? That means I’m reversing aging, right?

    My suggestion: stick to Maffetone, since the half marathon is all about aerobic fitness until 4-6 weeks out. Then try some faster paced tempo runs or track work to play around with pacing. This is what I will do before XTERRA Tahoe City, my next big race.

    Good luck!

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