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.


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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