Sunday, 14 June 2015

Getting The Mix Right

Cooking pasta can sometimes take a little bit of time to master. A little too long on the boil and it is stuck to the pot, not enough and its all but inedible.

Finding a training balance can sometimes present a similar conundrum. We are always looking for that balance of freshness and steering away from being either over or underdone. 
The element of doubt is often likely to weigh heavily until we actually see the fruits of our work.
This scenario has been evident for me since I shifted from just running to concentrating on three disciplines. The main doubt is wondering if your running will suffer.
I have been managing three run sessions a week on average and usually around 18-25km. It is a small decrease on what I had been doing and I now try to make each session as specific and beneficial as I can.
I had the opportunity to test where I was at last Saturday by running my local Parkrun over 5km. This was on the course where I held my best 5km of 23:11 so it would provide a good indicator of whether I was at least maintaining that form.
My best time was set nine weeks earlier and the only run I have done at race speed since that time was at the end of a duathlon. It had indicated a similar speed but it is hard to line the two up given fatigue from the initial run and bike. 

A head cold in the week leading up to Saturday wasn't ideal but would be no excuse for not putting in a reasonable effort.
I surprised even myself when my Garmin told me that I had completed the course in 22:12 (my official result was 22:08). I also managed to place 13th overall from 111 finishers. 

Nearing the finsh of Sandon Point Parkrun
The result was a positive for two reasons. It showed me that I was still able to make large improvements given that I'd taken almost a minute off my previous mark. It also instilled some confidence in me in terms of my training and whether or not I am benefiting from my plan.
The run also included my best half-mile (3:19), 1km (4:14), mile (6:57) and two miles (14:07) but  clearly there is still room for improvement.

My second and fourth kilometers were a little below par so there is something to work on there in terms of consistency for the full 5km.

Plenty of PR's to be pleased about
Considering that when I wrote about my goals for 2015 (view blog here) that my aim was to break 25 minutes for 5km, it would be an understatement to say that I have exceeded my expectations.

Hopefully, with more hard work, the improvements continue.
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