How to train poorly and still race a fast time

5K Race #2 | 17-October-2021

Bad racing got me here

Yesterday I ran my 2nd fastest 5k time of my life. And I don’t think I was even 75% as fit as I was when I ran my fasted 5k 5 months ago.

Being not as fit and everything going sideways in my life forced me to do a bunch of things I never did and I learned a lot.

All my b and c races, bad training days and blah performances led me to the point where I know based on my training and fitness exactly what time I’ll do. It’s kind of like my own crystal ball.

I’m sure I’m slightly underperforming, but I’d rather be under trained than over tired any day. Always leave a buffer.

Race Recap

Race plan

Stick with the group and go out and hold 3:24 min per k (5:28 min per mi) if feeing good speed up at the 3k mark. If bad, slow down at 3k mark.

What happened

I felt pretty meh 😑 at 3.5 km but having the group pushed me through the hump and I was able to speed up for the last 2km. Actually the last 1km we dropped a whole 6 seconds because @josh.keys.11 sped it up and I didn’t even know it (the power of group motivation!) for a 16:59 finish

How I REALLY felt after the race

I was a perfect race day! Had a dope group of guys that kept me on track. Super thankful for the run culture here in Sydney.

What’s next

I’m off for 2-4 weeks with unstructured training. Then coming back strong for a 15:59 next year… on the track. Going to probably train with more fast guys like this and less solo work. Looking forward to it.

Huge thx for @bulli1980, @josh.keys.11, and @the.espresso.runner for helping pace me last minute! Amazing stuff.

See Strava Here.

5K Race #1 | 6-October-2021

Race plan: Go out 3:30 min/km pace (5:40 min/mi) see how I feel then speed up or slow down accordingly — bonus paced with Elite runner Liam

What Happened : 🙏 Perfect day for a time trial
And even more Perfect negative split. Felt average most of it but my hr was low so I kept pushing and had a bit of a kick in the end.

What’s next; same intensity over the next 10 days but lower volume to be fresh in 10 days.

Fun fact: after 3 years in realising this course is slow AF and I might be better off time trialing on a diff course 🤷🏾‍♂️

See Strava Here.

2021 Half Marathon Time Trial

Race plan: Go out at max aerobic (150-155hr) for the first 50% then feel it out and hold whatever pace I have until the end (4:00-4:10min per km | 6:30-6:45 min per mile)

What happened: I actually felt great until halfway. Then the fatigue in my legs of that running pace go to me. I haven’t done too much work in this area in almost 2 months so it was a shock. Luckily my aerobic system is quite robust and I didn’t accumulate that much lactate. Just heavy legs.

Also had a fun mental challenge of having my very old Garmin Fenix 3HR lock up on me. It was still running but it was stuck on the time of day screen. I didn’t know my HR or pace and had to dig out my phone and start it. Should have def had it as a backup from the start… will do that next time for key workouts & races. Never trust technology

Lesson learned: I actually have a really good built in pacing clock and even though my HR was creeping up towards the middle-end, I Actually felt fine with my HR breathing test (more on that later).

Fun Fact: 5 years ago when I started this “10 half marathon, 10 years in a row to get 1% better each year” journey my time was 1 hour 31 mins. I was dead tired at the end. 10 years before that my best time was 1:35 and I passed out at the finish line and fell asleep. Now I’m able to run faster than I ran when I was younger and still “keep it easy”. Quite impressive. Not the 1 hour 22 min time I wanted but I have another 5 years to get it down another 3 mins.

What’s next: Tomorrow I’ll be taking off in the morning and easy walk/run in the afternoon. Then another 1-2 days off then back at it. 10 days from now will be 5K number one then 20 days from now will be 5k number two!

See Strava Here.