Ease into 10k – Week 7

Ahead of this week, I came to the conclusion that it was okay to find the running difficult. If it was easy, that would mean I wasn’t pushing and wasn’t getting on any further. However, as you’ll see, by the end of the week I have come to a completely different conclusion.

Week 7, Day 1

Run 15 min/walk 1 min. Repeat x 3.

Tricky run today. I had an aborted start, after less than half a kilometre. The second attempt was hard because all my legs felt tight and seized up. By the end of the run, I had to give up worrying about how slow I was going and concentrate on just getting the distance.

Week 7, Day 2

Run 15 min/walk 1 min. Repeat x 3.

Won’t bother with the graph for this one. Went out with the intent of running a complete distance, but only got about halfway round. It was super duper windy, and I hate the wind as it is, let alone when I’m trying to run into it.

Also noticed that my calves still felt tight and I think it’s the way I’ve tweaked my warm-up. Still got work to do there. Will repeat this day.

Time Trial

Following on from the disaster yesterday, I wanted to go out and try again but I was faced with an unexpected day of work that meant I didn’t get home till late. It was starting to get dark, so instead of doing a full run and/or leaving it until tomorrow, Mr C suggested I just do half what I would have normally.

This planted the seed of an idea in my mind. What if I could run a set distance over and over and try and improve the time? That would stop that niggling doubt in my mind that I will never ever get faster. Unless I really don’t get any faster, then the doubt will be less of a doubt and more of a proven fact, but let’s not dwell on that.

So, with darkening skies, I headed out for a 2.5km run, aiming for an inaugural benchmark to try and improve on. Please don’t judge me for how pitiful this is.

No. Distance (km) Duration Avg Pace (min/km) Avg Speed (km/h)
1 2.51 22:19 8:54 6.74

That’s the first benchmark. The idea is that perhaps in between the other longer runs, I could do a quick time trial and see how I’m getting on.

This first one was tough. My breathing went all funny because I was trying to be faster, and by the end I had a bizarre sore throat.

Week 7, Day 2

Run 15 min/walk 1 min. Repeat x 3.

Wooo, an actual 5k! With just two minutes of running mixed in the middle. Wasn’t a fantastic run but considering the scrappy week I’ve been having, and compared to the first time I ran 3×15 minutes, it’s a vast improvement.

Week 7, Day 3

Run 15 min/walk 1 min. Repeat x 3.

Bah. It was hot, I was tired, blah blah, excuses, excuses. I’m glad I finished, considering the bright sunshine and how tired I was after the first stint. Slightly concerned about whether I’ll be able to move on or not though.

All told, it’s been a really difficult week. I’ve struggled with being tired, being hot, trying to fit the runs in, having to repeat days, all the usual nonsense, but there hasn’t been a good run to offset it this time.

I’m pondering whether I’ve reached the limit of how far I can push myself. I was up to a 5k last year, and I’m getting to that point now as well. Perhaps that’s it?

Who knows. Next week is meant to be 17×3 but I may just repeat this week to see if it makes any difference.

3 thoughts on “Ease into 10k – Week 7

  1. Take it from a formet fattie that used to struggle to run that 5km definitely isn’t your limit.

    At the start running can be tough and I think it’s more a mental determination to keep going than anything else. However, once you’ve been running regularly for a bit your muscles get trained and you start to find a rhythm / what works for you and then you’ll be surprised at the results.

    Best of luck!

  2. Christine,

    With any type of exercise or sport or any other kind of activity you never make straight line progress. You will make a step forward then the occasional plateau and even the odd dip. Don’t try and judge yourself day to day or even week to week. Try and use some meaningful longer term sampling and analysis.

    It is the same with learning to drive a race car. The first few sessions you get faster ever time you go out. Then you hit a plateau. Then from somewhere you find a whole chunk of time and plateau there. Then one awful day despite everything you have learned you go slower and there is nothing you can do about it. The important thing is not to focus on it and assume you can’t drive any more. Just wait till the next session and hope you go faster.

    One of the reason people who diet fail is that they weigh themselves at the same time every day and expect to see a straight line decrease in weight. But of course that does not happen. So they get terribly depressed because one day they have done everything right and gained weight. If they just looked at their weight once every 4 weeks they would be amazed at the progress.

    Same with running. Look what you are doing now compared to when you started. You have made incredible progress. In 8 weeks time if you keep following your plan you will have made more progress but if you worry about going slowly or not competing your course one day and let that affect you then progress can be affected.

    The problem is the more data you have the more you analyse and the more chance you have at arriving at totally the wrong conclusions. Try not to over-think what your doing and just enjoy your running and your progress.

  3. Thank you both, and particularly Steven – great comment.

    You’re definitely right about the more data, but I do find having the numbers motivating – to have a slight clue of where I am.

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