Aberdeen parkrun: Setting the Bar

Since the marathon I’ve been somewhat lazy. The planned two week rest period turned into four weeks of not a lot. I did a couple of easy runs in the third week, then last week life got in the way with lots on, very little ‘me’ time, and too many hours spent at work. On the upside I have hopefully given my body time to recover fully.

Feeling fitter than I had done in a long time while training with the Hanson plan I hope to continue the year strongly following such a consistent block of training. I ‘raced’ Stonehaven parkrun last weekend, pushing myself harder than I’ve done in some time, finishing in 23:06.

This week was the turn of my ‘home’ run, Aberdeen parkrun. A flat course with the potential for fast times dependent on wind, while I knew that a PB was not on the cards, and may never be again, I was determined to run hard and set the bar for my next block of training.

Having warmed up with an easy couple of miles I arrived to catch only the tail end of the briefing – sorry Graham, very rude of me! I skipped round the outside of the throng in order to secure a place near to the front and we were off. Starting out fast, this was the first time I’d run at 5k pace in as many weeks, the last speed session being in the last 10 days of the marathon plan. Prior to that I’d had a speed block at the beginning of the plan before focusing on strength: marathon pace and just a wee bit faster on SOS runs.

Aberdeen parkrun

I found the first mile fairly comfortable clocking 6:51. The second mile was harder and I was aware of my lungs! While the legs felt good it was definitely harder to regulate the breathing and I was working hard. This mile was slower, 6:56. Going into the final mile I knew I just had to hang on in there! Less than 8 minutes to endure, knowing that the fourth kilometre is where most people struggle, I tried my best to dig in and was happy to see the 5k marker. It seemed a long way to the stones marshal, but once past them I knew I’d soon be done.

Aberdeen parkrun

Pushing hard, the last mile was slower again in 6:58, but the watch indicates that despite thinking I was slowing down I did manage to pick up pace slightly to cross the line.

Delighted, I heard my sister shout the time as I passed her. Thanks for volunteering! Official time: 21:31

Very happy with that and most definitely a good starting point for the next round of training!

I’ve lacked consistency over the last few weeks. One of the joys of the Hanson plan was knowing that I run every day except Wednesday. I’m going to try returning to that again, maybe trying more morning runs as we’re currently blessed with lots of daylight. Wish me luck!

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