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Friday, 14 January 2011

A busy running week: Part 2

On Monday this week I finally decided it was time to register for another running event. For so long I have been concentrating on parkrun, but now its time to use the fitness improvements from parkrun to go for some PBs at other distances.

My brother Andy and I agreed on the Warwick to Kenilworth "Two Castles" event and registered on Tuesday morning. I have wanted to do this run for years, but it has always clashed with kids birthday parties, however this year it does not. I am already looking forward to the event, but know that I will need to do a few more longer runs to prepare.

I will be aiming to bat my PB from my only other 10km run, 39:58 at the Great Manchester Run in 2007. I feel pretty confident that as long as it is not a blisteringly hot day then I should be able to beat this time. Given that the race is in mid June I think I am probably hoping for rain!

On Wednesday I got out for another training run. I was going to do a freedom parkrun, but the boggy parts of the current course put me off. I instead planned out another similar parkrun route with mapmyrun.com. The route starts and ends in the same place as a normal Coventry parkrun, and follows two thirds of the same route. It does however avoid the memorial monument area and therefore stays completely on the pathways. I measured the lap at 1.55 miles (2.49 km) which means that the extra 30 metres (or so)  that we have at the end of the second parkrun lap is pretty much what is needed at the end of the second lap on this course to make up the 5km.

I warmed up with Andy, but we agreed that we had different aims so ran the route separately. I was aiming for somewhere sub 19:30, but hoping for sub 19:20. Andy said he was aiming for 25:00.

I completed the first lap in 9:39 and knew that a similar second lap would be enough to get under the 19:20 I was hoping for. I found the second lap very tough, but managed a 9:37 lap time for an overall time of 19:16. Although slower than the 18:52 I was disappointed with at my last parkrun event, allowing for the difficulty of running alone, I was very pleased with this effort.

Today I managed to get out for yet another training run. This time it was just my gentle Friday run. I again did the new alternative freedom run route, but this time running with Andy. We were aiming for a sub 25 minute time and actually managed 24:12, which was very satisfactory as it felt really comfortable.

That is now 8 runs in 14 days this year. Lets hope I can keep that level of running up for a few weeks or months and hopefully I will start to see the effects in my times.

Tomorrow I will be doing my 25th parkrun event, halfway to my "50 club T-shirt". After being slightly disappointed with my time last week I am aiming to chip around 10 seconds off that time to get into the low 18:40's. This will help me on my way to one of my aims of 2011 of a new PB before the end of February. I am currently thinking that this aim may be asking a bit much, but I am going to give it my best shot anyway. The plan is to knock off around 10 seconds a week for my next 3 parkrun events to get me back into the mid 18:20's. Lets hope I can start by getting back into the low 18:40's tomorrow!

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