15k

Screenshot from 2013-10-22 17:17:38

I’m back on track for a half marathon PB, and today I did a decent 15k. It took me about 1 hour 12 minutes, and while I still cannot run negative splits for the life of me, I seem to fall into the groove at about 4:40 – 4:50 / minute, which would give me a finish time of about 1:42. I can breathe very calmly and comfortably at this pace. There’s a half marathon race on new year’s eve, and my goal would be 1:45.

One interesting thing about today’s run is that I tried to increase the speed at km11 (4:35/km), but I actually lost speed after that. I don’t think I should speed up until the last km in a race.

I think the main reason I’m getting faster is that I’ve lost some weight, and that just makes my “autopilot” pace faster, the pace that I fall into if I don’t think about how fast I’m running at all.

Very good run today.

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What is a good time for a 5k?

I have never been in love with a race distance before, but right now I think the 5000m may be it. I’ve always seen myself as the kind of runner who goes off to spend several hours in the forest with wild animals and birds and trees (maybe because I grew up skiing), but it turns out running in circles on a blue rubber track is about as fun as it gets. I feel like I improve faster at this than my other “benchmark” distances, the 10k and half marathon.

Until recently 1km intervals was my least favourite session, to the point that I never actually did them. Today I ran four 1km laps at an average of 03:35/km pace, which is OK, considering that until two months ago my PB for 1k was 04:11! I find this tempo very comfortable and easy compared to running slower, so I’m thinking I should explore this a bit more, and see if I can stretch it to 3000 or 5000 meters. As soon as I run faster than 04:30/km (about a seven minute mile) I feel like I run in a different way and I find it more enjoyable than my current “default” tempo of 5min/km.

Baby_Jogger

Baby not included

I’ve also figured out the mystery of why I’ve never passed anyone with a baby jogger in a race: Anyone who joins a race with a baby jogger is pretty dedicated to running no matter what obstacles get in their way. There’s a limit to how slow they can be. When I was maxing out the pace at the end of my first interval today I barely managed to pass one.

About the header, it’s really just a tease. But feel free to brag! My PB is 19:50. Anyone faster than 12:37.35 is really fast IMO.

20 minutes!

Screenshot from 2013-10-12 17:05:37

I ran a 5k at the track today, and I finally beat 20 minutes! Right from the start I felt pretty sure I could make it, and I kept a good margin to 4min/km all the way. I’m more than one minute faster on the track than I am on gravel. 17°C, rainy and windy. Perfect running weather. Can’t wait to try it again.

So, this was my “unrealistic” goal when I started running. Next up is a new half marathon PB. I love running right now.

New 5k record, approaching round figures, and being a shopaholic by proxy

Running feels fantastic at the time. I’ve lost a few kilos this spring/summer, and it feels a lot easier to find a natural midfoot landing now. I feel that the key is to let the forefoot take as little of the blunt force as necessary when setting the foot down. More and more I think of a midfoot landing as a heel landing, except the soft bit under my fifth metatarsal lands a millisecond before the heel, taking the edge of the collision. And the foot is pretty good at adjusting this according to speed and surface. All in all running is easier on the body if I don’t carry too much extra weight. Enough nerdy stuff…

Screenshot from 2013-10-05 19:53:27I’m rapidly approaching two of my goals, both of which seemed unrealistic when I started running: 45 minutes for the 10k and 20 minutes for the 5k. I ran a 5k in 21:15 today, a new record by about 15 seconds. I ran on gravel, so I’m pretty sure I can beat it on a track soon. Being just about to break a few round figured records is a great feeling.

And I’ve started shopping running clothes like a crazy person! Not for myself, but for my wife. The latest item is this awesome reflective jacket. It looks pretty awesome and she swears she runs faster in it. It’s from H&M, and sort of a knock-off of a more expensive version from Nike. I rarely buy branded sportswear. So overpriced.