Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I was aiming for 45 minutes, but achieved 45 minutes 3 seconds - my 10km tempo run

I am currently in London, staying at my sister's house in Streatham.  As you would imagine I would do, I brought my running kit with me so that I could take advantage of my time and not miss out on any training.  At first my plan was to go for a 21km steady run, but I woke up pretty late.  Rather than go for a 21km run and then most of the day would be gone, I chose instead to go for a 10km tempo run.  I wasn't too sure about this plan, as I only just did a 30km on Monday, so I figured my legs may still be pretty jaded.  All the same I decided to stick with it.

Now the other day I did a time close to 46 minutes for my 10km run.  I wanted to try to knock that down a bit to 45 minutes.  After a warm up jog I went down the road to Tooting Bec Common and prepared my mind for a 45 minute 10km attempt.  It is a nice park and there are plenty of off road opportunities to avoid some hard impact on the legs.  It has rained recently though, so the paths are a bit muddy.  For this reason I stuck mostly to the asphalt but switched now and again onto the muddy paths just to shake things and keep my mind fresh.

I set off fast and I was a little worried I was going to blow up long before the end.  I eased off the gas ever so slightly and after a few minutes, my breathing and heat rate settled down and I got a nice smooth rhythm going.  One lap of the common turned out rather conveniently to be 2.5km, so that allowed me to get a feel of where I was and how well I was doing at each stage of the run.  By half way my time was almost bang on 22 and a half minutes so I knew that 45 minutes was achievable, although it would be tough because I had been working hard in the first half.  By the end of the third lap 45 minutes was still within the realms of possibility so I pushed hard into the final lap.

I was breathing really hard the whole last lap and my legs were burning.  I didn't want to push too hard until the very last few hundred metres as I really didn't have that much left in the tanks.  When the final few hundred metres came I looked at my watch and saw it was going to be very close.  I gave the last spurt I could and kept looking at my watch.  With 50 metres left I realised I had mistimed it ever so slightly and that I was going to be a few seconds over my target.  The final time was 45 minutes and 3 seconds and I am pretty happy with that.  I may even be able to go under 45 minutes as early as next week just by better pacing.

I will be staying at my friend Pete's house in Bracknell tonight, so if I am lucky I will get a nice run in Bracknell forest tomorrow.  I love the scenery around Zurich but it is always nice to have a change from time to time, and in Bracknell forest I have no need to run on the asphalt at all, with acres and acres of woodland to run around in. I have biked there plenty of times, but I don't recall every running there before, so it will be fun I am sure.  Then at the weekend I will be at my parents' house in Wales, so I will get a chance to run in the woods of the Wye Valley.  Anny has also signed up for a 10km run and so is running regularly too, and she is coming to join me in Wales at the weekend, so I will see if I can drag her along with me.

Speak to you again soon
Paul Gump


  1. Chris and I are in Putney, so if you want to meet for a training session in Richmond Park, give us a shout. We'll be on our bikes whilst you run. We can meet up at the cafe after our laps of the park.
    It sounds like your training is going well. I'm in training for the English Indoor Rowing Championships in February.
    Have fun in Wales.

  2. Hi Caroline. I was only in london a couple of days. The rest of the time I was in Wales. I will most likely be in London again at the end of Feb though, as there is a meet with the others guys running the MDS for Mencap along with advice and a gear stand. When I have booked my tickets I will let you know and we can try to arrange something. It may be that you talk me in to doing my next challenge on the indoor rower after the MDS is over. I am always impressed by your dedication to indoor rowing. Cheers, P