I think I’ve written this post in my head a million times over the past few months but subconsciously I knew that if I wrote it down, that would make it more real. It would mean I’d have to actually do it. I’d have to run 10km faster than my usual “comfy” pace (around 6:30 per km).
Then an email landed in my inbox from Julie Creffield of Too Fat To Run about her goal to run a sub 30 min 5km and I realised it was time to share what’s actually been swirling around in my head. If you’ve run with me over the past few months, you’ll know my goal for the London Winter Run which takes place on Sunday 5th February.
As soon as I signed up I knew I didn’t want to do what I normally do… not run, suffer on race day and then wonder why I never bothered to train. So I set a goal to train and started Winter Run Club to make sure I got out at least once a week.
Then chatter about times made me realise that if I was gonna train, I might as well set myself a goal time. Cos I know I could run it comfortably in around 1 hour 6 minutes… but what if I pushed myself?!
So I’ve taken inspiration from Julie and set myself the following three goals:
1. Best Case Scenario
2. Will be Happy with
3. Worst Case Scenario
She says “This is really useful for a 10K or half marathon, as it gives you something to focus on and work towards both in the training and in the race.”
…so how have I been getting ready for this challenge?!
Firstly, I had a few sessions at The Running School in London. My first session was an assessment of my running style and technique. I was videoed running from the side and also from behind so I could see what I was doing (…think about it, we never see what we look like running!). Then they took me through what it would look like when I run the way they would teach me to. It definitely took a couple sessions to get used to the changes but running felt immediately less effort and I became comfortable running at faster speeds than I would ever choose to run.
I would literally come out of my Running School sessions feeling like superwoman when it comes to running. However, this didn’t immediately translate to running on the road but with time, I’ve learnt to use proprioreception (yeah, you remember this from the Skins post?!) to check if everything is where it should be and get back to the right technique especially when I get tired.
So if I look like I’m thinking a lot when I’m running all that’ll be going through my head is:
Arms… Breathe… Heels
Arms… Breathe… Heels
Arms… Breathe… Heels
My biggest take aways from the sessions were that we always started with a thorough warm up including walking (briskly) on the treadmill and a series of exercises to activate the glutes. Both of these are things I never, ever do before a race but will implement for the London Winter Run.
I’ve also been dipping in and out of Julie’s new book – Scream If You Want To Run Faster – which features 7 techniques to help you shave a little time of your running and create some new PB’s. The book is specifically aimed at plus sized runners and Julie says ” [it] …helps you to understand that speed is relative and plays no role in defining you as a runner, but it also gives you the mindset tools and practical techniques you need to grow in confidence and improve your 5k times.” …what more could we want?! The book is available as an ebook and in paperback on Amazon (let’s help Julie get the book into the top 10, eh?!).
Apparently, I’m the last person in the world to know that the insoles in your trainers are removable in order for you to replace them with more suitable ones. Did you know?! …so I got myself a pair from Enertor, the insole brand Usain Bolt wears cos if they’re good enough for him, they’re good enough for me! They are billed as having improved shock absorption, greater energy return whilst being thinner than other brands yet still providing more protection.
I’ve had them in my Brooks Ghost 9 Galaxy since the day I got them and seriously cannot complain. I’ve run in Ghosts before and never had any real issues but having the insoles have made the shoes more how I like them (I think it’s the energy return which I love). So right now, it’s looking highly likely that I’ll be running in the Ghosts (with said insoles) on race day.
That’s it. My running goal confession post! …and while I have your attention on the subject of running, check out my Race Prep Guide which I recently updated (I pulled together a number of popular posts from the blog into one comprehensive guide!). It’s perfect to get yourself ready for any race day and ensure you don’t forget anything! …if you think I’ve missed anything out, reach out to me and let me know so I can add it!!
Do you run for times?! Or is running your me time?!