Lessons from Running and PB week

No matter how good you are at something, there’s always a million people better than you
– Homer Simpson


Saturday 17th August was a good day, I ran a PB in a local club 10km event. I was a whole 2 minutes faster than my previous 10k time. Then again I was pretty slow compared to all the others in my age group. Just to put this into perspective, the current world record for a 10km road race is currently 26:44 (Yes that’s 26mins). British Athlete Mo Farah (aka MObot) runs the same distance on track (10,000m) in 26:46, the track world record is held by Ethiopian runner named Kenenisa Bekele. Previous record holder for 10,000m and still number two is the great Haile Gebrselassie in 26:22. The New Zealand Record holder for 10,000m is Dick Quax in 27:41 with Jonathan Wyatt holding the 10km road title in 28:04. (Source Athletics NZ – http://www.anzrankings.org.nz/site/records_con ).

In the senior men category in which I ran there were 40 Wellington club affiliated runners (There were also other age group runners, Senior men, Masters etc which made the whole field to be about 120 runners). Evan Cooper from Wellington Harriers won the race in a time of 31:39. Glen Hughes from Wellington Scottish came second in 31:46. I was 36th in the senior field and 77th overall with my PB time of 42:00 (yes I was bang on 42:00) – my previous 10km time was around 44 or close to 45mins (which I ran in London this year) so being able getting it down to 42mins was a bonus. The race itself was run on a 2km lap course which made it somewhat easier to pace myself. I wanted to run as close to 4:00min per Km as possible. I had two club mates who was around my pace so we had a great race between the three of us and I was able to hold off both of them and take my “PB win”.

10 km Splits

Above are my 1 Km splits, note that odd laps were slightly uphill gradient hence the time being a tad slow and the even laps of course coming down and being faster. This had a pretty tiring effect on the legs overall. I made my move at the 8km mark and ran up the hill fast and let go on the down. Net result an even average of 4:05min Per Km. This is one the great things about being part of a club, it gives you an opportunity to compete in regional events also if you become a racing member you get your own timing tag! If you want to know more about joining a club check out Wellington Scottish or come around to the Wellington Waterfront on a Tuesday at 5:30 to take part in the Waterfront 5k run and a chat.


Until next time! happy running..


Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Recap

This was my 8th half marathon since starting my running reboot in 2011. Just to recap the previous halves that I have completed are:

  1. 2011 Wellington Round the Bays My first Half Marathon – 2:02:08 (February 2011)
  2. 2011 Omagh Harriers – Half Marathon (Northern Ireland) – 21.1k – 1:57:33 (April 2011)
  3. 2011 Wellington Half Marathon – 21.1k – 1:54.46 (June 2011)
  4. 2012 Wellington Round The Bays – 1:37:22 (February 2012)
  5. 2012 Taupo Half Marathon – 1:38:50 (August 2012)
  6. 2013 Wellington Round the Bays 1:33:54 (February 2013) – current PB!
  7. 2013 Rotorua Half Marathon – 1:37:47 (May 2013)
  8. 2013 Taupo Half Marathon – 1:34:39 (August 2013) <- Latest

Taupo is a great destination for running events with the lakefront course being pretty flat. Having done the Taupo Half Marathon in 2012 I wanted to come back and have a go at this race again. The goal for this race was twofold. One was to run at around 4:30min per km, second to run under 1:35 which of course depended on the first goal. I wasn’t necessarily going for a PB on this race having just come off a Marathon in June I was just getting back into my second phase of training. Most my work has been on building mileage as I eluded to in my previous post.

We left Wellington after work on Friday and arrived in Taupo pretty late Friday evening. After a sleep in Saturday was spent just chilling out in Taupo with a brunch at L’arte cafe in Acacia Bay – highly recommend it if you end up in Taupo. Then we walked around the Saturday market in Taupo. By the way if you are a girl and want some awesome running gear check out Kori Kita – http://www.korikita.co.nz/ NZ made by Kate and she’s at the Taupo market every Saturday. After nosing around the market went to the registration and race pack collection at the Great Lake centre. This was the 20th Anniversary of the Mizuno (main sponsor) Half Marathon. The race pack included some goodies as well as a running shirt by Mizuno. One of the other cool things was the Race number included an electronic chip already embedded so there was no plastic chip thingy you had to tie down on your shoe. This was pretty convenient and it’s becoming more popular in races I am told.

Taupo Half 2013 - A T-Shirt and Chocolate

Taupo Half 2013 – A T-Shirt and Chocolate

Anyways rest of Saturday was spent just chilling out and went to bed early. Sunday was forecast for rain but the morning arrived with no sign of rain and or wind. I got to the race start by about 8:30am for the 9:00am start. I got around to the start with a race announcer going through the usual speech of thanking sponsors etc and also recognizing runners and walkers who have run all 20 events since 1994 when the race first began. The race started right on time (actually 8:59 according to my Garmin). I was in the first wave and got into a bit of a fast start for the first Km and joined a bunch of runners who seem to be content with running around 4:25-4:30 pace and got into an easy rhythm. I wasn’t pushing for pace so got into a chat with a gent who was doing his 20th race! Judging by the cheers he got along the way it was apparent he was a bit of a local runner celebrity and it was good to run along with him for a while. Around the 8km mark is a slight rise (not a hill) and a few people were slowing down who’d gone out a bit fast. Around here I caught up to another celebrity runner, Victoria Taylor. She’s run the length of New Zealand to raise awareness for Child Cancer NZ. It was nice to meet her in person and whilst she was also running! So I chatted with her for a bit and kept on with my original pace plan of sticking to 4:30min per Km.

At the halfway point was a drinks station so I slowed a bit and had two cups of water and half a Gu gel and then got back into my rhythm. From this point on the course follows the edge of the lake along a paved path. I was still within my time of being on target for 1:35. The last few Kms hurt a bit and ended up finishing in 1:34 with average of 4.28min per km, which was pretty bang on what I wanted to pace myself for this race.

After the race everyone got a shiny big 20th Anniversary finishers medal and a chocolate fish! I went straight to the coffee cart – maybe I should have had “Speeding Beans” coffee before the race!

Taupo Half Finish 2013

Taupo Half Finish 2013 – That’s me in the yellow top

Taupo Half Marathon Medal

2013 Taupo Half Marathon 20th Anniversary Medal

Speeding Bean - Coffee with Speed

Speeding Bean – Coffee with Speed

Half Marathon course.

Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Course

Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Course

Now I am back into my regular training schedule leading up to the 40km Abel Tasman Trail race in September 28th!

Revisiting Goals for the Year

When I started this blog in January (start of this year), I had a few running related goals in mind. These were:

With the exception of running a sub 20 – 5km race (which I have come close to) I have pretty much achieved the other two goals. Above all one of the most important goals that I set myself this year was to build a consistent high mileage base and avoiding getting injured. With my somewhat high mileage training leading up to the June marathon I was able to get to about 80kms per week on average with couple of weeks of 100kms of running. As I indicated previously after (re)starting my running back in 2011, I have been able to steadily build up my base. This has not been easy, however the perseverance has paid off as now it’s showing the benefits of me being able to do good consistent workouts weekly. The best indication of this is my recovery times from hard workouts such as Tempo runs and Intervals are much faster than before. Since I gather data from my runs I can use this to compare same types of runs from a few years and months ago to now and see the relative improvements. Looking at this information is one of the best motivators that I use to focus on my next goal(s).

On Sunday 4th August I am going to run a half marathon in Taupo. This is not a key race but rather a trial race to see if I have had any improvements, hopefully be able to beat my time 1:37 of the same course from last year.

Over the last 5 weeks my plan has been to build up core/leg strength and also up my mileage again so I can get to an average week of 100kms and a peak of 120kms in the next 6 weeks before the Abel Tasman trail race. I haven’t picked any other events for this year after September. The next main goal is Rotorua Full Marathon in May 2014. I will probably do a few half marathons leading up to Rotorua as well.

Jan 2013 to July2013

Jan 2013 to July2013

This is what my current training log looks like. The dips in Feb and June indicate events. Now I’m on a build up phase again. Do you log your running? What does your log look like? How much do you run weekly?