When I did my RunUnited1 5K race back in March, clocking 21:50min, it was after coming back from an ITB injury that had sidelined me for five months. Prior to that I had a very forgettable Condura 10K race in February that still reminded me that my ITB was still there. In the Condura race, I “crawled” the last two or so kilometers as the pain on my right knee was unbearable. A decent 57 min finish to boot could still not appease me. I had no endurance training as most of my trainings either involved the elliptical trainer or swimming.
By April, I had built sufficient stamina to enable me do 6-8mile long runs. While this suited my 5K training regimen, it could not guarantee me the improved times I had set myself to achieve. I ran the HYUNDAI 5K run in 18:15min and felt that progress was indeed being achieved. While the time looked incredible I had this gut feeling that the 5K was short. Mapmyruns.com would prove me correct when it placed it at 4.5km. I had work to do. My dream of a sub-20min 5K was still on and yet to be realized.
April-May period brought in the holiday season. I took off for Kenya hoping to do some altitude training while enjoying my vacation. I quickly realized, vacation and trainings don’t mix. I resigned to being fed twenty-four hours by my dotting mother. By the time I came back towards the end of May, I had added 4kg and was in bad shape. The only consolation was that a 2 month rest helped further heal my ITBs to the point I felt them no more.
I still had an unrealized dream, a sub-20min 5K. I decided that to achieve this dream, I need first and foremost to build on my mileage and then later work on my speed. I resolved to follow a 10K training program and then go for 5K program later on when I had enough endurance and speed to take on the grueling sub20 5K training requirements. To do this I first had to know my 10K time. This I found out at the AKTV run courtesy of Jixee’s free race kit. In that race, my good friend Sir Mark asked me at the start line what my target time was. I said 50min without believing myself. I knew I was in a bad shape and I had just done one week of conditioning to get back to running. While I would consider it one of the hardest 10Ks I have had to endure, I posted a 49:53min time that actually surprised me! The humid hot air almost snuffed the air in me for most of the distance. While not happy with my time, I was happy that I had an accurate base from which I could start from. My next target I set was a sub-45min 10K in eight weeks from then.
I normally tend to be very impatient with myself. This explains why I go for eight week training programs maximum. More than that, I will not be true to it, and that is a bad thing. I intentionally chose “smart coach” training program from runner’s world.com simply because it gives me actual target times that I need to run on when doing the different runs based on my recent race times. It also allows me to “race” in the middle of the program to know how well the program is progressing with me. The midpoint of this program would coincide with the Rexona run in July and the end point with the RunUnited2 racein August. Perfect for me.
The training program predicted that after the eight weeks, I should be able to do 44:46min. That would be great for me as it will fall nicely with my targeted sub-45min. Also a sub-45min 10K would guarantee me a sub-20min 5K if I do another eight week regiment after that. While the training program went well, I was nervous when I took up my position at the starting line for the Rexona run. I mentally calculated that mid point in my training I should be able to do 47ish. I would be glad if I could do that. By the time I crossed the line the clock read 44:01min! I was pleasantly surprised. The results I should say from my training had exceeded my expectations. I knew I had to adjust my training to reflect the new race time.
Plugging in the new time and with only four weeks remaining to my race day smart coach predicted that I should be able to do 42:44min by the time RunUnited2 race day reached. By this time also, I had built an 11-13mile long run stamina. I was excited because I knew achieving that would guarantee a less than 21min 5K run. A very good base if one would want to achieve a sub-20min 5K eight weeks after. One thing that endears me to RunRio runs is the accuracy of distance. I followed the training program diligently and come race day, I was sure a sub43min 10K was possible. Suffice to say I ran the 10K in 41:48min! I was elated! My goal was met. I am now looking forward to the start of my 5K sub-20min training that should start next week and culminate with RunUnited3 in mid of November. Barring any injuries, I’m confident it can be achieved.