During my trainings I chanced upon an article that was talking about race times and how they are predicted. Of course I had come across many sites that offered tools for predicting race times. Having played around with them, they would predict such and such a time for my runs when I input data. Reading the science behind those predictions made me want to try it in actuality. I figured that since I am a good sample in the general population ( I tend to fall in the middle of the bell curve), the predicted times should work for me if I follow correctly the training programs on offer. Back in May when I was still recovering from my knee injury, I tried a 2 month 10K training program using smart-coach tool (a tool I found in runners world website).
I tend to be a man of routine and a morning person by nature. I’m at my most optimal state in the mornings. Jogging in the evening is a no no for me. All my programs have to happen very early in the morning. This is the premise I use when I design my training programs. But since my mornings are busy, I tend to have at most an hour or so to do any workout. This limits the number of hours I can possible fit in a week for my trainings. At best 40-50km week would be the most I can squeeze. Naturally this means it takes longer to reach any targets I set myself to achieve.
With this in mind, I chose to do a 10-10-5km training programs before attempting a sub-40 10km. The first 10km training program of 2 months will be to condition my body to race 10km and finish strong. The next 2 month 10km program would be used to hit a specified target. The last 3month 5km will be used for increasing efficiency, run faster, and ultimately decide if I’m really ready for a sub-40min 10km race. With this plan I started with a 48min 10km race. After the 2 month training, I hit 44min versus the predicted 44:45min. The second 10km training program had a target time of 42:28. I hit that in 41:48. Going to the last of the training programs, which is 5K, smart coach predicted 18:58min finish time. This time would enable me to eventually hit a 39:40min 10K. This is as predicted by smart coach.
After 3 months of diligently following the 5km training program, I hit an 18:55min on race day. I said before I fall at the center of the normal distribution curve of these predictive tools, and the times I was returning in those races confirmed it. By this time, I decided not to follow the sub-40min 10K target but to embark on a 3 month marathon training program. This was informed from the fact that If I miss the skyway marathon in January, then the only other possible time I had is in August as business trips were coming up a would derail my training programs. Normally in the 3month training program, there is always a cool down every 4 weeks, where the mileage is reduce for the body to recover. I timed the training in such a way that the MILO finals and the PSE bull run would fall at the end of the 4th and 8th weeks respectively. This will allow me to race them.
11th December came so fast. There I was at the start line of the 10km race. A relatively flat course, though it is a slight downhill for the initial 5km and a gently uphill the last 5km. Count down, and bang, we were on our way. By the 5th km I had hit 19:30. I immediately knew I was going to make sub 40min because now I had 21:30min for the last 5km, and although it was an uphill, it should be fine. By the time I was crossing the finish line, the clock read 39:55min. I felt like running again! That was how good I felt at the finish line because I literally jogged the last 5km having made good the first 5km. I could have gone lower, but I chose to leave it at that. I knew my body was capable of handling a sub 40min 10K. I was looking forward to my next race. Jogging has never been this good.