It’s almost been a week since the magical Blaydon Races arrived and I’m still buzzing from my performance.
Running so close to sub-40 has been the barrier I wanted to break since my first run out in 2015, I may have to wait another year, but the desire and hunger remains.
After each race, I make mental notes of what went good, what went bad and what can I improve on. I never normal blog about this, these normally come from Parkruns or tiny club races, but in this post, I figured it would be a good topic.
From the moment I got to the Bigg Market, I knew I would run quick. Call it arrogance, but there was a feeling, which I get when I know I’m going to have a good race or up for it and it was a huge confidence boost.
The second I crossed the start line, my legs were firing on on cylinders. Opening up with a 7:30 on my first mile was perfect and to lower it to near sub-7 minutes was the icing on the cake.
Focus was key throughout the run, as with any race, more importantly, did I maintain it when the route reached the Scotswood Road? I think I did. It is a very long section to run and at times you can drift in and out of focus – I’ve done it, it happens but long as you have the ability, which I feel I do, to reign it back in, it becomes a blur rather than a drag.
My time of 41:41 makes me very happy. If only I put my foot down earlier…
Last year, my head was all over the place. I wasn’t focused, I couldn’t be bothered, no matter how hard I tried to psyche myself up and locking myself out of my car threw me massively – I wasn’t there, mentally.
This year I abolished those demons but I did walk away with a few negatives.
Firstly, my food prep – it was non-existent. I had a good lunch with snacks but saved nothing to have before the race. I packed a tiny tub of fruit but didn’t realise I’d forgotten it until 30 minutes before the race.
This resulted in really uncomfortable hunger pains – it’s laughable, I know! But I was almost in agony, how I managed to continue running, I’ll never know.
Almost everyone experiences a wobble during a race, mine came as we came to Blaydon Bridge. I think running a hard pace caught up with me then, I wasn’t put down by it, in fact, it was a great indicator of what I lack.
Speaking of which…
If I can take away something from a race to apply in training, then I’m satisfied. Never have I ran a ‘perfect’ race, never – I don’t think they exist unless you run a WR, something I won’t be doing anytime soon.
As mentioned, my struggle at the bridge was down to one thing – speed endurance. When I was a sprinter, as winter tailed off, we applied SE reps to training, doing multiple runs to build that strength, so when you come over the curve in a 200m for example, there’s still something in the tank to take you home I need this for future races.
Doing tempo, hill or speed sessions will be applied leading up to the Great North Run so I can handle each mile consistently.
My food intake is normally good race day so setting reminders could work.
Other than that, I’m over the moon with how my Blaydon Races went!
If you ran, what would you improve on?
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