Pushing for Pace
Whilst I was writing an e-mail to my contact at The Running Bug HQ about my guest blog I realised that it’s less than 5 weeks to go until the Oxford Half Marathon – my first half marathon since the Great North Run in 2006 and the race that will test my performance, and that of the adidas miCoach training programme I’ve been following.
Back at the half way point of my training plan I was feeling a little unsure about the goal I’d set myself: to run the Oxford Half in under 2 hours. In theory it shouldn’t be a problem for me.
Six years ago when I completed the Great North Run I didn’t really train and I managed to complete it in around 2 hours 10 (I think – I don’t seem to be able to find my result on the BUPA Great Run website but I’ve got my medal!) which was an improvement on my 2005 time of 2:29:25.
My rebirth as a runner for my 12 month running challenge for Maggie’s Centres, that ended with me smashing my 10k PB with a time of 48:49 in March, should stand me in good stead. In fact, during those 1,100 kilometres I ran my own unofficial London half marathon along the Thames in just over 2 hours. And I’ve been training more frequently, for greater distances and probably with more effort than ever before so I’m feeling more confident now.
Especially as, during the last few runs, I’ve been more comfortable with stretching my stride and increasing my cadence. The training seems to be paying off, even if a lot of it has not been at super quick pace. If I discount the 10 minutes of warming up and cooling down away from my session tonight, I managed to average under 8 minute miles for 2.5 miles, in relative comfort. I know that this isn’t representative of my race pace, however it is an indicator that my legs and lungs are becoming more capable and in turn I should be able to push for the bit of pace I need over the 13.1 miles of the Oxford Half Marathon. Bring it on!