Last week I joined my first running club, Ealing Eagles. I’ve met a few of them at various races over the past couple of years and finally got my act together to join them. The club is really friendly and it’s fantastic value. £20 for the year, which includes membership to UK Athletics.
My first session with them was last Wednesday, a 1 mile timed race through Lammas Park. Having never judged myself over a single mile I was unsure how to pace it, so I looked at a couple of calculators and decided that 6.30 was a good target. The turnout was fantastic, with around 60 runners. The women went first and we cheered them through. Then it was time for the men and a few kids who were impressively fast. I finished in 6.29.1. Just below my target so job done. It was surprisingly tough though, felt like I was running on the edge throughout.
This week I have taken part in a couple of club runs. The first was a 5 mile run, again the turnout was great and I paired up with another runner, DK. He is in the middle of training for a marathon. It was really good to have some company along the run and we finished around 40 mins, 8mm. I wouldn’t have run that fast on my own so already realising the benefit of running with a club and having people pushing you along. The second session was interval training in the park. We did 6 x 560m. Really well organised and again probably not something that I would do on my own.
On the back of this strong training week (Triathlon training so also did a couple of swims, including one last night) I decided that I should try and beat my 5k time. Before this morning I had run a 23.09 in training and a Parkrun best of 23.36. It was a perfect morning, cool with clear skies so I felt a good time was on the cards, although I was feeling a little bit stiff from last night’s swim. The goal was sub-23. I started on track with the first mile around 7.22, with most of the uphill out of the way. I still felt good so I started to increase the pace and pick off other runners one by one. Mile 2 was 7.15 and there was still plenty in the tank so I picked it up again to run Mile 3 in 7.08. Now I was feeling it, I knew that I had smashed 23 mins but wondered whether 22.30 could be reached. I picked it up a little bit more but the final stretch is uphill and on grass. I ended up just short in 22.34. Still, I destroyed my initial target, beat my PB by over half a minute and my parkrun PB by a minute. I think I can ultimately achieve a 21.30 and going to be working on knocking off the seconds over the next few months to try and achieve this.
Bike and Brick sessions planned for the bank holiday weekend.