Last year I used the same approach to set myself race time targets...here's how I got on:
5K - Target was sub-25 minutesThis was a tough one- despite parkrunning almost every week, my 5K speed has not been a strong point and I'd often rather have a relatively easy social run than go out and smash it. Back in September though, after a summer of lots of cycling and running, I ran naked (without my Garmin) and was amazed to clock 24 minutes dead. Boom!
10K - Target was sub-55 minutes
This one was hard fought! I ran lots of 10Ks in the first half of the year but it was the flattish Huntingdon 10K that saw me sneak under my target time with 54.55. Since then I've run 2 others in better shape and was on track to knock a chunk off that until I discovered that not one, but both courses were short. After 9.5K of hard effort I did not want to see the finish line- I wanted to carry on and claim a real PB! Turns out that I don't really mind a rubbish goodie bag, or dodgy toilets - I just want a course that's the length it's supposed to be (though toilets and goodie bag welcome too...). So, goal achieved, but still felt my time wasn't reflective of my form - step up the New Years Eve Ely 10K. I'm currently recovering on the sofa from this one (first half a dream of slight downhills and wind behind us, second half like trying to run in treacle whilst someone aimed a hair dryer full blast on cold mode at your face, with a hill for added pleasure. And a bagpiper) but with a shiny new PB of 52.31 - thank you Ely Runners, I loved it but maybe turn the hair dryers down for next year!
Half Marathon - Target was Sub-2 hours
The difficulty with this target was the lack of opportunities. I'd run my first half in November 2012 in 2.07 so decided sub-2 was a realistic target. Despite training hard, the snow at the Cambridge Half (in March) coupled with poor fuelling contributed to a big but disappointing PB of 20 seconds over 2 hours. The pressure was on for the Royal Parks but luckily as regular readers will know, this race more than delivered and I finished delighted with 1.57.35.
So all 3 targets smashed...time to relax? No, of course not - I'm a runner and therefore never satisfied! In 2014 my targets are as follows...
5K - 23 something - my focus for the year isn't on speed but I'd like to hope this is still realistic!
10K - 50 something - one day, I'll be aiming for sub-50 but not quite sure I'm ready for that yet!
Half - sub 1.55 - bring it on Cambridge!
Marathon (the new one!):
A- Finish it
B - Sub 4.30
C - Sub 4.15
Here's to 2014!