With the strong possibility of having to cope with a very sharp 3 miler a week tomorrow, in a regional championship event, I felt it was important that I had to inject some pace into the running today. For me there's no better place to do that than to touch the tartan at the track. Bearing in mind that the fastest mile I've managed all week was 8.24, at the very least, I was looking to the pace being maintained below 8's throughout.
Rather than tackle a set of short, sharp repititions and risk pulling something in recovering 1/2 marathon legs, I opted for a 5k tempo effort. Ideally then my 5k pace (20.35) plus 10%. So anything around 22.40 would be a good solid run.
I arrrived at the Seedhill track mid morning. Not one single runner was taking the opportunity to enhance their speed on a near perfect spring morning. No runners from Pendle, who are based there, nor local clubs Clayton or Trawden. On entering the facility I read a notice saying that as from April 1st. the track and gym will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Gym users can go to another council facility but the few runners will have to squeeze through the railings and make alternative showering arrangements. Risking being sued for trespass, of course!
Anyway, it means that the inside lane is clear and there's no congestion. Pleasingly the tempo run proved to be a good acceleration exercise. A 58 200, then laps of 1.56., 1.54, 1.54, 1.53......7.37 (mile) 1.51,1.52,1.50, 1.46 ( 7.19) 1.48, 1.48, 1.46, 1.44 (7.06). 23.03 for the 5k. After a tough week which was indicative of how much that a tough half marathon had taken out of me it was good to be moving well, up on the forefoot and driving on that last mile particularly.
Off to put my feet up now and spend the afternoon watching all the races making up the Inter Counties Chamionships taking place today at Birmingham. The team at FASTRAX have had a very busy time producing vests for the event. Cornwall, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Hertfordshire, West Wales amongst others. We'll be hoping to see Steph Twell and Andy Vernon of Hampshire wearing our vests and making the G.B. team; but most particularly will take pride in seeing our local Yorkshire athletes wearing their new FASTRAX vests as shown here. Amongst the Yorkshire teams will be the father and son pairing of John Convery, running the senior event and his son, Sam, contesting the under 13 boys race.
Good luck to them all!