Sub 40 Minutes in Sub 60 Weather

06 Apr

I’ve been planning to write a post about winter running for a while now. However, last I checked, spring has officially started, so it seems like the time to comment on my winter running experience has passed. Long story short: I ran about 20 miles per week for the whole winter. I also had a bit of success in indoor track meets. Overall, it feels awesome to be entering April having run for the past 5 months, rather than starting from scratch as usual.

Today, I ran a local 10K. Since I didn’t do many runs longer than 4 miles over the winter, I saw the race as a long tempo run. Toeing the line just before 10:30 this morning in beautiful 50 degree weather, I decided to run without my watch, and just see what I could do with a consistent push.

The first 5K was great. I was able to keep a decent pace without tiring myself out too much. Another runner I know caught up to me and we worked off each other a lot. When we came to the 5K turnaround, they called out that my split was 19:46.

19:46 was great, but it also presented a problem. I’ve never run a sub 40-minute 10K (it’s possible that I ran one in high school, but I think I only ran one 10K back then, and I don’t remember the time). In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ran sub 44. So, I was presented with this fortuitous and spur-of-the-moment opportunity to run sub 40 here, and that meant that the second half of the race was going to get pretty hard. Almost immediately I felt like I was hitting a wall. Luckily the way back to the finish was net-(gradual)-downhill. By focusing on taking quick strides and just pushing as much as possible, I was able to get back and finish in 39:01 (a negative split!). This is a good start to the warm season; I normally start the summer with a 2-month period of getting back in shape, but now I get to enjoy working off of a decent base. Woo!


Posted by on April 6, 2008 in No Easy Days


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3 responses to “Sub 40 Minutes in Sub 60 Weather

  1. 'Bobby'

    April 7, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Nice job!
    My two 10Ks: one at the beginning of Senior-year x-c, road race, and Lauren beat me. My time was somewhere in the forties. TWO was at franklin park, and I don’t remember if you were there or not. Same season, a little later, we head over to Franklin to do a workout–something like 2 minutes hard-run, 1 minute “easy” run–which takes us twice around the HS 5K loop. I recall the “easy” segments being the hardest part. And I think we might all have been under 40 minutes for the whole affair.

  2. 'Bobby'

    April 7, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Actually, it reminds me of the time I came around the first lap of an 800M hearing the time-guy yell out 59! I thought to myself, well that’s it–I’ve never run below 2 before, and if there’s anything I do well, it’s even splitting…but it was not to be. That was the last race I ever ran – 2:03.xx

  3. halfawake

    April 7, 2008 at 9:10 am

    The only legit 10K race I remember from high school was in Walpole. That was a road race, maybe the one you’re thinking of. I don’t remember ever doing a 10K at Franklin park, but memories from that era are fleeting. There may have also been some sub-40 10Ks en route for longer runs with matt + john.

    Your story about the 800 is cool. I think splits are a really interesting part of running, especially in track. It can be hard to tell if you control your splits, or if they control you. In this 10K, when me and the guy I was racing with (Sam) heard the 5K split, Sam said “well, I guess that means breaking 40 will be really hard!” and I responded with “We’ve gotta make this happen now! Let’s reel in the guy ahead of us!”. Soon after that Sam put on a surge and left me in the dust ;-). But I kept him in my sight until the end, and that helped.


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