I thought I would give a local 10 mile road race a go today. I rarely enter road races but given that it was a local event I thought I could use this to see where I am in my training and how much work is needed for the London Marathon.
Tadley 10 is a fast course with very little hills to tackle. It is quite a beautiful run as it is takes various country roads in and around the local countryside in Hampshire. The weather was close to perfect - no wind and although it started off a little cold by the time we kicked off the sun was in the sky.
A good field turned out today with plenty of local teams entered - Reading, Tadley, Chineham, Winchester and of course my own team, Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC.
I think the best way to describe how my race went is by looking at my mile splits for the event:
Mile 1 - 5.08 (Min Mile)
Mile 2 - 5.02
Mile 3 - 5.20
Mile 4 - 5.29
Mile 5 - 5.39
Mile 6 - 5.34
Mile 7 - 5.48
Mile 8 - 5.27
Mile 9 - 5.49
Mile 10 - 5.49
Total: 10 Miles 55.34
Can you see the pattern? Although I am generally happy with the time, I am not at all happy with those splits. I could throw the usual complaints into the pot to explain the drop in form going through the race such as it being my first time on this course and I had ran a 93 mile training week last week, however I feel this these points had probably not made too much of a difference.
At this stage I think it is probably down to a) a lack of race experience; and b) a lack of interval / speed training in my weekly training schedule. Ideally, I need to be at a place by Spring next year to be able to maintain 5mm -5.10mm over a 26 mile stretch. I certainly have the base training and will start to focus on speed from December onwards.
Anyway, back to the race. I pushed out quite hard for the first couple of miles keeping up a steady pace of about 5mm. It was not long before I heard the footsteps of someone behind me and I knew they were going a lot quicker than mine! In fact, it turned out to be the event winner Matt King who went on to finish with a course record of just over 54 minutes. After about mile 6 he was at least a minute or so ahead of me. An amazing runner. What was funny a guy manning a cross road at about mile 9 said in a serious fashion 'the guy ahead is only about a minute away...' I am not entirely sure what he wanted me to try, but trying to knock out a 4 minute mile on the 10th was not really going to happen!
The race did not really pose too many problems from a technical perspective and I felt strong enough to ignore the first 2 water stations (at a bout mile 3 and 6) while taking some water (generally in the face, chest and everywhere other than my mouth) at about 8 and half miles in.
I finished feeling quite strong an ended up as second man about a minute or so after Matt (Sorry I don't have the exact times at this stage).
Reading Road runners won the team event.
Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC did well with John Biggs coming in as the second Basingstoke male and Katie as first Basingstoke lady.
All in all a really enjoyable race and definitely worth doing if you need to add some speed into your training or looking for a 10 mile PB. A Great atmosphere and brilliantly organised.
Course website is here.