Pacing: the perils of irrational exuberance


It rained a lot today, and getting to the track it was distinctly chilly, or at least as chilly as it gets outdoors in Singapore in November. That meant I was quite optimistic about tonight, as cooler air presumably meant it would be easier to run.

However, all the rain meant it was even more humid (more humidous?) than usual, so following our usual warm-up I was already dripping with sweat.

Tonight was 3×10 minutes, with a two minute break in between. Everyone went off very slowly on the first lap, probably wary of going out too hard, but I’m nothing if not consistent, which means I put in one silly lap part way through, 3 seconds faster than necessary:

1:38.51
1:35.31
1:33.43
1:36.63
1:35.67
1:34.33

I hadn’t realized until now when I reviewed my times how bad that last lap was: almost two seconds quicker than intended. I’d thought after the first silly one I’d got that out of my system, but apparently not.

The second ten minutes proceeded much more sensibly: 4 laps within half a second of planned pace, and only going slightly off the boil for the fifth and sixth ones.

1:36.42
1:36.15
1:36.26
1:37.63
1:38.01
1:36.46

… Then of course the wheels fell off on the last ten minutes. I got the first lap just where I intended, and then went off the boil by almost four seconds, and then got slower, and slower, and slower. I’m sure that silly 1:33 had something to do with it, but it also feels like I’m now capable of 20 minutes at 1:36 pace, and no more. So it was last week, so it will be next week.

1:36.69
1:40.37
1:42.33
1:43.93
1:45.43
1:43.37

Mind you, next week will be yet more embarrassing, as that would be a consistent 15 minutes, followed by a ten minute stretch which would be half good and half a collapsing spinning whirlwind of fail, finished off with five minutes of soul destroying plodding. Better try to keep a lid on it in the early stages.

3x10 progression

3x10consistent

I failed to run yesterday, which means so far this week I’ve done only a forty minute easy run on Monday, plus 28:54 of warming up and cooling down today, so overall that’s an easy:hard ratio of 69:34, or almost exactly 2:1. To get back to the ideal 80/20 before the weekend, I need another seventy minutes of running, which is achievable if I get a decent night’s sleep tonight and tomorrow, and there’s no haze, and I have sufficient willpower to get out each morning. (I miss spinning this week because we have a friend in town and lunch is better than cycling in a darkened room, which is actually a boon as it means I don’t have as hard a training load as last week.)

However, I also have mandatory fun on Friday night: there’s a lads night out from the office that means constant carousing for five or more hours. None of them have a 16-month old noise machine to deal with on Saturday morning and they’re too young to understand what a hangover is, so I worry about the destruction that this will wreak upon me. Especially as it’s probably pints and pints of beer that will knock me sideways. There’s not even the option of trying to outgun them with a high intensity blitz of shots in the first hour and then sneaking home, as there are a few Brits and Aussies who will be immune to such tactics; and tonight at the track already shows I can’t be trusted to pace myself.


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