How I Ran My Fastest 10k Race

Sporting Life 10kThe Sporting Life 10k – It’s a tradition for more runners in Toronto, the GTA and surrounding areas than any other race in Toronto. The distance of 10k, and the downhill course attract so many runners – 20,000 or so in fact.

This is only the 2nd time I have run it having been in recovery mode from earlier Spring events like the Mississauga Marathon, or the new date of Spring time for the Goodlife Marathon.

This year, it was only 1 week after Goodlife Marathon which was a bit of a sore point with many runners around the city but that was a discussion for another day. I am a big supporter for road races in our city so I had no problems with the frequent events in our downtown core over the last several months. The more the merrier I say. Of course, non-running motorists think quite differently about this!

So I decided it was time for a 10k PB. Last year, I set my PB here with a 40:49 and wanted to get that under 40:00. Would I be able to do this only 7 days after a PB marathon effort from the weekend prior? Who knows I thought. Why not try. With reckless abandon, I planned to see what I can do. I had a good rest week which consisted of keepingĀ  ‘Project 370’ – my run streak – alive with several short runs and really didn’t push too hard on any of those day. My speed and fitness were already there from the high mileage training I put in this year so essentially the best way to be ready for the 10k was to take it easy, rest up and eat well.

Race Day came and I was feeling positive so I decided to give it my best shot. I warmed up for about 4k and although I felt a bit sluggish, I thought – hoped – I would get into a groove I could hold down. After a few pre-race strides, I felt a bit better and worked my way up to as close to the front as I could. It was jammed up there!

The gun went off and so did I, along with thousands of others. The nice slight steady downhill of the first 5k made it possible to get to the halfway mark in 19:30. It was definitely hard work to keep up the pace but I never felt like I was struggling. The 2nd half was a bit tougher as it flattened out and the fatigue in my legs from my marathon the week before and the waste buildup from the first 5k were both threatening to hold me back. I just kept repeating a mantra; You can do it, just do it, over and over again. The last 2-3 kilometers were tough. It was all I could do to maintain a sub 4 minute per km pace to make sure I met my goal. I thought the whole time I was flirting with sub 40 and that I may miss it but as I rounded the last turn and could see the finish line, and clock, I realized I was way ahead. I strolled across the finish lineĀ  in 39:20 and was privy to the joyful feeling of a personal achievement. Almost immediately the burn in my lungs and legs dissipated as I slowed down to a walk. I waited in the finish area for Anita and friends and soaked in the moment. It was one of those moments I like to savour, before my mind lets me ruin it thinking about how I can go out and do even better next time!

So, another goal accomplished and my 5th PB of 2012 (twice for 5k plus half marathon and marathon) and that ended the fast season. Now Summer is here and it’s all about maintaining mileage and getting through a few Ultra-Marathons with no need for speed. Just endurance.

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Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner

Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

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