I’ve done it, yes I’ve officially run a 5k. Also not only have I done it but I’ve now done it twice.
I completed the first one just over a week ago, last Saturday on 7th November. Then I did my second today, in Brisbane of all places.
My initial plan was to take part in one of the Park Run events which are like a weekly community organised 5k event. They are not only based in the UK but in many places across the world. Who knows where I could be in the world looking to run a 5k.
Last Saturday was supposed to be my first Park Run as I planned to take part in the Humber Bridge Park event. The weather however was horrendous. It was really chucking it down with rain.
This really put me off going to the Park Run. The reasons being that firstly I wasn’t familiar with the course so it seemed like far from an ideal way to start. Also with it being in a park, the heavy rain made me fear that it would be too muddy. I didn’t know how well my trainers would gripe in puddles and mud and it would also risk ruining them for a while.
So a run at home it was.
My first 5k run
I had a rough idea of a relatively straightforward 5k course from my home so I thought it would be easy to follow. In all fairness it was.
As seems to often be the case now I felt the strains of the run from early on. I keep getting the self doubt and concerns as to whether I can complete the distance which is my target.
After a while I was able to tune out of the fact that I was getting drenched, this was no light downpour. Also seeing the odd fellow runner out and about helped enforce the idea that I was not the only crazy one in this weather.
I don’t know why but I had a secret ambition to crack a 30 minute 5k run. My thoughts being that I often manage a mile in under 10 minutes so surely I can manage 3 miles at under 10 minutes each. After all the length of 5km is 3.10686 miles, or 3.11 miles for ease.
Somehow I didn’t quite manage that milestone this time. I completed my first 5k in 30.56 minutes. I guess I missed the time target by some way.
On a positive front I ran my first 5k! I was delighted at the fact that I maintained a relatively stable pace, in testing weather conditions.
I also completed the full run without walking. Building up my endurance is something I’m working on so to complete a 5k 2 weeks earlier than I should per my training plan was quite an achievement.
My second 5km run
So here I am in Brisbane, Australia. What a wonderful place to be.
Since I was travelling early in the week I hadn’t run between my first 5k and this Thursday, effectively missing a scheduled running day.
In spite of this I found out that I was very close to the riverside path boardwalk. This was absolutely perfect for runners and in fact is very busy in the morning with joggers. The Brisbane boardwalk is a great place to run.
On Thursday I completed a more steady 2.5 miles as I wanted to continue getting used to these longer distances.
Then today was the big day, another crack at the 5k!
It was close to 5:30 am, dawn had broken and the humidity was already rising as were the temperatures. It was the best time of the day to run and I was one of the first ones there.
I’d read quite recently that a common mistake for new runners, like myself, is that they check their running watch too often. Well advice taken I’ve tried to check my watch less, especially when I have an indication of distance from routes I’ve run before.
This morning I got off to a flyer, almost literally. I’ve never been great at pacing myself well and this was probably the worst run I’ve ever made for pacing.
I felt jaded early on in the run and just suspected this was down to the pre-run stretches not being effective enough. I also got a minor stitch for the first time in months.
I was baffled by this since I didn’t feel as though my pace was significantly different than normal.
Yet as soon as my watch beeped to indicate that I’d finished my first mile I was in shock. When I looked I’d run it in 7.116 minutes! That was incredibly fast and very unsustainable. If I run under a 9.30 minute mile I’m pleased. I’ve never run such a fast mile and I’m certainly not a fast runner.
Clearly I had to slow down and pace myself.
Gradually I did whilst going through the continuous moments of doubt. Could I keep running, could I finish, could I beat my previous time?
Well I’m sorry to say that eventually tiredness got the better of me. After resisting the urge to begin walking for so long I eventually did. I’d just pushed myself too much.
A mix of walking and running is a popular training method for building up distance running. I however had always focused on trying to run as far as possible without walking. Now for the first time in months I’d walked part of a run.
Not only did I do this once but I actually did it 3 times on this 5k run.
My endurance was not so good today, especially after setting off at such a crazy rate and not realising it.
All things considered I did finish the 5k and ran the final part to the end. Compared to last week, time wise I’d completely smashed it!
I completed a 5k run today in a time of 28.52 minutes!
Overall this is under my 30 minute target so I have to be very happy with that. I am however disappointed that I failed badly to keep a steady pace. I also didn’t have the endurance this time to complete the full run as a run. I can only hope for better on the next 5k. Who knows this might become a frequent Saturday occurrence.