I have been running for a while now. I started back at the end of 2013 and have been going strong ever since. I say strong, but has that been true?! I have always enjoyed the act of running – well nearly always! I didn’t care about how fast I ran or how long it took me. I just enjoyed exploring and the feeling, both in body and mind, that it gave, and still gives, me after the run. But in more recent times my speed has improved, so much so, that during the last couple of months, I have managed to PB at nearly every race I’ve taken part in. Have I peaked yet?
Strava has a great view of all the runs that are of a similar route (matched runs). The chart, above, shows all my Parkruns from October 2015 until September 2017. I have highlighted 22nd April 2017. You can see that from October to April, there has been a very slow but steady improvement. I went from 36:53 to 32:20, an impressive 4 min 33 second improvement, for my size and weight at the time. Overall, my fitness was definitely improving.
Parkrun on 22nd April took me 37:52! That was my first week of my Keto diet. Not only was my body adjusting to the removal of carbs as fuel, I also went out for drinks on the friday night! This was the description I put on Strava…
Note to self: do not consume alcohol when only in your first week of a new diet, the night before parkrun! The ketosis process and alcohol are not a good mix! Parkrun was a go slow for me, and I couldn’t find my barcode!!! Well least I ran!
🙂 🙂 🙂
That was no joke, but that was the last time I ran that slow. Ever since that day… that week, my weight went down, my energy improved and my performance improved. The following week my parkrun time was back to a normal 35 minutes. I thought nothing of it. Every week after that though, my times kept improving. I felt better in myself. It didn’t feel easier, as such, but I didn’t feel I needed to stop, and every time I looked down at my watch the pace was lower than I’d expected. Resulting in an improved time.
The 8th July was the first PB in a long while, 12 weeks in fact! I PB’d by just 1 second. I felt that there was more left “in the tank” and I could do better. I was only thinking of finally being able to get my sub 30 minute 5K that I have been seeking since I had completed the couch to 5K program all those years ago. The following day I broke my 10K PB with a lovely run round London town, at the VirginSport 10K. I was officially able to run in my newly acquired Stopsley Striders shirt – and thought that had brought me some luck. The following week I smashed my Parkrun PB again, this time shaving 27 seconds off, to bring me down to 31:55! 30:00 was in sight. I was a little wary though, I wouldn’t be able to keep this up. How could I keep this up? But on 12th August I got to 30:30 – I was very content with that time. My goal achieved! I could stop now! 🙂 The following week it went down again, 29:22.
This weekend just past, a mere 12 weeks after I first noticed improvements, I have achieved a time of 27:08!!!! I am shocked, but ecstatic, that I have surpassed my goal and it is only October. My official race distances (times) are also improving too… 5K is now 26:12 (but flatter than the Luton Parkrun course), 10K is now 58:51 and Half Marathon is now 2:07:58!!!
So, to ask the question again… Have I peaked yet? Who can tell. I know that I still have it in me to do better. I am not saying it’s been easy, by no means. At the end of the run I know I have worked hard, I can feel it in my stomach, and it’s harder to talk during the run. But I am still able to smile for the camera – it wouldn’t be me otherwise would it!!! I don’t feel that I’m pushing myself as much as those 18-20 minute racers – so it’s something I will start trying to do (push my self … not run a 20 min 5k!). Again, I do not do any formalized speed training or hill work as such, I’m just still running everyday. So I could try to incorporate that too ! Doubt it though, but I could try!
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