- What? Covid 10K Time Trial
- When? Sept 26, 2020
- How far? 10km
- Where? Ottawa, Canada
- Strava activity: Strava activity
- Finish time: 40:26
- < 42:42 PR? ✅
- < 41:00? ✅
- < 40:00? ❌
In the ~10 weeks leading up to the race, I followed Pftizinger’s base training schedule to 97km. I pretty much followed the schedule to a T. I only missed a few runs towards the end of the schedule, due to being busy at work and not really having the energy to get up early enough to run.
Most importantly, I kept all my running very easy, at a 5:20 pace or slower, except for long runs, which I ran at a progressive pace from about 5:30 to 5:00 by the end, as recommended by Pftizinger.
I think it helped a lot that half of my runs started with Steph, which meant I was doing 4-6km at a 6:30 or slower pace, before continuing on the rest of the run. It was a good way to keep my place slow and I rarely felt fatigued by the end of any runs.
The day before the race I took my Nike Next% shoes out for their first run. I had bought these back in April.
The morning of the race I woke up, had a single shot of espresso, and half a peanut butter and jam sandwich. I wasn’t in a rush to get my race started and was up for about 1.5 hours before Steph and I headed out the door. I did a 3K warm up jog to my race track (the Rideau Canal) with her, then she left and I continued my warm up.
My warm up included a couple sets of butt kicks, a couple sets of cross overs, a couple sets of skipping, and a couple sets of leg hip openers. Then, I did some dynamic stretching — leg swings, arm swings. And finally, I wrapped up my warm up with 4x60m sprints. After the final sprint, I was ready to start my race.
I began my race at the Dow’s Lake Pavilion, running northeast along the canal towards Corktown Bridge and back.
Off the bat, the pace was quick, but comfortable. I noticed my heart rate had jumped to the mid 170s in the first few minutes, which I found surprising. Usually my heart rate climbs a bit slower than that in my past 10K races. I was wearing a chest strap I’ve been using for over a year now for heart rate monitoring, so I was confident it was accurate. I decided to have faith in my training, and continued at my current pace, which I was trying to hold at just above 4:00/km
The course that I picked for my race was, like I mentioned, along the Rideau Canal, which is extremely flat. The final total elevation gain of my race ended up being just 12m in the end. I had never had such a flat course for a 10K before, so I was looking forward to benefiting from that.
The first half of the race went quick and easy. I hadn’t felt like I was fading at all. By the second half, my legs were starting to feel heavy, but my breathing wasn’t becoming too laboured, which is what has always stopped me in the past. I think my legs felt heaviest around the 7.5km mark, but just knowing that I had made it that far without fading at all helped keep my mind centred on continuing. I managed to stay under my 4:06/km target pace until the 9th km, but I knew by that point that I would be able to sprint the end of the race.
The final km was the fastest, but felt much faster than it actually was. I started picking up the pace with around 800m remaining, then at 400m I tried to step it up one more notch, until the last 100m, where I hit an all out sprint. Once my watch hit the 10.0km mark, I stopped, and instantly my legs turned to jelly.
Immediately after the race I spent about 15 minutes just sitting by the canal, catching my breath and updating Strava. The canal is about 3km from my apartment, so I wanted to take a break before I did a light job back.
The rest of the day was pretty easy going. However, the following day I headed out to Gatineau Park for a 40km bike ride 😬