Race report 21/9/2002

Race: 12 th Altstadtlauf, Friedberg, North of Frankfurt, Germany
Distance: 10k
Date: Saturday 21 September 2002
Weather: Overcast, relatively cool (15 degrees), no wind (i.e. perfect conditions).
Course description: Four flat laps of old town.
Time: 39:01
With two weeks to go to the marathon I have been broadly following Bob Glovers intermediate competitors marathon programme, which suggests a 10k race prior to a two-week taper. I identified this race about two weeks ago as judging by the portion of the field less than 40 minutes in last years race I felt it worth a pop. The potential to get some early benefit from all the mileage I’ve been doing outweighing the possible downside of either injury or the negative psychological effect of not running a PB.
I’ve been reading the heart rate threads during the last week and taking into account my own views as well I’ve decided to bin the HRM for races (in order to focus more on running!)
I realise when registering that this race is part of a series so am more than a little concerned about the number of exceeding fit looking club runners around me at the start, including the obvious winners (African descent and thin as rakes!). So I settle for a start position three to four rows back.
We’re off and without my HRM I have nothing to gauge my start pace so I try and hold back a little as 50-60 runners speed off into the distance. I resist the urge to chase. I’m determined not to look at my watch until 5k but as we run through 1k I hear someone shout “3:45”, a bit quick but in some way I’m relieved as I would have hated to be outside 4:00 minutes but it shows that my holding back is more in the mind than in the legs (it also shows I’m right not to chase the pack). I try and settle down thinking that if I can lose 5-10 seconds per km it will keep me in good shape for the second half but I’m not yet thinking about a time.
Into the second lap (of four) and I see the 5k marker (that we will pass immediately into the third lap!) and I use that as my beacon to pull me round the second lap. I seem to be holding my position but I’m worried that were all slowing together – I take a breather tucking in behind two sturdy looking chaps moving along at a good clip, they’re not too keen on this, one speeds up, the other moves to one side. I go really wide to give myself a clear run.
(continued to part two)


  • (part 2)
    Round for the second lap and the 5k marker in sight, I look at my watch, 19:10, I’m really pleased, still feeling in reasonable shape I start to think that sub-40 might be on which gives me a huge mental lift. Tactic now is to focus on the graveyard kilometres (between five and seven) where tiredness can easily lead to losing 20 seconds per km. I set myself the target of 27:10 for 7km (i.e. fours minutes for each of the next 2km) to keep me on target. I work really hard and get through in 27:11.
    I’m confident I can run the last 3k in under 13 minutes, if I can’t I want shooting, so sub 40 is now definitely on the cards. I start counting down the kilometres; I know where all the markers are as I’ve run past them all already. Again my target is 4:00 minutes per kilometre and I’m near enough to the finish now so as not to worry about blowing up. Through 8 km in 31:13 (4:02 split) and 9 km in 35:07 (3:54).
    I know now that all I’ve got to do is finish and I’ll be under the magical 40 minutes but I’ve been working so hard to get this far that those elated feeling will have to wait as I struggle a few urges to recycle my lunch.
    The thought flits into my head that maybe a sub-39 is a possibility, but my legs have other thoughts and whilst I think I’m accelerating through the last km as the clock comes into sight I realise its close. I sprint (a little!) but it just isn’t there, however I’m delighted with a final km of 3:54 and a finish of 39:01 (second half 5km split of 19:51), more than 2 and a half minutes off my best for this year and absolutely stuffing one of my key goals for 2002.
    I think not using the HRM was the right choice, instead relying on pace perception but more importantly worrying less about exceeding a particular threshold and keeping focus on running.
  • Martin,

    Great performance - congratulations on a brilliant PB. Sub-39 now the target for next year?
    That expression for the stretch after halfway in a 10K - "graveyard kilometres" is just perfect. It very nearly did for me yesterday as you know.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Good report Martin, that was sooooooooooo close to beating 39 minutes. Do you think your marathon training has also helped your 10k pace?
  • Well done , excellent time.
  • Apologies Martin for not congratulating you on the Training thread this morning, a little bit pre-occupied. You must be really pleased with that time, Well Done!!
  • MartinH,
    awesome performance mate. Looks like you've really gotten into shape sticking with your marathon training. CONGRATS
  • Thanks for the congrats.

    Drew - I'm sure the marathon training has helped in terms of stamina - the shortest run I've been doing for the last few weeks has been about 1 hour. I was a bit worried that I hadn't been doing enough pacey running and that was partly the reason for a go at 10k.

    Mike - Next years target really depends on keeping healthy. I started this year just with the object of getting back into reasonable shape. If I was being ambitious I would say sub-37 would be next years target.
  • Congratulations! Some day I'm going to do that. BTW have you gone under 1:30 for a half? I can't decide which is tougher (i.e. 40 min 10K or 90 min half marathon).
  • Results now up:


    As I suspected a high quality field which only put me in 64th (1 second slower) - winner was a seriously quick 29:46.

    DavidB - haven't run a sub 1:30 half yet but that my other target before the end of 2002. My main difficulty at the moment is finding one to run!
  • Well done Martin. Great time. Something a bit beyond my wildest dreams but I WILL keep on dreaming (and training). Actually I don't have a 10K PB so any race I run will be one.

    Glad you didn't crock yourself. Good luck with the mara..

    All the best,

  • Wow MartinH. I don't normally read this thread but just over 39 - impressive.

    You're a hero !
  • Excellent Martin, well done! That Marathon time is looking good.
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