Askern 10 mile race report

drewdrew ✭✭✭
About once or twice a year you can expect to experience a day when everything goes according to plan - super flat course, no wind, right temperature, feeling fit, etc.

Well today wasn't one of them!

The Askern "10" is held on an undulating course, although how a one mile climb can be classed as undulating is beyond me. The slight wind and humid conditions didn't help either. I'd also been feeling a bit "off" all week. Well that's all the excuses, here's what happened.

A crowd of about 800 runners started. 1st mile, slightly downhill took 5:48. I'd expected to do it in about 5:30, oh dear!

2nd & 3rd miles averaged 6:13 pace. Still on schedule for 61 minutes. Heart rate was hovering around 154, rather than the 157/8 I'd been aiming for.

4th & 5th miles were mostly uphill and I reached the half way point in 31:36. At this stage I wasn't really racing, having accepted that I was having an off day and would be lucky even to get a PB. Waved to my clubmate Terry who was about 60 seconds ahead of me on the other side of the road and who I'd beaten by 60 secs in our last 10k.

6th mile was downhill. This was where the speed sessions helped as I passed several runners. This was my fastest mile of the race done at 5:38 pace, heart rate slightly increased to 156.

Between miles 7 & 8 I simply aimed to catch as many runners as I could. Pace remained pretty constant at about 6:15 pace. HR steady at about 155.

I could still see Terry about 200 yards ahead of me but there was no chance of catching him and I just wanted to get to the finish.

9th & 10th miles averaged 6:08 pace.

Final time 1:2:14, which was a new PB by 4 seconds! Average pace of 6:13. Average HR was a dismal 154, not even 85% MHR!

Waited for Lamby, who finished strongly in a new PB time of 1:31 (well done)

Winner finished in 51 minutes, which I believe was 2 minutes off his PB of 49 minutes.

Unfortunately I've only got 4 weeks to sort myself out before Glasgow - sub 1:19 looks extremely optimistic now.


  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Well run Drew. A PB is a PB and just think what you should be able to do on a better course and feeling better in yourself.

    Good luck for Glasgow!!
  • georgegeorge ✭✭✭
    Drew. You can only congratulate yourself on the PB. Well done . And even with your disappointment, you are still an inspiration to us mere mortals who take 92 minutes to run 10 miles !!!!!
  • Drew

    good man, as hilly and george have said "a PB is a PB" so you should be patting yourself on the back. I can sympathise though as I had a similar experience to yours at the Notts 5 just a week or two back and it is frustrating not being able to produce the goods on the day when you know you have it in you. Best of luck in Glasgow, sorry you won't be at Robin Hood.

    All the best

  • Well done Drew (and Lamby).

    You guys are fast. I just want to know how you can be so fast and so lucid about each mile of the race - even on an easy run it's all a blur to me...
  • Interesting account Drew.
    It's still a PB - and on a tough course.

    Without being there of course it's difficult to appreciate the effect the gradients had, but there were some wildly fluctuating mile times. The HRs you mentioned, however, hardly vary at all - was this a deliberate strategy on your part, to maintain a fairly constant HR? At what point(s), if any, did it go higher (e.g. > 160)?
    Why, if you were looking for 61 minutes, were you unhappy with a 5:48 first mile which you describe as only "slightly downhill"? 5:30 is absolutely flying.
    What was it convinced you it was "not your day"? Your account gives the impression it was failing to hit that 1 mile target and subsequently being unable to raise your HR to its target level. If so, it seems that conviction hit you a bit early in the race. Did you perhaps feel subconsciously that, having felt off-colour in the week previous, you shouldn't have been racing at all?

    Wrt Glasgow - 4 weeks away is a fair while. Enough for you to have the few days off I (and you?) think you need for some R&R, and subsequently pick up your schedule again.

    All the best
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Mike, I did a 10k about 2 months ago, which used the same start and first mile. During that event the first mile was done in 5:30, which led to a good PB.

    The constant HR just happens. I'm not fit enough yet to attack climbs or other runners. I tend not to let my HRM control my racing and use it mostly for feedback for future training sessions. The only time during a race where I find it useful is when I feel as though I should be going faster, like today. Several times it dropped down to 150 and I was able to pick up the pace again. It peaked at 164, right at the finish.

    My training over the past 6 weeks hasn't been right either, too many track sessions, not enough hard long runs or tempo runs. I've also just recovered from a slight chest infection and two weeks in Minorca didn't help either. BUT I didn't feel bad enough not to race and am glad I did.

    I don't think I need a break, just a different training routine, which I've now sussed.

    But it has been a good learning experience. I do feel that it is important to review your training every 6 weeks.
  • Drew
    Having run the same race, the Askern 10 is not a super flat course so to have achieved a PB is fantastic.
    One question though, is using a heart rate monitor a help or a hinderance ? The reason I ask is that you seem more dissapointed with your overall HR than your time. This may well have contributed to your conviction being questioned so early - just a thought
  • Well done Drew, it was a tough course and the humidity didn't help, nor did the bizarre finish whereby you turned sharp left then round what looked like a dog track for the last 200m...

    I was a bit disappointed not to get the long-sought after sub90, but then again, if Drew finds it tough, it's OK for us mere mortals to have a hard time and I did feel I ran strongly and confidently (was trying out new tactic of not looking at watch til final mile and letting my body set the pace). Having anohter crack at 10M next weekend at the Kirkby Stephen run, where I shall be trying to persuade my mum to try out the 2K fun run!!!
  • Well done, and I'm sure Paula wanted to get below 30 equally.

    And I enjoyed reading your report and all the comments. The attention to detail, the planning, strategy, and the analysis. I'll share in all that til I can do it myself.

    Bravo and thanks.
  • Well done on your new PB, good effort,
    had hoped to run it myself, unfortunately did not feel so good in the morning, perhaps having a cury the night before was not such a good idea.
    Dragged myself out for a run in the afternoon and really regreted not going as i felt great.
    Looking for somewhere to run next weekend now.
  • Hey Alfie! Sorry to miss you yesterday, hope you're feeling better. I'm doing the kirkby Stephen 10 next weekend if you're interested, should be good, otherwise, I think there's a 10K in yorks somewhere...
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Jon, using the HR certainly helps. In this instance it merely confirmed how I felt.
  • I believe there are a couple of possibles,Cudworth six and a 10K in Denby Dale which are quite close to me. Though generally i prefer something longer.
    I am now fully recovered. I shall be out tonight for my usual monday night run.
  • Can't tempt you up to cumbria then?!
  • Drew

    Interesting one, as they say a PB is a PB and its one step nearer your target of a sub 60 ten (which incidently is in my book probably the hardest 'milestone' for a good club runner).

    Your comments to Mike regarding HR are interesting i.e. using your HRM as a source of feedback rather than a racing aid. I found in my last race that keeping your HR in line with my own perceived lactate threshhold HR really helped me to run much more evenly. Also in training I use it over hilly courses to make sure I don't burn out on the climbs.

    In my last tempo session using the HR I was feeling a bit rough but pushed to my tempo HR and was able to finish the session in relative comfort whereas if I had been running as I felt I probably would have slowed down.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Martin, I've found that when I'm feeling good I can maintain specific HR's quite easily. On an off day, like Sunday, I just couldn't increase my pace and HR.

    One race where I think the HRM is invaluable is in a marathon. I would always go off too fast, unless I stuck to my goal HR.

    What I have learned from Sunday's race is that my goal HR for longer tempo runs should be about 154/155. This should equate to about 6:30 pace on the hilly circuits I use.
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