Planned this as a pre-Abingdon warm up race, but wasn't expecting to set a great time as there were quite a few hills and twists/turns in the course and I've not raced well at shorter distances previously just before marathons.
But it was a surprisingly good performance - I took the two 1km-long hills fairly steadily (at around 0.5-1.5 km and 5.5-6.5 km) and managed to run really strongly on the corresponding downs, and just felt pretty good throughout holding a good strong tempo pace right to the end.
Final time was an "official" 10km PB by 7 seconds (though I've still done 18 seconds quicker in training). Really pleased with that, especially after the disappointing 10km races I did in July, on an up-and-down course that I'm sure wasn't the quickest, and on something that wasn't a key target race. Hopefully bodes well for the marathon in 2 weeks' time.
Somewhat frustrating that I can pull off a half-decent 10km race performance when I'm not really going for it, but can't do so when I am! But some possible things to learn from this -
(i) I don't need a really flat course to set a good time
(ii) I've actually done more interval sessions during marathon training in the last few months than I did before the 10km races in July - that must have helped
(iii) the early hills forced me not to start too quickly, and the conservative pacing really helped - I was 38 seconds slower at half way today than at the Elmridge 10k in July, and ended up 31 seconds quicker overall
(iv) maybe having a bit less pressure on myself (i.e. not thinking "I must set a PB") helped me run a bit better
(v) sometimes I guess it's just about feeling good on the day, which is hard to predict or get right - but today was a good one.
Race splits - 4:06, 3:51, 3:49, 3:44, 4:03, 4:00, 3:47, 3:43, 3:54, 3:47.Results
- 25th out of 401