There are times when race-day things just don’t go to plan, and the disappointing performance leaves you thinking about it. This week-end was time for me to come back to short distance with a 10K race close to home in Kawasaki.
- Date: November 1st
- Start Time: 10:15 AM
- Distance: 10 km
- Bib Number: 500
- Time: 00:41:02
- Average Speed: 14.7 km/h
- Overall Ranking: 10/247
Probably one of the most enjoyable moments of my day! For once, commuting from home to the starting line took me only 30 minutes. To be fairly honest, I have been tired going to sleep on parking lots the night before my races. Anyways, I took off from home at 8:00 AM for a start around 10:15 AM in-between Yokohama and Tokyo.
It was rainy and windy as I arrived in the river bed of Tamagawa River; also, I realized that we would have to run on gravels. It clearly didn’t please me because I was wearing my fully minimalist shoes: the Brooks Pure Drift.
Placed in front of the pack at the starting line, the race organizer noticed me immediately. Yes, I was again one of the only foreigners showing up for this race! He kindly explained me the course in English, which I appreciated a lot.
He sent us off at 10:15 AM sharp, and I quickly followed three of what looked like the best runners within the crowd. I had decided to start slowly, but ended up running the first kilometer in 3’45 min/km. This was probably 5 seconds faster than my initial plan. Also, it was taking me a lot of energy as we were running on gravels and facing the wind.
The course consisted of two 5-kilometer laps with each lap being a run back and forth to a pin from the starting line. Long story short, we were running straight to the pin and coming back! This reminded me how trail running in the mountains was way more fun. Anyways, I passed the 2.5-kilometer mark in 00:09:45; meaning that I was clearly behind my standards. I continued to lose ground and passed the 5-kilometer mark 00:19:45; I was ranked 8th at the time.
The second lap became a Way of the Cross for me, and I started to analyze my race as I was still running. I passed the 7.5-kilometer mark in 00:30:24, and ended off crossing the finish line in 00:40:57 on my watch. I took the 10th place out of 247 participants.
Quite upset about my performance, I have tried to analyze it for the past 24 hours. I read a lot of information on the topic, and here is my prospect.
First, I have decided to dismiss all the poor race day excuses:
- Course not certified: Yes indeed, we ran on gravels in windy and rainy conditions! But it doesn’t explain why I was 3 minutes behind my PB.
- Bad tactic: I certainly ran faster at the beginning, but I should have been able to hold such pace for 10 kilometers.
- Not focused: This is probably a very valid point, but I am dismissing it as well. I initially signed up to this race to work on my speed as shorter trail running races where coming up. Still, I was keen to perform well on this race!
What happened then?
- Overtraining: I have no doubt this is the best explanation of all! How can you perform all year long when you run so many hard races? I have been running 15 races so far this year, and I ran 4 hard trail running races within the past 8 weeks. For instance, I only took one day-off since my last race two weeks ago! I clearly have to change my perspective on training if I want to pass a new milestone in my running journey…
- Lack of speed work: Then, I have not been training for such events for so long! It was pretentious to think that I could approach my PB with so little interval training! I have been training towards a goal that is to run 100-mile races next year, and this clearly goes against 10K performances…
Anyways, ranking 10th out of 247 is not a bad performance either. But I really have to learn from my mistakes. Unfortunately, I will be running again next week-end at the “14th Jinbayama Trail Running Race 2014”. Let’s keep in touch!