As many of you know I entered the Mersey Tunnel 10km race which took place on Saturday. It was the second ever 10km event that I’d entered and after the first one having taken place on the hottest day of the year, I was ready to improve on my result!
Running a 10km distance in training is very different to how it is on race day. The adrenaline, the people, the event as a whole and the nerves that come with it can all come into force and affect your ability.
My training mainly involved me going out running every 3-4 days and alternating between 5km and 10km distances. The fact that I was able to run 10km on a regular basis gave me confidence going into this event.
My main goal was simply to improve on my 52 minutes and 5 seconds that I set during the Port Sunlight 10km race. During the race I got a stitch at the 3km mark which slowed me down but didn’t stop me. Unfortunately a second stitch hit me at the 8km point and I had to stop a few times which ultimately led to a slower than expected result.
This event I wanted to be different and I had some great support from SKINS, who I once again teamed up with with after a previous collaboration last Winter.
The sportswear that this company produce is truly second to none and this time I was sent their Thermal Men’s Windproof Tights to help me with my training, as well as general running as the temperatures start to drop.
Once they arrived I couldn’t wait to try them on and they fit perfectly after I used the size-matching facility on their website.
They were tight but durable at the same time, and I noticed a big difference when I’d go out running in them. Firstly they kept in the heat and kept out the wind and cold. They also made my legs work that little bit harder which I felt made a big difference when it came to race day.
After my hill training I usually feel it particularly around my calves and thighs for days afterwards, yet once I started to use their tights my recovery and aching seemed to reduce quite considerably.
I’ll certainly be using them throughout the Winter and beyond.
So although I’d put in the training and ran the kilometres, I was still nervous. I like to be as prepared as I can be and I got everything ready the night before the race. This helped me stay calm on the morning of it and a relaxed breakfast really does settle the nerves ever so slightly.
I’m a pretty competitive person, particularly with myself and I felt I had something to prove going into this race.
I decided to stay more towards the front pack as all 2000+ runners lined up on Blackstock Street in Liverpool, preparing for what we were about to go through.
After the first kilometre I was inside the Wallasey Tunnel and it was pretty humid inside. There was also a fairly steep incline that I had to navigate through. Thankfully my pace remained steady and I kept up with the majority of those in front of me, without too many others passing.
Many people enter these races for a wide variety of reasons. Some want the competition, some just want to train for something and others see it as an opportunity to make some money for various charities. Whatever the reason, we were all there together and the attitude and positivity of everyone around me was inspirational.
The rest of the race seemed to fly-by and I managed to set a new personal best time of 46 minutes 18 seconds and finished 131st overall.
Of course I was pleased with the result. It was more than I could ever have hoped for and expected.
Yet the untold story was that despite being in the top 7% of finishers, I struggled from about the 4th kilometre right up to the finish line.
I felt it was my mentality of ‘not going to stop at any point’ that allowed me to go through the pain and just keep going, and as good as that might sound, I made a vow that next time things would be different. Next time I won’t struggle and I’ll keep up with the leading pack because I’ve put in enough miles to do so.
The important thing now is to not wait until next year when the majority of the events begin again, but to keep going and run throughout the Winter period so that I’m ready for the longer-distance challenges of 2018.
Before I finish this post I want to thank a number of partners and collaborators who’ve made my training so much better with their products and support.
First off, I wanted to thank my friends at Fitbit who continue to support me with their trackers which provide me with all the stats I need to improve my running ability.
I also want to thank Herbalife and ImmediatePR who support me with their products, particularly their CR7 Electrolyte formula which keeps my endurance up no matter what!
I’d like to thank For Goodness Shakes who regularly supply me with the tastiest protein drinks you could imagine. This was my first source of nutrition once the race had ended!
Finally I want to thank each and every one of my readers and followers who provide me with the inspiration and support throughout my training, when times are tough as well as good. I cannot put into words how much your support means to me.