Adding this a little later than I should as the race took place on the 20th September as my final warmup before Spartathlon.

I met up with a few work colleagues prior to the event, registered and got ready for the start of the race. The plan had been to run a good paced effort but nothing too mad a week before Sparta.

2013 Swallowfield 10k Paul Ali

I set out and was running comfortably but at a reasonably zippy pace for me and glanced at the Garmin to see I was clocking 6.45m/m. The route is road based and the roads had been shut down for the event which was great. There was a hill early on (but not much of one) which saw the second mile pace drop to 6.58m/m but then a few long downhill stretches where I leaned forward to gain some extra momentum and clocked my fastest mile at 6.20m/m.

I was feeling pretty good and carried on at this comfortably quick pace (relative to me of course). Had I been gunning for a PB it’s likely I would have run a 6m/m mile, blown up and be clinging to 7.30m/m for the rest of the race. The controlled pacing was ensuring I was having a good, solid, comfortable run and I was on target for a PB.

A 6.36m/m and a 6.48m/m started leading to calculations in my head over time which tried to take my mind off the fact that the run was starting to feel a little harder now. Mile 5 was a drag but probably more mentally than physically and I just tried to carry on as best I could and avoid looking at the Garmin which hardly seemed to move. Mile 6 was was a 6.38m/m and before I knew it I could see the finish line and started hammering the last couple of hundred yards crossing the line in 41.05 (41.09 official time as not chipped time) for a 2 minute PB. I was pretty happy with that as I hadn’t expected it at the start. It was sort of a “stealth PB effort” by trying to trick yourself into not running like a fool at the start.

Next up Spartathlon!

2013 Swallowfield 10k Paul Ali 02