MEC Race 1 Stanley Park 5K – Jan 29, 2017

First race of the year, and I convinced a friend to do it with me. They wanted to train for the BMO half marathon in May, and hadn’t been running in a long time. I said “How about you do this 5K with me?” So they did!

The weather this time was much better than the race in Richmond in Dec 2016, no crazy wind slowing us down! What was most excellent though, was that this race was the exact same race I did in November 2016. A 5K jaunt through Stanley Park.

At my race in Nov 2016, I was still doing run:walk intervals, run 7 minutes walk 1 minute. This time however, I had kept progressing through my training and managed to get up to running at least 30 minutes continuously. The big question is, would this make me faster?

Another thing that was different this time around, is that I bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 15 on Boxing Day. I really wanted a watch that would give me instantaneous pace information, as I planned to take myself through a 10K training plan this year, and many of workouts involve intervals of running “faster” with running “slower”. Problem being that I was not yet sure ¬†when I was running faster or slower, I was merely aware that I was running! Having this information would provide me with the feedback I was seeking to improve my time.

Armed with this increase in tolerable running duration, as well as this fancy technology, and running this course for the second time, I was certain I would be faster, but by how much? That, I was seeking to discover!

I started off the start line super fast, (which explains why I felt like choking at the beginning of the race in November!) so I slowed it down a little. I kept counting my footstrikes per minute and looking at the pace on my watch. If it was a number < 7 min/km, I maintained my speed. It it was a number >7 min/km, then I ran faster. There were times when I was pushing my heart rate well into the 170s; when I saw the finish line ahead, I did not sprint across, but rather, grunted and tried not to slow down, because every part of my body wanted me to walTime difference between racesk across.

When the final results were posted, I learned that I ran 2 minutes and 24 seconds faster than the race in November! Hooray!! Again, who knows if that was from increasing my training or using the pace information on my watch as a feedback loop, but I was over the moon as a result.