The main thing I want to do this year is step out of my comfort zone and try new things in order to improve as an athlete, and I think this week I did that. On Wednesday I took to the track to take part in a 3,000m BMC race. My first 3k in 5 years! It was very much out of my comfort zone, but a great experience. The event was put on by the BMC and Luke Gunn, and it ran very smoothly and safely.
My plan going into the race was to go out hard and hang on, but I think I took it a bit too literally. I was prepared for the race to hurt, but I think I approached it more as if it was a 1500 than a 3,000. I was hoping to run somewhere between 9:15 and 9:20, and that was very much doable, if I paced the race evenly, which I did not. After a 3:02 first kilometre, I was surprised how good I felt, but it was only a lap later that the pain kicked in.
I did what I hoped and went outside of my comfort zone, it just didn’t go quite as planned. That being said, it wasn’t a disastrous time. I finished in 9:31, a little bit off my target, but there are positives to take from the race as I learnt a lot of lessons.
How not to pace a race
This was probably the main lesson I took from the race. I got a bit carried away and went out too hard. Whilst it was only a few seconds faster than the pace I was aiming for, over 3k, that can be a big difference and make for a painful race, which it did! However, I am proud of myself for taking the plunge and pushing myself. I really enjoyed doing a shorter race and hopefully by the end of the season I’ll be more familiar with that 3k feel.
My legs do move faster than I thought.
At least, by going off hard, I found out that my legs can actually move a little bit faster. This is a bit of a confidence boost to know that I can throw in a faster k if I need to, it just may be better if I do it at the end of the race rather than the start. And, I just need to work on holding the pace for a longer period of time.
Racing is well and truly back
After a long time of racing returning for one race and then disappearing again, or being completely non-existent, it feels so nice to have a period of consistent racing in the diary. It is exciting to have lots of opportunities ahead to try and improve my times and gain race experience.
So, going forward, I am going to always note the positives there are from every race and session, and use these as opportunities to develop and learn.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!