RACES: Through the 4 Minute Barrier


That's my only reaction to today's "fun race" in Phoenix Park. Stressed and late I arrived after dropping off my mate Michael at the airport (who has now left Dublin rounded hills for the monstrous granite of Switzerland), but I still had a good run.

The course was a handicap race, and for some reason I started as second last man (the guy doing the times apparently overheard me saying I'd do 5k in 16 minutes! That now, would be the time it takes me to figure out I'm the butt of some joke).

Well, as I ran off, I knew I had to be quick, because the guy behind me was some animal of an 800m sprinter, and with the course being only 5.57k on nice and soft terrain and with only one small climb, speed was of the essence.

Finally Through 4
I've wanted to run a race in a sub-4 minute per kilometre time for some time now. The closest has been the Clonliffe 5 Mile and a few hill races where dashing descents secured such lofty times.

But now, less than 9 month after taking up running for real, I managed a time of 22:07, giving me a kilometre speed of 3:58. This was mostly achieved by flying off and doing the 1st and 2nd kilometres in 3:38 and 3:35, after which I dropped just above the 4:00 minute line again.

The Mythical 6 Minute Mile
It's still short of the 6 Minute mile that so many runners like to set as a solid performance bar (my time above is equivalent to an average 6:23 per mile), but the speed produced on the two first kilometres are equivalent to a 5:46 mile, so the speed is there. I have it, now I need to learn to harness it and keep it. The more difficult part I assume!

Another Day, Another Record
I'll be looking to wrap up another record tomorrow as I've broken my most kilometres ran in a month today by breaking the 260km barrier. Tomorrow I'll add an AT1 warm-up run and the 6k Star of the Seas Cross-Country Race to the haul and hopefully end up around 270km this month.

No further speed records should be expected this weekend, though, as I warmed down after the race with a 20km run through Phoenix Park to get my weekend long run in!

Does it hurt? It does in fact, but not in my head...