DIARY: Reflections on Trial Time

Every time I set a new PB I reflect on how that places me in the Target Pace Level scheme and what predictions of future performance the result carries with it. The mile, while short, is a reliable gauge of the potential of an endurance runner, unless you are an individual with an amazing sprint ability that would somehow skew the result.

I don't face this problem (rather the opposite looking at how I have gotten outkicked in recent cross-country races) so can take my mile time trials at face-value. So yesterday's result places me at TPL 23 (my highest yet). This is very curious as this is the most anaerobic test I have done so far (my 10k and half-marathon performances were much more aerobic) and with my current aerobic workout you should expect to see a better TPL for the longer distances rather than the shorter.

How it stacks up
These are the times a TPL 23 can produce if specific training is applied (a big if as the training required for some distances, like the marathon, take time and effort that not all runners can spend nor tolerate):
  • 1 mile: 5:11 (equal to my record, the benchmark)
  • 3000m: 10:17 (56 seconds from current PB) - 9% off
  • 5k: 17:49 (56 seconds from current PB) - 5% off
  • 10k: 36:52 (1:36 seconds from current PB) - 4.3% off
  • Half-Marathon: 1:21:43 (2:17 from current PB) - 2.8% off
  • Marathon: 2:50:53 (28:55 from current PB) - 17% off
The marathon is therefore my poorest record (by far) followed by my 3000m (they are also the oldest), then my 5k, 10k and half-marathon (best) and the mile which served to benchmark in the first place.

So these are my new operating goals. If I run the Jingle Bells 5k, I'll go for 17:49 and should I run another 10k 36:52. The marathon I won't do for a while yet and my next attempt at the half-marathon will either be at the spring or my main half-marathon goal next year: The Tonder Half-Marathon in my hometown, a very flat (but windy) course (incidentally, the time above would win it in some years, so why not go home and try that. If a real good runner shows up, so be it).

To improve to TPL 22 I need to run my next mile in 05:06, so that's the operating target for the next trial in 4-5 weeks.