End of the 2022 road running season
For many people the autumn big races see the end of their running ‘season’ (if such a thing really exists for non-elite runners…). Whilst we all have a few November and December races lined up, the winter is all about getting a good block of tough training in ready for big spring events.
My main 2022 ‘target races’ were the Boston mazza (April), the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF) – a 5k/10k/mazza triple header (May), a sub-3 hour mazza in Berlin (Sept) and finishing off in Chicago for its 5k and mazza (Oct). Seven races, with plenty of training and races in between to keep me ‘sharp’.
Coming into 2022 I needed a kick…
Coming into 2022 I’d had an alright 2021, returned to a decent level of fitness and had no injuries or ailments. But really I wasn’t running enough, as my below Strava stats show. Or rather, not enough miles. I’d run roughly the same number of hours (& as many times) as the previous year, but nowhere near as far.
Above stats suggest I was running about 5-6 hours per week, but only 26 miles per week – with the average distance per activity/run being 3.6 miles. So basically, short slow runs to keep ticking over. I needed something to give me a kick, something different to spice things up….
…I joined a new (to me) running club
No I didn’t get into anything too kinky (although Mrs P has this one obsession….), or order an Eastern European bride. I joined a local (10 mins drive from home) running club. A decent sized club with several hundred members – Blackburn Road Runners. I knew a few folk and noticed how friendly they were at races, mostly they all seemed like piss-cans. My kinda runners – so I signed up in March and they’ve helped keep me motivated.
Even just attending their main weekly running group sessions on a Wed night is great, a good old natter and having others at a similar level helps push one another on.
2022 running targets
A sub-3 hour marathon has been hanging over me for a while, and whilst I’m a ‘run by feel’ runner and really not a clock-watcher, I really did need to just run a sub-3 mazza once – stop fannying about zig-zagging for high fives and not natter to everyone. Basically, not have as much fun – for one race only.
Other than a sub-3 mazza, it would be great at 44 years of age if I could run something close to my other distance PBs. All of which came in either 2018 or my epic 2019 running year (when I ran on average 7 miles every day, more on that here). My PBs coming into 2022 were as follows:
- 1-mile: 5.35 (2018),
- 5km: 18.44 (2018),
- 5-mile: 30.18 (2019),
- 10km: 38.00 (2019),
- 10-mile: 65.06 (2018)
- HM: 1.25.31 (2019)
- Mazza: 3.04.53 (2019)
2022 Jan-June Progress & Boston Mazza
I booked on a 20-mile flat race (Trimpell), undulating HM (Wigan) and 14-mile hilly race (Coniston) in March. To keep me focused in Jan & Feb and make sure I trained! They served to help get me in shape for Boston mazza in April. I also booked Manchester mazza two weeks before Boston, to force me to get a long training run in – I trotted round in 3.25.
Whilst I found the Manchester mazza course quite dull, the t-shirt (since upcycled by TRB into a sturdy shopping bag for life) and medal were decent, it was valuable in getting miles in my legs ready for Boston.
Boston marathon – Just being a qualifier is something I’ll always be proud of. Race day… WHAT an experience – on a whole level of its own compared to other events. I’ll be back. My eldest boy Bailey and I went across for a week and had a blast. I ran the mazza in 3.15. The picture below is of me running down Boylston to the finish, taken by Bailey who I couldnt hear screaming my name, think the last kilometre of the Great North Run x 10!
10k PB & EMF 2022
After Boston I ran some shorter 5k & 10k races and parkruns in decent times, the miles were in my legs – I needed speed! I ran a few sub 20-min 5k’s and then a week before the EMF I pushed myself at the Wesham 10km and ran 37.51 – a new 10k PB (9 seconds under my previous from 2018) – YEAH!
Now for the next target race/s of the year – the Edinburgh Mazza Festival (EMF). For some mad reason I’ve always wanted to run the Edinburgh Marathon Festival’s 5km, 10km and marathon in one weekend all in decent times. Ideally a sub 20-min 5km (on the Sat morning), a sub 40-min 10km (2 hours after the 5km) and a sub 3.5 hour mazza on the Sunday. So I did!
Those of you who’ve done the 5km and 10km know they’re far from flat – both routes go up behind Arthur’s Seat. I felt strong on both, running 19.29 for the 5k and 38.58 in the 10k two hours later – I placed well in the M40 categories in both and won prizes – Whoop!
Someone (I can’t remember who, sorry…) recommended I have an ice bath to help sooth my legs before the next morning’s mazza. I managed about 20 mins, bloody horrible, but it really helped. I even only had a couple of pints of Tennents the night before! Rocking up to the start line the next morning, I avoided my 3.15 wave and stood with the 3.30 lot. Chatting to a couple of guys we noticed there were no pacers – so I became a 3.30 pacer! This helped keep me focused as I wasn’t just running for me. Anyway, I made sure they had a sub 3.30 in the bag then upped it the last 5km – Final time 3.23! BOOM!
End of May, quick check against my 2022 targets:
- Boston mazza – Check, 3.15
- 10k PB – Check, 37.51
- EMF 5k, 10k & Mazza – Check, 19.29 / 38.58 / 3.23
- Sub 3-hour mazza?
- Sub 1.25 half mazza?
- Any other distance PBs (all of which have stood from 3 or 4 years ago)?
- What’s left for the remainder of 2022 (Nov & Dec)?
- How many races will Dan run in 2022?!
- What’s in store for 2023?