25 October 2009

Need mental toughness

Just wasn't mentally switched on to run the Nike 10k yesterday. Hence, I bagged another DNF in my running CV.

Work has been busy & stressful for the whole week, so it zapped a lot of of my brain energy and focus. At the start of the race, I wasn't feeling that flashy anyway since this is my 3rd race in 20 days (after 3k and 21k). Again, to make sure I got good starting position among the 10,000 runners, I waited at the start line for a good 40 minutes and probably lost all of the warm up benefit. Ran pretty consistent splits for the first few ks and passed the 5k mark in 19:36. So I was still on track for a small PB. However, for some reasons, I then got switched off mentally, lost concentration, and went wayward. Before I knew it, I passed the next 2ks at 4:10 and 4:20 pace. At this juncture, I began to have side stitch and I realized around 41mins was the best I could hope for - which is slower than my 10k split during the half marathon a couple of weeks ago. Felt very de-motivated and I decided to quit at 7k, walked and cheered other runners. Maybe I just didn't care about the race enough.

I used to like 10k a lot, but now I think it is the hardest event for me to PB. For HM and marathon, you are more or less forgiven even if the pace slows down by 20secs for 1-2k since you have chance later on (later kms) to recoup. For 5k or below, the race is very short, you don't need to concentrate for a long time and you'll finish the race before your brain starts to play tricks. 10k for me is very tough, even after running had for 5k, you still have 50% of race distance to go. And once, your pace drifted downwards at km 6-8, mentally it's hard to tell yourself that you can recoup the time lost.

Six weeks to go before the SCSM Half Marathon. Let's hope this one won't turn out as another DNF.

7 comments:

Scott Brown said...

I totally agree with what you said about 10K races Sling runner.

Clown said...

Sling, the 10k is a tough one, very easy for mind to wander as you say especially around the 6-8k mark. Sounds as though you've had a tough week

Maybe just use these type of races as a buildup to a bigger event eg a couple of these as a buildup to Marathon to track progress and race simulation.

All the best with the training, stay focuesd and another pb will be on the cards in a few weeks time.

Epi said...

I agree, 0k is tough, although for me it's always been a pacing issue to hold back enough in the early stages.

Keep working away

trailblazer777 said...

I felt like that about 6-8k into the Bridges 10k in the last few years...very true what you say about mental approach to 10k. All the best with getting the motivation fired up again...theres always crosstraining team sports, or hiking etc...

Ewen said...

I think 10ks are easier in smaller fields where you 'know' your opposition. Any race is difficult when you know the chance of a PB is gone.

From a mental standpoint I still think it's worth battling away, even if the time will be crap. The bad thing about DNFing is the thought that it might give you an option to DNF in future races.

What was Sean's take on the race? Any tweaks to the program prior to the half?

Sling Runner said...

Sean said along the same line as you, Ewen. Actually the 10k wasn't a key race as the training was geared towards the Melboune 1/2.

Personally I think I lost a bit endurance from lower mileage in the last one month. Mileage dropped from 80-90 to 50s since I had 3 races in 3 weeks.

The next few weeks will see me back in the 90s range. The main change from Melbourne 1/2 prep was the long run is now quicker at around 4:50s (vs 5:00 previosuly)

Ewen said...

Thanks Sling. The 90k/week should restore the endurance over the next few weeks.