BMC Grand Prix Loughborough 5,000m -
8 July 2017
I have a new 5k personal best! I'm absolutely delighted to say that I lowered my 5,000m PB from 15.25 to 15.11 at the BMC Grand Prix in Loughborough.
The summer has gone pretty well so far; I've run just over 32 minutes for 10k three times (including another podium finish at the Bedford 10K) and I broke 9 minutes for 3,000m for the first time. I've been gradually increasing mileage and intensity, including at least one track session a week. I've been very fortunate that one of my training partners, (Paul Mizon of Redway Runners) is happy to go out very early in the morning too; with a young baby it's the only spare time I've got! Paul is absolutely flying right now and I really appreciate the company.
I had my first taste of a BMC Grand Prix last summer, where the C race was perfect for my ability. Unfortunately, the two GPs that I've done this year they have only had 2 races, the standard was far too high so following the pack I was hitting my lactic threshold and then struggling in the second half of the races. This time I confident I'd be able to do my training justice. Although there was still only 2 races for the 5,000m, my fitness was a lot better than earlier in the summer and due to it being the end of a lot of athlete's seasons on paper it looked like there would be a lot of others closer to my level.
I drove up with Paul Martelletti (marathon PB of 2.16!) who I met through work. We arrived with plenty of time to prepare for the race. and enjoyed a gentle warm up doing a lap of the university campus. The pacemaker was set to run laps of 70/71 (about 14.40 pace), which although a bit quick for me was about perfect for Paul (he ended up coming 2nd bang on 14.40!). From the gun I let the front guys fly off, but settled into a second group. Annoyingly, the digital clock on the finish line wasn't working so we were relying on others to give us pace updates. Fortunately, one of the guys in my pack had his coach on hand to update us "75, 74, 72, 72, 72" came the shouts as we came round the top bends. I knew that to run a PB I needed to do 73 second laps so was starting to feel quite confident. I was able to just sit in a pack of about 5 athletes and felt comfortable. Suddenly the pace dipped "74" then again "74!", I had a decision to make. I could either sit in the pack and risk missing my PB or I could kick on try and speed up, but risk blowing up!
I decided to risk it and at about 3km I pushed on. Within 2 laps I knew I'd made the right decision, I felt really good and kept overtaking people, it was a great feeling. I had no idea of my time, but I felt confident that I'd got back to 72 or 73 second laps. Unlike at Solihull, the laps flew by and I ended up in a 3 way sprint for the line, we all crossed within 0.6 of a second. I had no idea of my time, but was delighted with how I raced.
Paul and I went for a gentle warm down and then watched the men's A race. It was great to cheer my mate Alex Bellew to a brilliant personal best of 14.45; huge congratulations to him!
Even though the drive home only took 70 minutes it felt like a lot longer without knowing my time. I pulled onto my drive and checked my phone......results were up....15.11 get in.
I'm now only 5 seconds off breaking the LBAC record and just 12 seconds off 14.59. I'm going to keep on training hard and hopefully be able to do both by the end of the summer. There aren't any more BMC Grand Prixs, but I've entered the Hercules Wimbledon Festival of 5km Festival Night in August; I can't wait.