A PB & A Pledge : 5 km Milestone

5 km. Short running distance. Splash paint sign

Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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Date : 21st April 2020

Distance : 5km

Time : 21’ 49”

Run map and details :    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4817835139

It was time for my first serious training milestone : 5k in 22’ 30”. And it felt like it mattered. As my old friend and colleague GB put it – if I couldn’t run a 22’30” 5k by now then I had no hope of running a 45 minute 10k PB on July 4th.

Truth be told, I’d been trying to find an excuse to get out of it all morning. It was windy and it’s hard to run a good time in the wind. I needed to take it easy as I had hay fever and a runny nose. I’m a pathetic douche bag and couldn’t go through the pain of it all.

But my training plan called for me to do 5k that day so, eventually, the procrastination came to an end and I made my way to the running track. Where I realised that I was properly nervous with a dry mouth and beating heart.

One lap of the track to warm up and then I set off. The first 4 kilometres were Ok-ish. The fifth kilometre was a battle and by the end my legs were wobbling and I felt physically sick.

As I slumped on the ground afterwards, I asked myself : Ok, you’ve done 5k in under 22’30”. Can you see yourself running 10k in under 45 minutes?

Well, 10 km is obviously twice as long as 5 km. Equally obviously, it gets harder to maintain the same pace the longer the distance. Overall, let’s say that running 10k in under 45 minutes is 2 ½ times as hard as the run you’ve just done. Could you do that?

My body’s response was immediate : NO! I COULD NOT!! THAT’S PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!!!

So how am I going to get from where I am now to where I want to be on July 4th? I’m not entirely sure but I have a plan. A cunning 5 point plan:

  1. Motivation

To fully motivate myself I’ve agreed that, if you pledge a donation to Cancer Research – or to the NHS or your favourite charity – then I will pay that pledge if I don’t beat 45 minutes. Of course, if I do go under 45 minutes, then you have to honour the pledge! *

  1. Training Plan

Basically my plan calls for me to gradually increase the distance at which I run the required pace until I get to c 8km. I’ll then taper off for a couple of weeks to – theoretically – get myself in the best possible shape on July 4th. (In the unlikely event that its of interest, I’ve included some further detail about my training plan below.**)

  1. Kit

I did think about getting the commercially available version of the Nike Vaporfly Next% shoes that Kipchoge used to set his sub 2 hour marathon. But in the end I decided that was cheating. I may, however, treat myself to a new pair of running shoes as my current ones will soon be a little down at heel..

  1. Diet / Nutrition

Gail @NutritionontheHill is putting together a nutrition plan for me that apparently involves no alcohol for the 4 weeks leading up to the run. Gulp, that’s a lot of dry Zooms..

  1. General Health & Staying Injury Free

I’m going to stretch, eat healthily, keep track of my weight (currently 77kg) and get my bloods checked (another tip from Gail.) And generally try not to get the virus.

Will all this be enough? Who knows. But I’d love it if you took part. Either by pledging – details below – or by joining us on the 4th *** to run for fun or to achieve your own PB!

*Please email / message me with your pledge – I’ll keep a record of it and then, once I’ve run on July 4th, we’ll see who has to pay it!

** Training Plan

Monday : warm up run c 4km

Tuesday : run at sub 45’ pace ; distance increased each week

Wednesday : cross training to build leg and core strength (cycling & abs workout)

Thursday : 7 – 8km run incorporating as many hills as I can.

Friday : interval training at increasing intensity

Saturday & Sunday : rest and stretching

***lockdown restrictions allowing, the current plan is to run late pm on July 4th in north London


About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/ - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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