Location: Dübendorf, ZH, Switzerland
Date & Time: 7th April, 2018 at 14:15
Distance: 10 Kilometers
Weather: 22-23°C (71-73 °F) and super sunny
Strava Activity: https://www.strava.com/activities/1495074731
Build Up & Training
I didn’t do a whole lot of training for this race, per se, as this race is actually part of my training. You will see this general theme until I reach the Flughafenlauf and the Greifenseelauf.
What I have been doing though is a bit more speed work, trying to bring down my average kilometer split to below 5min/km. This was done mainly during 5k runs in the last couple of weeks as I recover from illness and try to break in my new Brooks Ravenna 9s, unfortunately I could have done this in a more structured manor. What I have learned is that from now on I will be doing my speed workouts in the form of Fartlek and interval runs to ensure I am able to keep up a higher average pace throughout the race. I don’t think that my splits are too much of an indication of this but I can tell you that I think I went out too fast and was struggling to keep up the pace towards the end.
I’m going to be very honest and say that I arrived a little later to the race that I would have liked to. I love the atmosphere of raceday, there’s a combination of nervousness and excitement in the air that you just don’t get very often. Unfortunately, I missed this atmosphere as I arrived about 15 minutes before the start when I normally prefer to arrive 40 minutes early to relax a little and have a wander round.
As soon as I arrived, I popped into the expo to grab my number and strangely already my finisher shirt, which was odd. The queue was nice as short as everyone else was obviously a lot more organized than me and had arrived with more time to spare, but unfortunately for the same reason all of the changing rooms were completely packed, this led to me leaving my bag in the middle of one just on top of a table. This wasn’t too much of an issue as I was already wearing exactly what I was running in so I was able to dump my bag and phone and just headed over to the start line for a bit of stretching and a light warm up.
One thing that I wish I had done is prepared a little more in terms of hydration, 22°C isn’t exactly tropical but it was warmer that I’ve been used to running in for the last 4-5 months and it threw me off a bit. Saturday was the first time the temperature had been above 15°C since around September-October sort of time.
Nevertheless, it was time to start so I got into my starting category of 50+ minute completion time and readied myself.
As I mentioned, the weather was warmer that it had been for a long time, I was used to being able to run the 10K without stopping for water and I didn’t think that would be much different today. Oh how wrong I was. After only around 1500 meters, I had already started sweating and therefore requiring water, something I hadn’t experienced for a while. Fortunately, this was remedied by the first water stop after only 2K, the last race I did had only one water stop and I believe this was after 6-7k.
Once I had a bit of water onboard I was feeling in better shape and was back to normal, I couldn’t let a bit of warmth throw me off after just 1500 meters! Fortunately, the warmth didn’t cause any more problems for the rest of the race.
With it only being a 10km race, I didn’t have to worry about hitting a wall at the 23rd mile or making sure that I was fueling often enough. The rest of the race was relatively uneventful although the combination of the lovely weather, the beautiful countryside and the crowds brought out by the weather and environment I found it very enjoyable.
The last kilometer was the unsurprisingly and as usual the hardest and, judging by the people bent over at the finish line, I wasn’t the only one who found it so. Nevertheless, I had made it and I had run my fastest 10K ever. I ran 49 minutes and 23 seconds according to the official timing, my Apple Watch recorded it as 48 minutes and 36 seconds but unfortunately it’s the slower time that I need to trust!
You’ve seen the splits above, there could be some more consistency there but it’s not terrible with my fastest being KM 4 at 4:42 and the slowest being KM 8 at 5:01, 17 second difference is something I find acceptable for now but it’s something I want to improve on.
My post-race routine is always the same: down a few cups of water, eat whatever is on offer and head on out of there. I’m a lone runner, I don’t have a running partner and I’m not part of a running team so there’s no reason for me to hang around, I like to try and escape before the traffic builds up.
Fortunately, the carpark that I chose was a good 15 minute walk away. This gave me the opportunity to stretch the legs a bit, warm down and FaceTime with the family to let them know that I smashed my previous PB.
I am proud of this race. It is a race that I feel really demonstrates how much not only my fitness has improved over the last few months but also how much my health has improved. I’ve dropped 15kg in the last few months and that has helped my shave of around 7 minutes from my 10K race time. Big smiles all round and it’s only upwards from here.