The Sneyd 10 Mile Christmas Pudding Run was my first ever 10 mile event. I wasn’t too sure how to feel about it. It’s only 3.1 miles shorter than a half, but sounds a lot less impressive!
I don’t track my 10 mile personal best as I just use the Garmin defaults of 1km, 1 mile, 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon, and furthest.
One of my goals for 2019 is to run a sub-2:30 half marathon. My first half marathon is scheduled for 20th January in Gloucester. As such, I decided to use this 10 mile event as a bit of a tempo run to see if this goal could be achieved then. To break sub-2:30 I would need to complete 13.1 miles with an average pace of 11:25.
Ideally I was also aiming to run the distance with no walking breaks, which would make it my furthest ever non-stop run. 9 miles on the treadmill was my previous longest non-stop run.
I had lined up towards the middle of the pack, mainly as there were a lot of club runners, but also because I wanted to avoid starting out too fast. My watch informed me that my performance condition was +2, so I felt pretty good. Despite moving back a little and aiming for a more reserved first mile, I paid no attention to my watch until the first mile notification. To my surprise, the first mile came in at 11:05! Worried that I wouldn’t be able to maintain this pace for the entirety of the race, I made a conscious decision to slow down. This decision was also aided by the fact that parts of the course for the second mile were narrow and hard to overtake. As such, mile 2 came in slower at 11:25, which was spot on my target pace.
Mile 3 came in at 11:19, which was a bit faster, but still felt comfortable and I was feeling strong. I really wanted to complete the entire distance without walking, even if it meant that my average pace was below my target.
I’m not sure what happened for miles 4 and 5 as I completed them in 10:55 and 10:44 respectively. I was listening to music for this event so maybe some good tunes came on! Either way, both miles were a lot quicker than my goal pace, but I still felt good. I was, however, a little nervy about running out of steam later on.
I crossed the half way point in a time of 55:28 which I was quite surprised by. It also allowed me the reassurance of knowing that I was ahead of my target pace. This allowed me some time to slow down if needed in the second half of the race.
Mile 6 was almost on par with my mile 5 pace, just 2 seconds slower in 10:46. My previous personal best for the 10km distance was 1:08:18, however I beat that here with a time of 1:06:36. I didn’t know this at the time as I wasn’t actively trying to run fast. If anything I was trying to slow down a little to ensure that I could run the entire 10 miles! I took an energy gel just after the 6 mile point but had chosen not to take any water along the way.
My pace was pretty similar for miles 7 and 8 with paces of 10:54 and 10:51. I got to the 8 mile mark and started to wonder if I was going to fade out for the last 2 miles. It was in the back of my head that my longest non-stop run was 9 miles, and that had been done on the treadmill. Deep down I really wanted the 10 mile non-stop. On the other hand, I didn’t want to push too hard if it meant a long recovery time.
Despite the worry of burning out, mile 9 was my quickest of the race so far in 10:43. I completed this mile and just felt like nothing was going to stop me from reaching the finish. Quite often the final mile turns out to be my quickest, and today was no exception. I ran a quicker average pace across the mile, but also finished with a really strong sprint to the finish. My final sprint best pace was 6:07!
I crossed the line in 1:48:41 according to my Garmin, with my official race time being 1:48:39.
My average pace for the run was 10:52, so 33 seconds per mile faster than my target pace! This was also whilst remaining in heart rate zone 3 for most of the run.
It was a real confidence boosting run as I was able to run the entire distance, and at a much quicker pace than anticipated. I still have 42 days until my half marathon, so I am confident of running sub-2:30.
Full race results can be found here.
Splits and Official Time: