Every Saturday Nigel completes one of the many Park Runs around Sydney: St Peters, Parramatta, Manly etc. If you haven’t heard of Park Run before here is a link to the main page for Australia: http://www.parkrun.com.au/.

After setting a string of PBs when he first began completing the runs about 18 Months ago, Nigel had gone through a plateau of performance so we decided in late December 2013/early January 2014 to adjust Nigel’s training to further develop his speed over 5km and then pick a date to peak his form to give him the best chance to run a new PB. Nigel has also set some goals for PBs across many distances for this year.

For many years now, Nigel has developed an excellent running habit and his volume of training is always high. This allowed him to complete 2 marathons in 2013 but to run a 5km PB would require a renewed focus on speed and lactic tolerance. Over several weeks of tough interval training with a variety of sessions we saw Nigel’s performance improve markedly in training and our final session was 6x1km intervals with a 1min recovery at race pace (sub-4min/km pace). At this point we knew that the 5km PB time was well within his reach.

Nigel then decreased his training load from 10 days out from the event and did no exercise 36 hours before the event. Here is Nigel’s take on the run performance itself:

“My 1km splits were:

3:57

3:53

4:00

4:02

3:58

It was a hot and sunny day with no breeze. The course is out and back with about 200m of grass at the start (& finish) and the rest of the way on concrete footpath. It is very flat with less than 10m variation in elevation.

I felt a bit stiff and nervous at the start but it was an easy downhill and I got into a good rhythm. Everyone was running a fairly steady pace so there wasn’t much passing in the first half.

I was running behind a group of around 6 runners and in the last 2k they started to slow down. There was a short but steep bump in the path just before the 4k mark but I avoided the temptation to slow down with the group and picked up the pace in the last 1 km. I got plenty of encouragement from other runners as I went past them.

I didn’t look at my watch in the last 500m so I wasn’t sure of my time, I just concentrated on running. The last 200m was on grass and slightly uphill which made it hard going but with the end in sight I managed to power on.”

Congratulations Nigel. It was a perfectly paced run and a well deserved personal best. Now for that 7km PB!

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