Parkrun, planning and procrastination

MY plan at Parkrun yesterday was to break 21 minutes. It seemed realistic. A few weeks ago I ran 21.07, so I was convinced it might be possible to dip under 21. The only problem really was my lack of consistent training.

I’ve had a few university assignment deadlines which have played havoc with my training. I’ve missed a few days here and a few days there, and when you add them all together they add up to quite a lot of missed training.

At the moment I seem to be bombarded with deadlines and work, so that I’m constantly firefighting. I clear one thing and immediately have to start on the next. It’s become a bit stressful and hasn’t done my fitness much good at all.

So on my way to Pontefract Parkrun yesterday I decided that things needed to change. I needed to get organised and stop procrastinating, so that when I’m faced with a deadline I don’t have to miss training. But before I attempted to put some sort of plan in place, I needed to run as a way to de-stress and to assess my current fitness.

I worked hard, managing 6.48 minutes a mile, but I lacked any kind of speed. My legs wouldn’t move any quicker. I was also lacking in endurance, getting slower in the later stages, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, I was terrible on the hill. It’s not much of a hill, but even that was too much. My lack of hill training showed.

Thankfully, it’s not all negative. Despite the missed training, there has been some improvement. I ran nine seconds faster than last time, and just managed to break 21 minutes. My official time was 20.58.

My personal best on this course is 20.36 so there’s a fair bit of work to be done. It’s a solid start, though.

Once we were home, I set about making a plan to make running and working and studying more manageable. I have two writing deadlines of 10,000 words in February. For each project I set a daily word count, so that I won’t have to cancel January training to meet the deadlines. Two hundred and fifty words a day is much more manageable and less stressful than trying to bash out 20,000 in a few days. It also means I’ll have a good chance of being in PB shape for the Dewsbury 10km in early February.

Writing and running are both very important to me, so I needed to get much better at balancing them. With a plan in place for my writing projects, I know that training will not be missed. I’m ready for a good block of training, so that next time I’ll be aiming for sub 20.


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