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The Pete Plan blog

Boston race analysis

Posted by thepeteplan on February 16, 2010

On Saturday 16th January I did the following for the CTC: 1k = 3:08.7 / 1:34.3 / 32

And I said “Due to the training interruptions lately I’m not in great racing shape, so didn’t have any plans for racing any time soon. I am a little tempted to go to Boston still though”.

At that time, 4 weeks before the Crash B’s, I think I would have been in around 6:30 shape for a 2k. Three days later on Tuesday 19th January I set myself a test session, and said “Tonight’s session was planned as a tester. A make or break as to whether to consider going to Boston or not. A simple target of 2 x 1k with a 5 min rest between of sub 1:35.0.” I achieved the following:

2 x 1k / 5min rest:
3:09.9 / 1:34.9 / 33
3:09.9 / 1:34.9 / 32

I made the target by the narrowest margin possible, but made it all the same and entered the race. The mind and the focus was set for 3 weeks of training to see if I could take out that 5min break and put those two 1k’s back to back. The three weeks consisted of a mixture of steady distance work, sessions like the one above with increased distance on the first rep (eg 1200m / 800m), and short sharp interval sessions. The training went well, I made steady and consistent gains during the 3 weeks before travelling to Boston, and I was right about there in 6:20 shape.

I decided on a slightly conservative pacing plan that would be enough to break 6:20 if it was there, but should guarantee a solid time if it wasn’t. The plan was simple, 5 hard strokes before settling down to 1:36 pace to get through the majority of the race a little slower than I had been doing 2k prep work, then try to pull the pace down enough towards the end to get the average under 1:35. It went well, I settled to 1:36’s, saw a few 1:37’s but pulled them back to 1:36’s quickly enough. I felt good going through half way, but was starting to feel it at 1250m gone when I really wanted to pick the pace up. I decided to leave the push to 1:35’s until 600m to go at that point. 600m to go and I tried to see more 1:35’s and succeeded in stopping the drop of the average pace which had hit 1:35.7 at this point. Through to 500m to go and it was feeling tough, but feeling good. Approaching 250m to go and I was in 9th place and still around 1:35.6 / 1:35.7. At this point my mind was focussed on doing better than last year’s 8th place and 6:21.9. 8th place was close enough to catch, and I knew I could get the average down under 1:35.5 to ensure being under 6:22.

At 250m to go I picked the pace up to pretty consistent 1:33’s with an increase in rate, and moved into 8th place knowing I was doing enough to push under 6:22. If I have one regret now it is that I don’t think in my mind I had enough time left to push under 6:20, and I wonder if I’d really pushed the rate up in that last 200m if I could have got off that extra 1.2seconds. I’m not sure I could, as I was pretty tired at the end! I’m really happy with the progress I made in such a short space of time, and with how I executed the plan I set, as well as the result.

1:35.2 / 33
1:36.1 / 32
1:35.7 / 32
1:34.2 / 34

2000m = 6:21.2 / 1:35.3 / 32
(8th, 30-39hwt)

As Jo Andrews was on in the next but one race I walked from my race erg to find her in the warm up area, and went and sat on the floor behind her warm up erg. My lungs were burning, my throat was dry, and my legs were tired. I wasn’t as tired as Jo looked in the last 300m of her race though both from sitting behind her during it, or from seeing a video of the last 200m or so afterwards!

I definitely want to go again next year, and make the decision and the bookings much earlier to focus the training from much further out. For now I want to focus for a while on the 5k and 6k, and I will put my target in writing to focus the training. I will try to attempt to break 20mins for 6k, a sub 1:40 average pace. This would be an all time pb, beating the 20:04 I set a number of years ago.


One Response to “Boston race analysis”

  1. phil white said

    Bloody solid effort, Pete. You’ve been focusing so much on the longer distances lately, and that makes this time all the more impressive. I’m sure you were disappointed to miss 6.20, but with another week of sharpening I’m sure you would’ve ducked under this target.

    Again, congrats on posting a great time.


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