Three Thousand Metres

Wednesday 22nd June 2011

A few weeks ago a training partner and I decided to do a 3k time trial on the track and to try and get close to 9 minutes. A couple of friends agreed to pace us at 72 seconds per lap. There are actually plenty of opportunities to run 3k races, as our club organises as series of open meetings every summer. This one was quite a late one, so we decided to give it a miss, as well as benefitting from perfect pacing!

My PB was 9:19 from last summer, and I felt that I would be happy with anything below 9:10. We set off at 9 minute pace anyway though. Might as well give it a go. That’s the good thing about doing a time trial rather than a race; it doesn’t matter if you screw it up. The obvious down side is that it isn’t an official PB if you run faster than you have before, but I don’t really mind. For me this was just a chance to see what I could do, regardless of whether anyone else is there to see it. As it happened though, there were people to see it. The first was Mark, who paced the first kilometre in 2:59. Rob took over for the second kilometre: 3 dead. I suspected before hand that if I could get to 2k in 6 minutes then 9 minutes was probably on the cards, but it took a lot of concentration. We’ve done time trials before but usually over greater distances, where you can afford to switch off a little in the knowledge that it’s easier to make up a few seconds here and there. 3k is right at the bottom of my racing range so I find it hard to vary the pace. At least I only had to focus for 3 more minutes.

Mark took the next lap, giving me something new to focus on. My legs were getting really heavy by this point but his 72 kept me right on pace. Rob took over for the next 400 metres and I just about managed to hang on, only dropping a few metres back. This meant I got to 2800 in 8:25. I had to pick up the pace to break 9, but I could see the finish line. With lungs and legs burning I took off and sprinted down the home straight, crossed the line and collapsed.

I lay on the ground for a few moments trying to get my breath back and then looked at my watch:

Tim crossed the line shortly after, not feeling 100% after a week’s holiday. He was disappointed not to have run closer to 9 minutes but I know he’s got it in him in the right conditions. It’s always hard to feel sharp after a week off.

I know I can do it now. Just need to do the same in a race. After all, if it’s not on Power of 10 it never happened.

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