When I first started ParkRunning in October last year, my time was 57mins 39secs. I was just walking back then. By the end of the year my time had improved to 41mins 25secs as I had managed to increase my pace and include some running, although still not running through full 5km. Then, on New Years Day, I was struck down with Patellar tendinitis during the final km of the run. I took time off from running to allow my knee to recover fully and returned at the beginning of May with a great personal best of 34mins 27secs. A huge leap forward and my first full 5km running – the first time in my life I had run that distance!

The following three weekends saw me continuing the trend, trimming minutes and seconds off my time whilst maintaining a full run.

Saturday 1st June – another fine day, light cloud, light breeze and a bit of sun and it was another walk to the meeting point that is the Clock Tower at Blackpool’s Stanley Park.

240 ParkRunners gathered for the pre-run briefing and at 9:03am we were on our way, winging through Stanley Park, through the woods alongside the lake, back round the other side of the lake before the final climb and straight to the Pavillion. Round the course a second time before finally crossing the finish line at the Pavilion. Unfortunately, I did get held up on both sections through the woods being stuck behind couples running together and people with headphones on totally oblivious to people breathing down their necks and on their heels.

As a result there was no personal best this week. I needed a 6 minute per 1km pace to hit my self-imposed run goal of 30 minutes.

My average pace was 6mins 11secs / km but with a best pace of 5 mins 28secs, that showed I was clearly able to achieve my goal time had I not been impeded.

In the end I was just 23 seconds off my personal best with a time of 31 minutes 21 seconds.

Still, a good time and consistent.

Another thing that has improved dramatically over the past few months has been my cardiovascular health. My heart rate remained very consistent at around 120bpm, climbing to 133bpm during the final 650 metres and averaging 123bpm across the full 5km.

The heatmap gps trace shows my relative speed… this week v previous two weeks…

Next Saturday I’m being joined, for the first time, by my Personal Trainer Matt Schmid. My goal will, once again, be to smash through the 30 minute barrier but this time I’ll have Matt to push me further.

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