I’ve not done the Sheffield Half Marathon before, but it could be a fairly fast course according to my workmate Rob Bridges, a Yorkshire lad who’s a top triathlete and very handy runner himself. Also, it would be a great experience to finish on the track at Don Valley before it’s sadly closed down.
The major issue would be the weather, a problem we’ve all faced in a lot of our races recently. Fortunately it was just breezy and the rain didn’t come until after the race, still, the first 6 miles were pretty tough; it was mainly uphill in the first half and we also faced a headwind. I got an early lead of about 100 yards and by the turn-around point I reckoned I had a lead of almost a minute. I had planned to keep as close to 5 minute per mile pace as possible, thinking I could get back some time lost returning to Don Valley, but at 6 miles in 31:08, I had a lot to do and a pb was off the cards.
I was going well and the crowd was out cheering in large numbers urging me on. 10 miles was hit in 50:49, then one last climb at 11 miles. The last mile circled around the stadium before entering to finish on the home straight. It was a great atmosphere and I finished strongly in 66:51, a time I was happy with given the windy conditions. Whilst I wouldn’t call it a pb course, it’s still a pretty quick course if you don’t mind tackling a few hills.
Training has been going well, I came off the back of a 105 mile week and dropped it to 80 before the race. The aim was then to kick off the track season with a good performance early on in the BMC 5,000m at Solihull, but unfortunately work commitments meant that I wouldn’t have time to get to Solihull for the early 6pm start, with hindsight I’d have done my usual Friday workout. Next up will be the 5,000m at Stretford, which will be a great opportunity to put up my first decent performance at this event since 2010.
Training: Week commencing 12th May.
Sun 12th – Sheffield Half. 1st in 66:51. 16 miles total.
Mon 13th – 7:30am: 4 miles easy to Piccadilly station. 6pm: 10.5 miles Wilmslow to Fallowfield in 66:56.
Tue 14th – Rest
Wed 15th – 7:15am: 10.5 miles to work in around 71 mins. 7pm: Session: 6x 1k on paths (2.5 min rec) with Man Tri. 2:58, 2:58, 3:00, 2:58, 3:00, 2:58. Ok. 12 miles
Thur 16th – 6:45pm: 5 miles in 32 mins. Busy day, squeezed in run before Bill Bailey show.
Fri 17th – 7:30am: 6 miles slow to Stockport in 42:20. 6pm: 10.5 miles home from work 65:12.
Sat 18th – 7:30am: 5.5 miles to Stockport in 36:48. 6:15pm: 10.5 miles home slow in 73 mins, hard work.
TOTAL: 90.5 – A fairly modest week.