The coaching side of running: Part 2

Hello! It has been a little while since I updated you on Victoria’s progress in her running (check out her version here and here… Oh and here!)! The last time we left it, she had an aim of nipping in at 34:30 for the big race on the 20th, which would mean finding 10 minutes from her first non-stop 5k time of 44 minutes (42 on my watch). So what has happened since?

The hard run

This run was hard for Victoria in a couple of ways. She struggled to get her phone and Fitbit to sync and this put her in a bad place right before the run happened. She was also struggling a bit and feeling down beforehand, so I had thought of using a bit of speedwork to this run to almost stop her from thinking as she would have to run hard for a quarter mile, then slow for another quarter and so on. She wanted to push herself a bit more and so started off hard. I knew she wasn’t in the best space mentally, so kept my chatter down to a minimum as I was aware that if I kept talking it would annoy her and make things worse for her as the run went on. After I realised she was wanting to run harder the entire way, I went with it and just kept checking the time to see how she was doing. She was struggling, but I kept going and sometimes going a bit faster for her to try and catch up to me.

After I realised she was wanting to run harder the entire way, I went with it and just kept checking the time to see how she was doing. She was struggling, but I kept going and sometimes going a bit faster for her to try and catch up to me. Eventually, the pace slowed a tad as she was unaware of the time we were running. and had lost a little motivation, so I finally spoke up and said just a bit more and we kept going. When we finished I showed her her time 37.49 in 3.23 miles, so if we worked it out right, She was well within the 36-minute window!

She was very pleased and I could tell she was already overthinking it and doubting if she could do that pace during the race. I let her know that this time is her new benchmark. The last run she went easy and it all about just getting around without stopping, she has a lot in her to go fast as she keeps running. I know she will be doubting herself but the aim now is to get her on the road and not think about it.

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The solo run

Due to circumstances beyond our controls, we weren’t running much for a week, Victoria was doing longer cardio sessions in the gym however and then one night she decided to go for a solo run while I was in work. I won’t lie, I was hoping for it to go okay as I was worried from the last run. She finished and told me her time 36:20 if I worked that out right as she overran with her Fitbit and so if I take it back that was her time. That is great running and hopefully proves to her that that run before wasn’t a fluke. This is her new slightly uncomfortable zone, and she now her running lives in these times. I knew we would be running a park run on Saturday morning, so this was a great little booster for her confidence.

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The park run

Then to top all of it off we went to our first parkrun together, I thought it would be good for Victoria to run with lots of other people around so when we go to the race, it is not as daunting to have to find space etc. We get there, just in time and I notice she is a natural little ninja at finding gaps to pop into if people are going too slow. But as with a lot of runners and races, we were following the people in front and sometimes that causes you to go a bit faster than you intend. Once we came up with the main course up a hill on lap one, we pulled the pace back a bit, she was worried about being out of breath and just doubted herself way too much. (I have since found out that she doubts herself a lot and that is where she thought she wasn’t motivated when it was her just having doubts to being able to finish. mini walls were trying to get in her way).

A few times as we go around, she states that she can’t do it. These were usually after a hill section, so I let her vent, I kept fairly quiet for her, not wanting to say times etc in case that distracts her. Around 3/5 around the last lap, I picked up the pace a little and she remarked that she could tell what I was doing, I laughed and told her that if I had verbally told her to run faster, then she would have hit me. She agreed! Terrible girlfriend eh? But I had increased the pace as I had seen what our possible time could be and I wasn’t about to let that slip through our fingers as I wanted her to have the big boost from this. She kept with me, if two steps behind, I made sure that was the case, so she could chase me a little on the way to the finish. We run a little harder on the straight home and we finish! 35:42!!! She didn’t expect that, but I did as I had been judging it well enough. She is still getting to grips with learning about pace and knowing when it is pretty consistent.

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She is an 11 minute a mile runner now! Far from that first run that she still judges herself on. I can see where she is and tell her that most runs now due to me working, may involve more speed work on the way to the gym in the morning unless she lets me take her on just a run during the morning. Who knows what she can do… It will be fun finding out though!

If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on TwitterInstagram and also to receive updates, Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

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