It took forever to get motivated for today's run. I had planned to go out once the afternoon chores were done, which was at about half past three. Seemed like a good plan, as I would be able to do most of the run in daylight. One distraction led to another, however, and the next thing I knew, over two hours had passed! Whoops! Started my run (in the dark) at 5:45 this evening... which is later than planned, but still far earlier than the previous 1am run!
After my last run, I wrote about how Week 1 of the Bridge to 10K was turning out to be much harder than expected. After all, if you can run for 30 minutes, why should four 10 minute runs be so difficult? I mulled it over and I now think it may be a repeat of the "Week 6 effect" in Couch-to-5K. Many people write about how w6r1 is really hard -- indeed, more people seem to have problems with this run than with the dreaded w5r3. It sounds like people are so psyched up after a twenty minute run that they think a 5-8-5 interval will be easy... and, thus, don't pace them selves ideally. By trying to go too quickly, w6r1 can actually be harder than its predecessor.
I didn't actually have this problem during Week 6... but I get no credit for avoiding it. It was all the warnings on this site that cautioned me to go slowly for w6r1 -- thanks, everyone! However, I may have fallen into the very same bear trap with Week 1 of Bridge-to-10K.
Anyway, back to today's run. With the thoughts outlined above held firmly in mind, I am pleased to say that today was a much less difficult run than the last one. Also, as it was the final Week 1 run of Bridge-to-10K, I decided to get some statistics on my running (and walking) speeds. I don't have any fancy-schmancy GPS watches to help me out. The only running kit I have invested in to date is a good pair of running shoes -- and even that was only bought after I finished Couch-to-5K _and_ completed my first ParkRun! So all my statistics are worked out after the fact; I simply remember where I was after each running or walking interval, then put together a map on MapMyRun.com. Once I know the times and distances involved, I can work out the various speeds.
Overall, I ran 6.83 km in 40 minutes today, making this my longest run yet. That works out to an average speed of 10.25 km/hour (or about a 9:22 per mile, if you prefer).
Looking at the individual 10 minute intervals, I ran 1.63 km in the first interval, 1.74 km in the second interval, 1.75 km in the third interval, and 1.71 km in the fourth interval. This surprised me somewhat!
The slightly shorter distance at the end makes sense, as my last leg was over a slight incline. But the first ten minutes is noticeably slower than the other three -- in fact, it is the only one with an average speed below 10 km/hour! I would have expected the first run to be at least as fast as the others, as I should be pretty fresh coming straight off of a warm-up walk! Odd. Has anyone else had this experience with taking some time to get up to pace?
I was also surprised by my walking speeds. In each of the three 1 minute walking intervals, I covered about 125 meters. That's an average speed of 7.5 km/hour! (Or, if you prefer, 4.7 miles/hour) That's a pretty brisk walk! An average walking speed is about 3 miles/hour, and I tend to be a slow walker (about 2.7 - 2.8 miles/hour). What's more, I always feel as if my walking intervals are _very_ slow walks, as I feel tuckered out from the running just before. Hurm. Guess my impressions on this were completely wrong!
Anyway, that is Week 1 done and dusted! I am very happy that this run was both faster _and_ more satisfying than the one that came before. It lets me finish the week on a high note... and let's me look forward to starting Week 2 on Monday!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Happy running, all!