Autumn Speed Challenge: Week 3 alread... - Marathon Running ...

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Autumn Speed Challenge: Week 3 already!!! 🤩💨How's it going? And let's talk about concentration and awareness😊

roseabi profile image


Hey super people!!!

Welcome to Week 3 of the Autumn Speed Challenge - how does it find you?

I mentioned "storming results" last week; then it turned out that a lot of us had to run through a storm!

The data are looking great so far, take a look:

Any more results - tell me in the comments below!

For this week I want to talk about concentration.

I've been thinking about how my thoughts will occasionally wander during a run, and when I come to, I realise that I'm running really easily. Looking at my stats on Strava later, inevitably I will notice that my pace will drop during my reverie 😊 Has anybody else noticed this?

If you want to keep your pace up, you need to concentrate!!!

Many of you will have heard about the practice of Mindfulness:

I am a fan, although I prefer the term 'awareness'. I don't sit and meditate, but I like to be aware on the move. I do a body scan, and think about my pace and how it makes me feel on a scale of 1 to 10 (rather like the pain scale - pain again!). I've worked out roughly how I fare at each pace (easy, marathon, tempo, fast) so I can try to stick to it. This may sound like torture 😊 but it's really fine, and at the same time I am taking in the sights and sounds around me, which is lovely.

Those of you who have tried mindfulness will know that occasionally your thoughts will drift, and that is perfectly OK - just go with them for a short while, but then bring your attention back to the present. It's a refreshing feeling, and great for helping you focus on breathing faster, pumping those arms more quickly, and taking faster, lighter steps!

Eyes on the prize 😉💥

And have a wonderful week!!!!

ju-ju-, Sqkr, and roseabi xxx

Follow this link for more info about the challenge:

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50 Replies
roseabi profile image

Thanks to Irish-John for inspiring this post! Your musings about your pace made me think about mine 😊

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnMarathon in reply to roseabi

Thank you Rose :)

Tbae profile image
TbaeMetric Marathon

That’s just Brillant stuff Abi and the findings oh so spot on.

I have tried to clear my mind before going off in order to focus and concentrate.🤔

I have also tried not to bring any pressure on myself, but maybe that does not work.🤔

Maybe to stay focused and concentrated you’ve just got to push yourself and think of the benefits as per last weeks advice.

Run for life by running for your life.🤔

Fight or flight, eye balls out,little galloping gnome.

Good luck everyone.💥🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️💥☄️👏👏

misswobble profile image
misswobbleMarathon in reply to Tbae

Mornin 😃

I go AWOL during runs for sure. I’ve not checked my reverie pace, no 🙂. I was present for much of yesterday’s run though, dodgy terrain, busy roads to cross, apples to scrump, bramble stop which had all my attention, snagged tights and scratched to bits 🙄 golf course fairway to cross 👀👀👀

Anyway today’s time. Not brill but not bad considering yesterday’s effort.

35:19 for me

Thanks Roseabi! 👍

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to misswobble

Wow, it's like going on safari! I'm glad you got apples 😂

Well done xxx

ju-ju- profile image

Loving this weeks tips..... I have not done my 10k route again since we started... but I did get speedier on the Fang. This week i am on it like sonic.

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to ju-ju-

Awesome 😊

misswobble profile image
misswobbleMarathon in reply to ju-ju-


Sqkr profile image
SqkrHalf Marathon

Running is my meditation too 😊 Mr Sqkr is a big fan of classic meditation and mindfulness, but I've tried and tried and just find it frustrating. So I run to clear my mind of whatever swirling maelstrom it contains that day. (I also knit hats as a form of meditation but I have thousands of hats now, and have also exhausted all hats-as-gifts options, so I might need to knit something else this year). I do need to keep focus on faster runs or my pace tends to drift, if I'm running with music I find I subconsciously match the beat--be it up or down! So if it's something oomphy I can end up exhausting myself by running at an unsustainable pace. I generally focus on breathing to a rhythm, and that gets me round at a fairly consistent speed.

I've also been trying to focus on my form a bit as I tend to get sloppy when I tire, and I find if I hit my ponytail with my elbows with each stride it keeps my shoulders back and my arms moving straight 😂 It's a bit long-hair specific but it works for me! It's funny the individual things you do to keep on track.

So I did my next speed challenge yesterday at night--my favourite time to run. All the bats were out, though not long till hibernation now. It was velvety dark and the streetlights were stars above. Lovely.

This week's result is improved, still not officially a PB (though Strava thinks it is!) with my 5K coming in at 25.15, and a pace of 5.03/km. I was reasonably pleased as I had several beers and gins the night before, and wasn't sure how strong I'd be feeling. Currently that elusive 24.59 PB brick wall seems pretty solid, but there's a couple of weeks to go..!

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Sqkr

Somebody posted a great one on Bridge the other week, about how they have all this old-timey slow music until the end of the run when they blast out AC/DC or something, to get negative splits. Loved that idea 😂 I'm pretty sure you could make a playlist alternating bits of fast and slow tracks to create intervals that would help you get the faster 5k. I am actually tempted to try that even though I don't like running with headphones!

Hats and bats - love them all!!!

Good stuff with the run too, an excellent upward trend on the graph 😊

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to roseabi

"long hair specific" 😂

Sqkr profile image
SqkrHalf Marathon in reply to roseabi

I do really need a haircut but I'm concerned it will negatively affect my running form 🤔

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Sqkr

I bet that a couple of years back you never imagined you would ever be typing such a sentence! 😊

roseabi profile image

Any sign of MadDave or MikeJones68? 😊

MikeJones68 profile image
MikeJones68Half Marathon in reply to roseabi

I'm here but haven't run for a week due to a sore foot 🙄

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to MikeJones68

Ohhhh sorry to hear that Mike 😔

Take care of you, hope it's all good asap!!!

MikeJones68 profile image
MikeJones68Half Marathon in reply to roseabi

Thank you. Will try a run tomorrow, but I won't be breaking any more speed records this month.

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to MikeJones68

Heavens no, don't give it a second thought!! xxx

Colinsmith profile image
ColinsmithHalf Marathon

Monday is Runday for me, and today I learned:

1. Runkeeper lady is a LIAR 😊. I set my pace hoping to improve on last weeks time, with a quiet hope for something around 47-48 mins. Now, its a hilly route and my pace may be slightly erratic at times, but not varying between 3m30s and 7m per km! I’m not sure I’ll ever trust her again.

2. I’m not someone that runs best on a completely empty stomach. I’ll go back to my weetabix an hour before. Especially given that...

3. Two glasses of red with dinner and four pints of IPA in the pub with friends afterwards is not appropriate preparation for a ‘fast’ run the following morning!

I clocked in at 49m24s - 34s down on last weeks run. That last pint must have been dodgy. Frankly i feel I’ve let roseabi down, I’ve let the forum down, but most of all I’ve let myself down!

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Colinsmith

Must have been dodgy! 😂 Phew, that's a lot of booze - rather you than me!

It actually doesn't look too bad, only 3 s/km down, and I'm sure you'll make up for it next week 😉

We forgive you! 😊xx

DiveMonkey profile image

Hoping for a fast time at the next 10km race on Sunday :) relatively flat route again in the Cape Flats suburb of Grassy Park :)

Did manage a 15km trail race yesterday and went for a nice superman slide down the hill purchasing some of the vineyard (we joke and say you bought land where ever you fall or shed blood on a run/ride). My husband says I look like a little girl who scraped her knees and both hands falling off her bike... (love his sympathy...).

When I am aiming for a specific time for a race I normally hunt down a pacing chart and rely on my Garmin to keep me in check. But if I am on my own mission without company I will run with music and depending on how much I relate to a song on the day then I will run harder or slower.

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to DiveMonkey

Ouch! I give you sympathy 😊

Thank you, I think I'll get onto discussing running watches next week!

marco83 profile image

Thanks for hosting this and great suggestions roseabi. running is my meditation and I do find that concentration is key to speed and consistency. If I run on a track focused on time, I can run every 100 meter of a 1000 or longer at the same speed. If I get distracted I can easily loose a couple of second in a blink of an eye...

This week I did not have time to go and run the park run on Saturday, so my time will not appear and will not hit the target... However I managed to keep the interval training last Thursday, with 4X400 meters at 75'' (and the second was 72-73''!!). This is pretty fast, probably the fastest I have run in 10 years... so I am fairly pleased. I finished that training with 5 X 150 meters up hill (I almost could not walk when I was done...).

Hopefully I will manage to get at least 1 park run this month (although family calendar usually is in conflict with park run...)

hope you are all having a great week!!!


roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to marco83

Amazing work - well done Marco!

No worries, it's a pleasure - nice to have people responding so positively to my running thoughts 😊

I know what you mean about parkrun, I don't go nearly as often as I'd like!!

Hi Roseabi, I didn't run a 5k last week, just a fun run.

Yesterday I went out hoping for speed, and ran 5k in 38.20 so shaved a few seconds off and recorded a PB.

I'm finding I don't have to keep thinking about glute engagement so much, its happening naturally. Head full of stuff yesterday, the run did me good. xx

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Amazing, well done!!!

Practice makes better, for sure, and I'm glad to hear the run worked its magic 😊

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon

It wasn't concentration I was lacking this week it was oxygen. Could seem to get in my stride - 26:07 5k

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Whatsapp

Ohhh, very close though!! Will update graph in 10...

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Whatsapp

K done

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to roseabi

Thank you x

Kallyfudge profile image

Hey all, had low mood, got around the manx HM but nearly didn't go and then did my route on the Tuesday after. I did the "route" and got to 5k at 21:53. Will go harder next week, but might end up giving it another go tomorrow. Low mood has hit my running mojo which is unusual.

Tbae profile image
TbaeMetric Marathon in reply to Kallyfudge

Your the boss,but be kind to yourself if you can.

Hope you have plenty opportunities during final week4.💥🏃‍♀️💥👏👏☄️

Kallyfudge profile image
KallyfudgeMarathon in reply to Tbae

Thankyou Tbae! I think you are right in what you say about looking after yourself. I'm trying to be mindful while running, which usually I can do but last 2 weeks has been nearly impossible. Going for a run with a friend today and hope that helps. Hope you are OK <3

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Kallyfudge

Well done, a 1 s/km improvement!! Will update it if you wish 😊

Hope you enjoyed your run today, as Tbae said, be kind to yourself xxx

Tbae profile image
TbaeMetric Marathon

Hi Abi,

Last attempt this week.Strava Splits add up to 42:12 and the time given is 42:16 and 8:26.

Whatever you wish to post for me from that.👍Marginal improvement.🤔

Encouraging for me for next week my stop watch was sub 41.

I will try Tues/Thurs/Sun next week to break 40.

Atb to all Abi’s Speed challengers.


roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Tbae

Fabulous stuff - well done!!

Hard work today after a two week gap - so not surprising really that it was hard work!

5k in a less than speedy 31:05.

It was a different route, so next week I'll have to go back to the original to see if this one did me any good. I started off flattish with some up and downhill bits, ran up about 30 steps to go over a footbridge then down the other side, then had a horrible up bit and finished with flattish followed by down. Unsurprisingly, I had almost perfect negative splits though: 7:30 (oops, think I forgot this was meant to be fast), 7:17 (uphill), 5:40 (up then down), 5:46 (fairly flat, was suffering after the previous km) and 5:02 (flat then down).

To be fair as well, I was listening to the stamina podcast, and should have skipped the slower first 10 minutes!

Tbae profile image
TbaeMetric Marathon in reply to runningnearbeirut

That’s a great tip.Start off straight into the 160 bpm.Or maybe better just repeat the last 5mins 165bpm.🤔😂

Atb. 💥🏃‍♀️💥👏👏☄️for next week.

Going to try with the stamina podcast, start at 10 mins for 25mins , then start at 20 mins for 15 mins, so maybe get sub 40 for me.🤔

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to runningnearbeirut

Nice one!

I'm still on my travels so internet access has been rare, but in week 2 I ran a PB for a hilly 10k in North Yorkshire at 10 min 11s per mile pace, equivalent to 31m 34s for 5k.

Week 3, 3.6 miles @ 10m 5s per ml pace, equivalent to about 31m 18s for 5k.

I'll be back home this eve, so it'll be interesting to see how this translates when I retry my hilly home 5k!. Just spent a few days in Beauly enjoying fiddle workshops and sleep deprivation ... possibly not the best training plan for speed! Time for a good hard interval session tomorrow ... not much opportunity for losing concentration during this one ;)

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to APScotland

Hmmm, pretty sure I posted a reply, oh well 😊

Well done!! And you're a fiddler, cool!

DiveMonkey profile image

Hi roseabi

Missed the sub 60 today but did improve my 10km time to 1:01:14

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to DiveMonkey

Awesome!!!! You'll get that sub-60 really soon.

Macmac profile image

I had another go at the flat 5k yesterday, and knocked a massive 3s off my previous time!! 😁. So, result was 22.04 - not long now I hope until my time starts with a 21..but conditions were ideal yesterday. Cool, sunny, no wind. I ensured I stayed below 4.15 pace for the first 1k this time, and managed 4.20 for the first couple. The 3rd went to 4.30 and I could feel myself tiring a bit, but focussed on keeping up my cadence and brought the pace back up a little. Looking forward to the hilly 5k next weekend.

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Macmac

Fabulous - well done!!

Tbae profile image
TbaeMetric Marathon

Hi Abi,

Could not wait for a chance with Laura’s podcast and the cunning plan.

Laura deserted me at 1.5k🙈😂

If it is OK I will take my small improvement.

The splits on Strava add up to 42:05.It reads 42:08 and 8:25.

Again my stop watch was sub 42.

I think that is a small improvement to 59secs / km for week3.🤔

Thanks Abi.💥🏃‍♀️💥👏👏☄️

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Tbae

OK, well done!!!

Lordi profile image

Only managed a 5k attempt in week 1. Week 2 was my HM week and Week 3 I've just spent "lumberjacking" in Central Finland (sore back to prove it too grrr...) Will have a blast this coming Week 4 though.

roseabi profile image
roseabiPartner in reply to Lordi

Ouch! Take it easy!!

Looking forward to that...

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