The end of August is the end of Splash&Dash up at Aspire, sad face. So for a bit of fun, I went and run a 1K time trial with the running club.
Being obsessed over distance, mud, misery and the occasional obstacle course, shorter distances have never really appealed to me. To be honest, I never really enjoyed speed work, generally, until a couple of months ago.
So with a speedy time trial a few days away, I found myself asking: How does one run 1 kilometre as fast as one can?
The answer seems simple enough but on a track, with (against) others where splits are being noted, a little bit of strategy is involved as the chances of an epic running fail are a little harder to ignore when you run past the timer every 200 meters. Some planning is required.
Some facts to consider:
The track is 200 meters long so that’s 5 laps of the track.
I know from experience that I can run a solid 5min kilometre on this track and that my fastest lap has been around 45 seconds. My fastest recorded 5K to date is around 23 minutes which is about 4:30/kilometre.
None of this information really helps though. It’s only one thousand meters. Once. Maybe I can go all out and run a solid 30 seconds per lap??
I just didn’t know. So instead I simply decided to run it. Run it as fast as I can. So much for strategy.
We sprinted off at the sound of the starting gun*. The previous group had run somewhere between 3:20 and 4:15 – seems like a good range, but my group is fast. Faster than me. By 50 meters I was at the back of the pack, lap one took 40 seconds. Fast for me, but slow for my group.
For the next few minutes all I could do was focus on my breathing, on my aching legs (bootcamp the previous night was a bad idea), on going straight and turning left. Lap 3 felt like an age, I felt alone. The previous 600 meters had felt like 600 miles of desolate desert. 2:48 – shit that lap took like a minute.
As I rounded the final corner of lap 4, I saw my rival behind me. The fastest in our group. There is no way that fucker is going to lap me. NO. FUCKING. WAY. I pushed forward. 3:04. Last lap.
The kick came with 100 meters to go, a quick glance at my watch had me at the 3:30 mark. I can do this. “Come on Poyner” I shouted at myself, “push you fucker”.
The final straight. Breathe, increase pace. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
I crossed the line and took a breather. A looooooong breather. 3:50. Nice.
I am not a sprinter, those almost 4 minutes of running required a good 15 minutes of recovery. I am not a sprinter. It was fun though. Would definitely do it again.
*No actual start gun. Dramatic effect.