I knew it was going to be challenging running my first 10,000m on the track. Timing wise, it perhaps wasn’t the smartest idea to take it on so soon after the European Indoors. However, doing one at this stage will allow me to focus on the shorter distances in preparation for the World Championships in August.
During a racing period, training gets a little disrupted. As the most recent championships were indoors and over the 3000m mark, we included some shorter indoor training sessions to prepare me for competing against the best in Europe. Jumping from the 3,000m to the 10,000m within a few weeks isn’t easy and was exceptionally tough, but I was excited for the challenge.
Heading out to Stanford, California, my aim was to achieve a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard to give myself the option of competing over this distance at the Gold Coast Games in 2018 by getting a time under my belt well in advance. As it’s not the distance I want to focus on this year, it means I can now concentrate on the shorter distances without the added pressure of trying to find a good 10,000m race or the stress of chasing a time. It’s the longest distance race on the track so fixtures are few and far between. The Stanford race is always a really high standard with a strong focus on collegiate athletes. And you can be 99% sure the weather in California is going to play ball which is always a huge help!
Unfortunately, the lead up to the race wasn’t ideal as I must have either caught a stomach bug or picked up food poisoning. However, I was able to race, just making it around the 25 laps before the bug fully took hold, but luckily it only lasted for a couple of days.
I was disappointed with my performance, but despite this, as well as securing the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games next year, I actually managed to sneak under the standard for the World Championships this year, which was a nice added bonus. I feel like I am in much better shape than my 32.10 posting, but all things considered I’m pretty happy with the outcome!
Although it wasn’t the best racing experience – mentally, I actually found it less draining than I imagined. I had built it up in my head, dreading the thought of counting down lap after lap when in reality it wasn’t like that at all. I managed to zone out and settle into a steady pace without focussing on the laps. It was certainly a different feeling to the shorter races.
The 10,000m is definitely an event I want to tackle over the next few years, however I have a lot to learn and many more miles to run before stepping up the distance.
For now, it’s straight up to Flagstaff, Arizona for four weeks with the GB team. In total, there are eight houses full of athletes! I’ve never been on such a huge camp before but I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to some hard training, regaining some consistency and building endurance and strength before heading into my next racing block.
I haven’t finalised my race plans entirely but will go back to Stanford in a month to hopefully come away with another World Champs qualifier. Thankfully this time I’ll be in more comfortable territory, racing the 5,000m.