parkrun PB training: Week 1

My main goal for the last part of the year is to take down my parkrun Bois de Boulogne course best of 20:58, which I ran back in January 2018. It was the first time I raced the course, but since then I haven’t come close. If everything were to go amazingly, the stretch goal is to beat my overall parkrun/5km PB of 20:45, set at Mile End parkrun in July 2016.

I have devised an 8-week training plan based off of Hal Higdon’s Advanced 5k Plan, written it up and stuck it on my fridge. It features a track workout, tempo run, fast Saturday and long-run Sunday, plus 2x strength. Already in this first week there have been some adjustments and shuffling, but I completed each of the sessions one way or another, so that’s what matters – right?


Easy run-commute home from work. Always a pleasure to just stick on a podcast and run.
6.5km – 35:31 – 5:27/km – 147bpm


Upper-body gym session, with some free-weights and machines. I try and roughly follow a push-pull sequence for 5x exercises, and then finish with 3 rounds of core work.


Early morning track session of 5x400m. I had nightmares about this run overnight, but in the end ran it well. Splits: 1:33, 1:30, 1:32, 1:28: 1:29.
6.6km – 34:11 – 5:10/km – 157bpm


Cycle-commute, then tempo/progression run: 10min easy WU, 5min steady [4:56], 4min faster [4:37], 3min fast [4:19], back to 4min faster [4:39], 5min steady [4:50], 10min easy CD. Felt super smooth, great transitions between paces.
8km – 41:01 – 5:08/km – 162bpm


Rest day


What was meant to be a good, fast parkrun, but instead was a classic case of my head blowing early and then somehow struggling through to the end. 4:14 first kilometre probably didn’t help… This training block is as much about gaining mental as well as physical strength. Lower body strength at the gym in the afternoon.
Warm up: 1.1km – 5:57 – 5:24/km – 155bpm | parkrun: 5km – 22:59 – 4:40/km – 177bpm + cycle-commute


Glorious long-run, just the sort of one that puts the world to rights again. First ~5km with Sye (first run together in ages!) and then continued on alone along the Seine heading west. Explored a new area of the city, ran on some hidden paths, just had a great time and felt strong, fast and fabulous.
14.1km – 1:16:55 – 5:26/km – 148bpm

Parkrun photos thanks to Gwenaël Blanck

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