The Rundown: Sri Chimnoy Battersea Park 5K

London has been taking full advantage of the extra sunlight hours that Summer affords us, with a plethora of after-work races taking place in the capital. After having to miss several that my Athletics Club participated in, FOMO got the better of me and I decided to do a Monday night 5K courtesy of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

As a disclaimer: I’ve never really raced a 5K before. I’ve done Parkrun a handful of times, but between the hilly course of my local Parkrun and the fact that it’s a Saturday morning, I’ve never really given it my all. And so I decided that I’d give it a go, if for no other reason than to practice racing and work out where I’m at fitness-wise.

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Plus Battersea Park is pretty beautiful

I made it to the start line, slightly sweaty already from my commute- I took two trains, and then got lost so had a mad dash to the start line. I was aiming for 23:39, which according to Runner’s World, was a reasonable time to expect, given my 10K PB. Nonetheless, it seemed daunting.

The race itself was low-key, but in exactly the right way-with a small but dedicated field of runners. I went out too fast, despite trying to rein it in- it’s just tough when there’s a pack! I wanted to give it my all, but not to burn out halfway through in a sweaty, panting heap. Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:25
Last .1: 7:44

Finish time: 23:02

I’m pretty happy with that performance, if I do say so myself- over half a minute faster than the intimidating goal I’d set for myself. I’m annoyed with myself for slowing down right at the end; it was entirely my fault, and entirely mental. My vision started to go slightly blurry towards the end, and I saw the yellow signs of the start line, mistaking them for the finish. Whilst I realised my error in plenty of time, I kind of lost my momentum and drive in that last .1 of a mile as the finish seemed just that much further away. But still, pretty damn pleased with my effort, and my shiny new PB.

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What I learned from this race:

– 5K races are really hard. They hurt the whole way round.
– But they do feel very gratifying- I was walking on air the morning after!
– Stress and a long day at work probably played a factor in my mental tiredness
– I’m made of tougher stuff than I’d realised 😃

What’s your favourite race distance? How do I make 5K races hurt less?!

Lots of love,

Pippa

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15 thoughts on “The Rundown: Sri Chimnoy Battersea Park 5K

  1. I also find 5k really hard, I can’t really relax into it.

    Incidentally I did this race a few years ago with my wife’s work colleagues, who were all doing it. I remember it being quite quick, basically lots of club runners and us at the back. Enjoyed it though.

    Congrats on the PB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, it was mainly club runners! I quite liked the vibe though- everyone was very friendly, plus it had a low-key, run-because-you-love-it kind of feel to it. And it was definitely helpful to be surrounded by speedy people too!

      Like

  2. Greg LeMond (a cyclist) once said, “It never gets easier, you just get faster.” I think that’s pretty much true for 5ks. Although I will say that proper pacing makes the racing experience more pleasant. It’s a lot easier to push yourself to the limit near the end of the race if you are passing people instead of being passed! (Though by your splits, you’re already doing a pretty good job pacing yourself.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think I just had to accept that it was going to hurt- all the runners on my club, of all ages and abilites, were agreed on that one. So I guess having the super speedy types tell me they still feel the same made me feel a bit better!

      Liked by 1 person

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