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Lancaster 5k - New Club Record

29/09/2015

Ian Liffen continues to go about his training quietly and very effectively and will surprise a few of us with his recent 5 k performnace as reported......

 

Lancaster 5K report: Is it time to not 'watch' it?

 

On Saturday night Ian Liffen took part in the last of the Lancaster 5K summer series. After running 4 seconds slower in May and some 6 seconds slower last month, he was using the race as a final attempt this year at David Parish's 5K road race club record of 16:42. On a balmy evening with little wind, the conditions really were perfect.

 

Ian decided to dispense with his stopwatch, really immerse himself in the zone and run the race entirely by feel. Some runners find it impossible to run a mile without timing it. Looking down at the watch repeatedly is a complete waste of time and energy. It is too easy to be distracted by checking your average pace, mile splits, calculating your possible finishing time etc. and forget about the true essence of racing: competing.

 

Ian started the 5K conservatively and found himself in 7th position after half a mile just behind a group of 3 other runners. Sometimes there comes a point in a race where you just have to commit yourself and go for it. The pace seemed comfortable and feeling full of running, he decided to pass them all and push on in pursuit of the 3rd place runner. Whether this action was foolhardy or not, he would soon find out.

 

At the halfway turnaround point he was still some 40m behind 3rd place, but by now had a good 30m gap over the pursuing runner. He was now concentrating hard on that imaginary target on the back of his rival in the distance. Gradually and remarkably he proceeded to close the gap. Encouragingly, Ian was also holding form well and eventually he managed to catch up just before they both entered the stadium and emerged on the running track. Sensing that this runner was not breathing too hard, he passed him with 250m remaining for he knew that having raced right at his limit, there would be nothing left if it came down to a final sprint. However, his rival responded and overtook him some 50m later and was to end up 2 seconds ahead by the finish line.

 

Settling for 4th place, Ian saw the clock for the first time as the finish approached and was shocked to see it read 16:16 with only 20m to go. He crossed the line completely spent, but elated with a 'back to the 80s' time of 16:20 as his reward. After changing the mode on his Garmin back to stopwatch (important for race feedback), he saw that the 3 mile splits were very even-paced at 5:14, 5:16 and 5:15. No doubt that if he had looked at the first mile split as in his previous 5K race last month, he would have subconsciously backed off and his eventual time would have been much slower.

 

 His 16:20 clocking has elevated him to number 5 in the UK rankings for 5K in his age group and achieved over 91% as an age grade performance. This is possibly only the second score above 90% achieved by a DRC runner, the first being Jo's recent 100K run.  

 

 If you are reading this why don't you try ditching your GPS/stopwatch for at least one short race and see what happens. You have nothing to lose. Turn off your watch and focus on competing; it just might result in a breakthrough performance too.

 

 

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