I did it !
For the first time in 2 years I completed a 10k race under the hour, recording a time of 58:37, making it my second quickest 10k time (my PB is 56:58)
This is nearly 4.5 minutes off my previous time 4 weeks ago at Ronaldsway.
To be fair the NSC is a faster course, and it wasn't quite as windy today compared to 4 weeks ago, but there was still a noticeable enough wind down the back straight so I'm still very pleased to get such a big improvement.
What makes this more important to me is the fact I only did 1 'hard' hill session during the past 4 weeks. All of my other training has been easy/steady heart rate training in zone 1 and 2.
It does make me wonder what the improvement could have been if I threw in just one zone 3/4 session each week, so this is definitely something I will start doing.
There are many other factors that account for this improvement, such as dropping a few extra pounds, so it's very difficult to say exactly how much of this improvement is due to sticking closely to this Heart Rate Training plan compared to any kind of training plan.
If I had a time machine I would love to roll the clocks back 4 weeks but this time follow my usual plan of walking everywhere as quickly as possible, but I'm reasonably confident I would not have recorded such a big improvement this time around.
Heart rate training is definitely working for me, and with today's performance I believe it's a real testament to the phrase "train slower to race faster".
So that's it for the Winter League for another year. A big well done to everyone who took part over the past 5 races, and a big congratulations to the league winners.
I would like to echo the comments made during the final presentation and add my own personal thanks to Up and Running for the sponsorship, and of course to all of the organisers, marshals, time keepers and supporters, without whom these events would not be able to happen.
The next walking event on the calendar is the Manx Harriers Open in 2 weeks time (20th Feb), but all entries must be made in advance and close on Sunday 14th, so less than 1 week to get your entries in!
I have entered my least favourite distance, the 20k, so I can't wait to once again see how heart rate training is working for me. From struggling for 2 years to get under the hour for 10k it would be unbelievable if I could get under 2 hours for 20k (my 20k PB is 02:01:57, also 2 years ago).