Guest blog: Romy’s bid for a post-baby 10k PB
Romy Beard is one of my regular guest bloggers. I met her through Glasgow Triathlon Club and we have followed her as she explores Scotland on foot (she is from Luxembourg originally), becomes pregnant, gives birth to a baby boy – and now as she bids to beat her 10K personal best (PB) time.
Here is what Romy has planned for her fitness programme this year:
“My last proper triathlon race season was 2008, when I claimed some podium places, completed a couple of duathlons and Olympic triathlons, and ran the Glasgow Women’s 10K in 41m08s. After that came an injury and a baby. But now I am back – and racing again.
“There is a part of me that would get up at 6am again every day. I would swim, bike and run and throw in some core and strengthening work. I would race at every possible opportunity and make my body the temple it once used to be. But, hell no, at least not now.
Romy has a change of focus
“Not only did the time off racing make me find another beautiful hobby (painting – see www.romybeard.com for results), but I also had the opportunity to take a step back and see that really, all of the above is a little bit crazy, and that there are other things in life that I enjoy and want to be doing, such as having a lie in on a Saturday morning, getting out for walks at the weekend with my husband and son, go shopping and drink cocktails on a Saturday night.
“So how am I going to keep doing that and at the same time satisfy my hunger to compete? The plan is to go back to what I started with, and what I enjoy best: running. Indeed, when I look back on my 2008 race season, it’s that 10K that sticks in my mind as the highlight, along with the “smell” of a dream-come-true sub 40min 10K. (For those that don’t know, the Holy Grail for women 10k runners is a sub 40-minute 10K!)
The story of Romy’s life of running
“I started running in 2001 in my first year at university, initially to lose weight but then I found I enjoyed it and joined a running club. I took part in cross-country races, and moved on to longer distances. In 2003 I ran a sub 3h30mins marathon (another Holy Grail for women runners!) and a 43-minute 10K on the back of three runs a week…and one of those was a long run with a hangover!
“So the plan for 2012 is to have a tough goal, but one that I feel that I can achieve: get back to my 10K PB. (And perhaps do a little sprint tri along the way? Or maybe afterwards, as a reward?)
“Here is my set of rules that will see me race, have a social and family life, paint, stay injury free, and be happy. (These rules may be revised at a later date.)
Romy’s rules for achieving her fitness goal
- Speed not distance. Of course, I need to be able to run for a certain period of time and hold the pace, but the plan is not to do long hours and miles without a purpose. Instead, I will focus on getting my legs used to their speed again, do intervals sessions and hammer it home until I can keep it up for longer. And what better way to achieve this than to join the local running club (Bellahouston Road Runners) and push myself hard during at least one session a week, ideally intervals or hill reps. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition!
- Quality not quantity: For the moment, I will keep runs to twice a week (unless I feel the legs can hold more). If I feel the need to do something more, I will cross train by hopping on the bike or going for a walk with the boys.
- Mud not tarmac: Do as much off road running as possible, so I use different muscles in my feet and I am not doing the same movement on hard ground, which might see the injury come back. Do short XC and other off-road races, which tend to be short and sweet and family friendly since many of them are on Saturday afternoons.
- Yoga: Do at least one hour of yoga a week, if not more, to keep my muscles nice and relaxed, and to stay strong and injury free.
- Limit races to once a month – so I have free weekends to spend with my new little family, and stay focused and don’t just race for the sake of it! For every event that I enter, I will ask myself if it fits in with this goal. The Polaroid 10K Series in May/June may be an exception to that as they’re during the week and count more as training runs and working on strategy/pacing.
- Do the Pollok Park run every couple of months to keep track of progress (and, no, this doesn’t count as a race!). It’s free and it’s 5k.
- Get back to the ideal race weight. This one is on hold for now… I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight and don’t want to deliberately tamper with that until May when the baby is one. I need to focus on building up strength and power, but I also know that losing those extra 2-3 kilos will also see me lose minutes in a 10K.
“The main prizewinner will be the Great Scottish Glasgow 10K in September where I can compare like with like. The Glasgow Women’s 10K will be a nice milestone though, and will show me how much work I’ve got left to do.”
Romy will keep us updated with her 2012 running progress.