Tonight was running club again. I took a couple of new beginners on a lap of the new estate in Stotfold, 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. They did well for the first mile but the second mile was hard, one of the runners was really struggling. I tried a longer walk break but to no avail, so in the end I had to use landmarks to encourage her onwards. That worked better so if I run with them again I'll do that next time.
I was late back for intermediates, and the group (which was huge tonight!) were all ready to head off, but I had to take the beginners through leg stretches before I could join them. Thanks to Chris (@chriscrippspt) who took over the stretching session so I could head off for the run.
Earlier in the day, Ed had mentioned that he "needed" to run 8.5 miles fast (8:20-8:30 pace). My plan was to run 6.5 miles easy (I'm beginning to wonder if I used a random number generator for my midweek runs), and I was thinking I'd run 2.5 miles with beginners and then 6 miles (easy!) with intermediates. But I still have a tempo/interval run to do this week, so I decided to get it out of the way in the company of friends rather than alone in the rain on Friday. 6 miles fast it was then.
The first 3 miles felt good, and we were running about 8:30 pace or faster (Maca, Seb, Simon, Barry, Lewis, and Ed---the "fast group" that when I started running I never ever thought I'd run with, let alone keep up with). I began to tire after 2.5 miles because I had a stitch, so I decided I'd run back a touch slower so I could shift it. The majority of the group headed back at super-speedy pace, and Maca stayed with me so I wouldn't be on my own (heartless bunch!). We ended up running back faster than we'd run there, 8 min pace. At least it was downhill. I started to feel really strong at the bottom of Brook St, about 5.5 miles in, which is a good sign for long runs and my ultimate goal...
6 miles in 49:23, average 8:14 min/mile. Splits 8:17, 8:16, 8:33, 8:01, 8:13, and 8:01. Negative split!