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  • Writer's picturePeter

Six miles at Twilight

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

It's late on a Friday after (Good Friday, actually), I'm away on holiday in North Wales, and I’m part through a run planned by someone far more talented and able than I am, my coach

Ben Gamble. I’m following a plan laid out by Ben Gamble. The session notes read as follows

“Tempo session - warm up, then run at a fast, steady pace for 5 miles, followed by a good cool down.

Try to make sure the pace is just quicker than your target marathon pace, and it doesn’t need to be a really fast pace at this stage”

Earlier in the week, I sent Ben a few messages and suggested I run this around 8.30 (I’m unsure as to what my target marathon pace is just yet, but guessing around 8.40 - 8.50.

Bens's Reply was, “No, you’re a bit quicker than that just now. Aim for an 8.00 min/mile pace.”


d so it was on that late Friday afternoon that I found myself in mile three, pushing the pace on a quiet lane just out of Llanrug in North Wales. Miles one and two had gone well, 7.56 and 8.04 but mile three had a long hill in it, and halfway through, my lap pace was telling me I was at 9.30, Mile three was also my turn round, so having come back down said hill I’m now bringing the pace back down towards 8.30. I’m trying not to push too hard as I don’t want to blow up, but I actually feel quite good. I feel in control. I listen to my breathing, my feet rhythmically hitting the ground, and I relax my shoulders as I feel like a runner, you know, a real runner like the one on the cover of a magazine. Just then, pass a chap who is enjoying the late bank holiday afternoon sun strolling up the lane. I greet him with a Bora da, and he smiles back, but his smile tells me something else. It tells me I don’t resemble Mo Farah, gracefully pounding the tarmac; it tells me he sees a 50-year-old close to his limit sweating his balls off on Good Friday. I’m momentarily flawed. But my mind comes back. You do it, then you, you prick, I say to him in mind. It's not easy. One of my favourite sayings comes back to me “Everything is easy till it's not” I pick the pace up, and mile three comes in an 8.24, mile four five 7.56 mile five and Im proper tired, hanging in there, trying desperately not to slow and eventually on the high street the longest of the five miles comes in at 7.45, I immediately walk before starting my warm down, a long one mile shuffle up the hill back to where I am staying.

So another session was completed, doing what I didn’t think I could do. And while it wasn’t perfect, I’m not aiming for that; I’m just looking for progression.

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