Being a 5,000m runner is sometimes really hard. No, not because of the training, or the race distance, but because our race opportunities are so few.
After the World Championships, I was hoping to get one more opportunity to run a 5,000m, but there just wasn’t a race option for women outside of the Diamond League final in Brussels. Instead, I stayed in London for a few days after the World Championships hoping to get into the 3,000m in the Birmingham Diamond League. Unfortunately for me, they had assembled an absolutely fantastic field and I didn’t get in. My other option was to stay in Europe for two weeks and race a 3,000m in Rovereto, Italy. After a lot of back and forth with my coach and agent, I decided to head home.
With the track season officially over for me, I turned my attention instead to the Canadian 5K Championships on September 10th. Now, that’s coming up shortly.
While I’m thankful to still be healthy and motivated to race, coming off a major championship and maintaining focus can be quite tiresome. Racing World Championships was the big event, yes, but afterwards, there was no time to slack. Continuing to train long into September is a bit like hanging on to a thread in the fight against mental and physical burnout from the long track season. If I weren’t tired at this point in the season, I would seriously be questioning whether or not I had peaked properly for Worlds.
I don’t often get an opportunity to race on the roads or in Canada, so I try to take advantage of this upcoming race. I also don’t like to “waste” fitness. I worked for months to get into the best shape of my life for Worlds and I think it would be a disservice to myself to not take advantage of this for every race after the fact.
Switching my focus to a road race is refreshing because my workouts are different from the ones I was doing leading up to Worlds. Because surface specificity is so important in distance running, I’ve been working out on the roads, mostly in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto. I find the major difference to be learning how to push myself without the constant feedback that you get from track splits. There are also inconsistencies in the surface, such as hills, that you don’t deal with on the track.
After this race, I’ll take a much needed break from running for two weeks. This gives my body a chance to rest after the intensity of the season. The hiatus will also act as a mental reset. As much as I love running, once in awhile it’s refreshing to have some time where I get to do the things that I don’t get to do throughout the season.
The Canadian 5K Championships are at 9:00 a.m. on September 10th in Yorkville. With a strong list of elite entries, this isn’t a race you want to miss.