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New PB at the London Winter Run 10k


Gwun Olley taking on the London Winter Run 10k
Gwun Olley taking on the London Winter Run 10k

Sutton Strider Gwun Olley took on the London Winter 10k when her London Marathon training plan had a 10km race in the same week. It’s safe to say she has an awesome experience - here’s how she got on.


Gwun Olley - London Winter Run 10k

“As a newish runner preparing for my first and only London Marathon, I’ve been following a marathon training plan that had me, by pure coincidence, hitting Week 8 as a deload week but with a 10km race on Sunday. In 2023, I had so much fun at the London Winter 10k doing a chatty 10km with my best running buddy, but this year, an injury meant she couldn’t join me. The stars were aligned, and I had no excuse not to push myself this time around.

 

However, it hit me that I’ve never had to truly push myself in an event before and I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like or feel like, so I definitely felt apprehensive.  

 

Finishing in 1hr 10mins seemed a realistic but challenging target – I was hitting 7mins/km and below during interval sessions but the idea of holding this for the full 10km seemed impossible to me. 


 It took me a while, but I had to go back through my Garmin records to find my 10km PB, which was 1:12:40 in May 2021, in my first-ever 10km event on Wimbledon Common.


Surely, I had to beat that?!  


At that point, I’d only been running consistently for 3 months, and it's now almost 3 years later, and a marathon training plan is half complete—now I was feeling even more pressure!

 

I had an early night on the Saturday, and Sunday turned out to be a lovely sunny morning, which always helps. I had my standard pre-run breakfast (porridge if you’re interested), said goodbye to the family and drove over to Morden to hop on the tube.  


It was buzzing at Charing X and I couldn’t help but be excited for what was to come. On my way to bag drop, it was great to bump into the Sutton Striders crew who were starting in the earlier waves and share some hugs and good luck wishes. After a stop at the lovely facilities, I found myself sneaking into an earlier wave because I just wanted to get going and then the hard work really began!

 

I started strong and went with the crowds of people running beside me, but it hit me quite quickly that I might be going too fast and looking down at my watch, I was right – I was going at around 6.30mins/km, which I knew was way too fast for the first km so I slowed it way down (hindsight tells me I probably slowed it a bit too much but you live and learn).  


As I was going down the Strand in one direction, I kept seeing fellow Sutton Striders bringing it home on the other side, which was such a motivator in itself!  


At 2km, I knew I could pick it up, and so I did – the huskies and polar bears were pretty cool, and last year, I was high-fiving them and taking selfies, but nope, not this year – this year, I had to focus and keep going and keep going faster.  


I hit 5km, and I knew that if I wanted to make 1:10, I was going to have to push – as the 7km sign approached, I was struggling, and I was feeling tired… I decided to have a quick 30s walk, and my god, did I regret that!!!  It felt even worse trying to make my legs turn again, especially as there is a slight incline in that back section, but I gritted my teeth and gave myself a talking-to.  


When I saw the 8km, I breathed a sigh of relief as I knew then it was “only” 12-14mins to the end and I could do that!  


As I passed 9km, I wasn’t quite sure how quickly I needed to go to make the target, so I just went all out and when I saw that finish line, I just kept going and tried to go faster, but it never seemed to get any closer!!  I finally got over that finish line completely out of breath and feeling a little sick, but I was pretty sure I had PB’d.

 

My watch read 1:10:22, but I knew it had been out of sync the whole way around, so I had to wait a little longer, and lo and behold, in the pub, it was confirmed 1:10:20 – I couldn’t have been happier; it wasn’t just a 10km PB, but I also got a sub 35min 5k in the second split another PB!   


Not one, but two PBs at the London Winter Run 10k for Sutton Strider Gwun
Not one, but two PBs at the London Winter Run 10k for Sutton Strider Gwun


If I’m honest, I also felt a lot of relief too – relief that the 8 weeks of marathon training work put in so far is paying off and knowing that I go into what is going to be a mammoth March with a win! 


 Let’s see if I feel the same way on April 22nd after the London Marathon!”

 

Thank you so much for that great write-up, Gwun, and congratulations again on your PB(s)!


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