Tuesday, 17 May 2011

On the 'Hunt' for speed...

There is still a significant gap in my running ability... it is called speed. Last night's session at club required some speed however with the infamous (at club anyway) Hunt Lane laps. The idea of the session is to run 3x laps hard - getting faster over each lap - with 3 minute recoveries between. So, after a warm-up, we set off.

The great thing about running club is that everyone is at different levels; and particularly on a session such as this, it doesn't matter if people get ahead of you as at the end of each lap, you all stop for the recovery in the same spot. Except it does to me! I was determined on my first lap to keep up with the main group of runners and so off I set at great speed up the road. Unfortunately, after the first corner, there is a slight incline massive hill which hit me like a smack in the face. I slowed and consequently fell behind a little. I wasn't worried though as something I am good at is catching people on the downhill; which, having turned the second corner, I started to do - great! - only it wasn't because in order to catch up with them, I had to work hard... very hard... and turning the 3rd corner, I realised I'd forgotten about the other relatively steep incline enormous hill that loomed before me. By this point, my breathing issues were very prominent and I struggled tooth and nail up that hill... puffing, panting, heaving and huffing; bright red, barely conscious and wheezing, I ran the last 100 metres to where everyone was waiting, only to be told off by Pete for running 'too hard'.
'TOO hard'?
'Yes. Look at you, you shouldn't have finished like that on your first lap; how are you going to get faster?'
Hmph. I knew he was right but I wasn't going to admit it.

So, on the next lap... I set off just as fast! With my Garmin back from not so Little Bro, I had an idea, for the first time in a week, the speed at which I was running. This is not a good thing! In fact, now I knew that despite the fact that I could barely breathe and felt like I may very likely need resuscitating any second, I was only running an average of 9.50 minute miles! In November, I could run that same lap at an average speed of 8 minute miles and still not feel quite as bad! Anyway. Needless to say, Pete was right and I finished the lap 15 seconds slower than my previous time.

As I'd arrived back later than everyone else, I also had a reduced recovery time, and after just 2 minutes, Pete was getting us ready to go again. Obviously I had a little moan about this and Paula requested, on my behalf, that I could be allowed a little longer recovery time as I'd got back last. Pete agreed to this, but I still wasn't happy! No... because longer recovery would just mean I'd be even further behind everyone else. 'Set off now if you want' Pete offered in reply... I was off!

Very kindly, Pete then clearly held the others back a little longer before they all set off for their last lap as it wasn't until I'd turned the second corner that the first runner overtook me. Of course, Pete knew what he was doing; pyschologically, this was much better for me as rather than feeling like I was falling further behind with every step I took, I was trying to keep my lead on the others. However, quite embarassingly, everyone who overtook me could hear my heavy breathing... and it was heavy! Once again, I dragged myself huffing and puffing, panting and heaving around the 0.83 mile lap, only this time I did finish faster... clearly being 'chased' by the others had a beneficial effect, reducing my lap time by 5 seconds! Well, it's better than none! Anyway, I think this session will now act as a bench mark for recovery: I'll know I'm post-marathon clear when I can run Hunt Lane without looking like a gereatric beetroot!

Today, plans were changed to meet up with friends for a run, and for a short while I did contemplate going out for a run on my own instead; however, I managed to find many inventive excuses not to, and running is now postponed until tomorrow. Perhaps a jog along the canal will be a nice end to a Wednesday at work...

1 comment:

  1. I'll tell you my inventive excuses if you tell me yours ;)


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