My first race of the year is in twelve days time and it dawned on me this morning I haven't actually done any specific training for it. For the past nine months I've been nothing but a plodder, gently going through the motions, avoiding anything that hurt, or seemed likely to get me out of breath, and mainly on days when the temperature felt the same outside the house as it did inside. Lying in bed, where I do most of my planning, it struck me some sort of crash programme is called for. Last Saturday's 10.38 miles could, I suppose, be regarded as my 'long run'. So that's done and out of the way. Time now for some speedwork.
After breakfast I set out at a gentle jog through dewy fields to a local landmark known as Castle Hill where I do my 'altitude training'. At a mere 900' the air up there is not exactly rare, but the effort involved getting to the top certainly wakes up the old cardio-vascular system and prepares it for the series of repetitions I do along a slightly uphill path towards the summit. I'd planned to do 12 x 180m but failed miserably and jogged back down feeling a bit disgusted with myself after only six.
|My local Cricket field - for speed training|
But I wasn't going to give up so easily. Closer to home is a perfectly level cricket field which I also use for doing fast repetition runs and my steps turned towards there for another six reps to bring my total to twelve. These reps are shorter, a mere 130m, but I run them quicker. After six reps I ran four laps of the field to warm down (where a portly gentleman who'd been watching proceedings while leaning on his garden fence remarked "You're a very fit man, Sir), then jogged home. After 'Sticking' my quads, hamstrings and calf muscles I plugged my Garmin into the computer to read the results. It told me I'd run 5.98 miles with 469ft of ascent in 63 mins 9 secs. But what pleased and surprised me most were those reps on the cricket field. I kid you not, I'd been churning them out at 5.54 min/mile pace. Hmmm, I reckon that's not bad for starters!