Friday, August 29, 2014


I’m not sure that I like running fast.  It’s hard.  I sweat.  A lot.  And the mind games it takes to keep going are almost more effort than the actual run.

Yesterday was speed day.  Melbourne had put on an absolute farewell to Winter with glorious sunny, clear skies.  Really, I just wanted to walk in it; feel the sun warm my bones, breathe in this prelude of Spring.  But I have a plan, so through gritted teeth I scanned in at gym and said hello to Mr. Treadmill.

Still a little pissy about missing the goodness outside, I extended my walking warm-up to 10 minutes, gave myself a stern talking to and ran…

1.       10kph                    90 seconds                          30 seconds rest

2.       12kph                    60 seconds                          45 seconds rest

3.       14kph                    60 seconds                          45 seconds rest

4.       16kph                    45 seconds                          60 seconds rest

5.       14kph                    60 seconds                          60 seconds rest

6.       12kph                    60 seconds                          45 seconds rest

7.       10kph                    90 seconds                          30 seconds rest


And this is what I noticed;

10kph, 6 min/km feels really slow now.  Especially on the way back down the pyramid.  In fact, it felt a little awkward and was difficult to get a rhythm happening.

12kph, 5 min/km is actually a pretty manageable pace.  That’s hilarious to write.  And again, coming back down the pyramid, I felt as though I could stay here for longer than the pre-planned 60 seconds.

14kph, 4.28min/km – now this was a challenge, and definitely harder on the first attempt, but I clearly remember thinking on the last (fourth) interval at this pace, that there’s not that much difference between 5min and 4 min pace.  Sounds dumb when I read it back – must have been the endorphins!

16kph, 3.75min/km was T O U G H.  I felt like a water buffalo thumping across the belt.  There was no grace, form or style, it was survival mode.  On the first interval set I narrowly avoided becoming treadmill roadkill, my feet barely able to jump off the belt.  I didn’t quite get through the full 45 seconds; more like 41.  The second set was a definite improvement.  I squeezed out 45 seconds but had no more in me.

It’s really important to me to record these observations here for a couple of reasons.  I remember the first time I ran this style of interval on the treadmill, about 18 months ago.  After 12kph I nervously increased to 13kph but could only manage a few steps, and one set was enough.  I may never improve beyond where I am now – this may be my peak, but if it’s not, I’ll have this new baseline to measure myself against.

To me, competition comes in two forms; against the person I was yesterday, and against the voices in my head that tell me garbage stories about why I can’t, or shouldn’t, or won’t.  Yesterday I beat them both.  Winning J

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