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Time to mix it up – speed training

February 17, 2013

Laura’s revenge, the 5k+ podcasts are a new round of running torture

I treated myself to some new running gear (top and bottoms) on Saturday thinking that the BF and I could go out for a run and ‘wear it in’.  However, we’ve both got colds and spent the day feeling pretty grotty – albeit not grotty enough to stop us going to the flicks to see the new Die Hard film :-).  Today he’s not doing any better, but I’m feeling a bit more human now the cough is going away and symptoms are all ‘above the neck’.

Having left the BF to his sneezing/coughing and driven home I managed to resist the lure of posing in trying out brand spanking new kit for a grand total of 2 hours before I had to hit the road – that’s almost unheard of for me with new things as I don’t do delayed gratification.  So, in honour of the new wardrobe and the remains of my cold I elected to do a shorter run and try something new, plumping for the C25k+ speed podcast.  For the uninitiated, these are designed for c25k graduates to help them get closer to doing 5k in 30 min, improve their stamina and get them running faster.

So, after weeks without hearing Laura’s dulcet tones it was actually rather nice to hear her nagging me to keep to the right pace for my 5 min warm up walk and then a 5 min jog at 155 bpm.  This was useful as I’ve discovered that 155 seems to be about my natural running pace, so felt fine to begin with.  However, Laura was playing tricks and lulling me into a false sense of security again.  She then ordered me into 60 seconds of running at 165 bpm, accompanied by a frenzied sergeant major impression barking “1, 2, 3, 4, run to the beat”. Bloody hell, I’m pretty sure my feet are not meant to move that fast!  Listening to her count the beat wasn’t necessarily helpful as getting my feet to catch up with her caused me to trip over myself. Thank god it was only 60s before she told me to slow down to 150bpm.  My colleagues at work would have been amused to see me finally running like Phoebe from friends, if only to make sure I wouldn’t fall over :-).

Luckily I got the hang of things in the 2nd interval.  While I wouldn’t say it was a graceful gazelle-like transition between the different paces, it wasn’t quite the train wreck of round one.  By intervals 3 and 4 I’d got the transitions sorted, but was really starting to feel the strain in terms of breathing and heart rate and by the final interval I’m pretty sure I’d learned to breathe out of my bottom.  I haven’t been so relieved to do the 5 min cool-down walk since week 5 of c25k.

It must have done some good, because looking at my Runkeeper stats when including the warm-up walk my pace is only just over the 12 min mile, which is faster than my norm.  I think I’ll try alternating the speed and stamina podcasts on a weekly basis around b210k and see how that helps overall pace and performance.  With them being shorter runs, it hopefully shouldn’t lead to an overuse injury and should make me stronger for the longer runs coming in later weeks.  Thinking about it, this might be a good one for the treadmill………. maybe next time the weather is pants I shall retreat indoors and slog it out in the gym, although the speed changes might prove entertaining for onlookers :-S.

Anyway, a good, if short, workout was rounded off with today’s Fab Ab Feb offering – 30 sit-ups, 8 press-ups and 25s plank. The press-ups in particular are getting pretty tough and by the end of the set my arms were like jelly, but I’m taking comfort from the fact that I am succeeding! I’m hoping that somewhere under my warming layer of blubber some abs are starting to form.  I know they are there because they ache, but I’d kind of like to see them.  When they get here I’m throwing a party for them 🙂

So, its a quiet night of contemplating Top Gear and Ripper Street for me in preparation for my lunch time run with Lucy tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it went and just how much ribbing I get from colleagues about my running kit.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2013 2:11 pm

    My colleagues are looking at me like I have fallen off my rocker, laughing at “breathing out [your] bottom”!! Ah it’s the little things in life! 🙂

    • February 18, 2013 7:27 pm

      you know that feeling. The one where the body says ‘no more!’.
      Its a charming expression I picked up from a chap at work, but highly descriptive I think 🙂

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