Tonight was the regular track night for the Fasttracks Running Club and the workout was fairly simple: 400m at one mile pace followed by 400 jog recovery… Then repeat eight times.
That makes four miles of running and two miles at ‘pace’. Quite a challenge but fortunately the weather was with us tonight. No rain. No sun. A little wind but not too bad. And after the prescribed dynamic workout I was itching to run. I did a couple of laps to warm up too then we were called to the line up.
Group one has a tendency to go out too fast and tonight was no exception. My target/measured pace for the mile is 6:20 pace. The first lap was at a 5:58 pace and felt too fast. I guess others felt that too because the next one was a slightly more conservative 6:06. By lap three I no longer could feel the coolness of the evening breeze. Effort three was at a 6:10 pace which is getting closer to mile pace. And one more got us to halfway. At this point I was tracking 6:04. Still too fast.
For each interval lap we group up and are sent out en masse. So that gives a couple of extra seconds of recovery time to help get the spring back in your legs.
Onto the second half. Lap five was at a 6:09 pace and lap six was 6:08. Pretty consistent if not slightly fast. Two more laps to go and we were starting to sense the end. Lap seven was at 6:11 and we then took a very slow recovery lap to build up for the last one.
For the last lap our coach led us out for the first 100m and we were instructed to go ‘all out’ for the remainder of the lap… My final lap time was at 5:50 pace. I could feel the adreneline as I accelerated at the 200m mark and again at the 100m mark.
We then shook out our legs with a few more laps of recovery during which I got to spend some time chatting with Keith Straw who is the clubs bonafide long distance expert runner. He is an interesting character and I got to talk about how he started getting into ultra-marathons (which I shan’t publish here because it was a private conversation). He’s a very interesting chap and a great embassador for running. I found him to be enthusiastic and that he readily recognises other people’s efforts (even when they pale next to his); it was an enjoyable way to wind down at the end if the night. It is also nice to have a chance to talk to a fellow Brit who is in a similar line of work to me. This weekend he will be running a 24hr race on a 400m track. I can’t even begin to imagine what a toll that must take on your body and your mind. Some people are made of strong stuff.
I bailed on beers for tonight and instead headed home for “bangers’n’mash”. Yum.
Overall distance for the night was just shy of six miles with the average pace for all of it at 7:48. No heartrate monitor this week. Next week, perhaps.