If I’m honest, I went into today’s session nervous. 6 x 1200m on a 400m track is a lot, and I struggle with the monotony of short laps. Plus I’m still getting used to pacing myself over shorter distances.
And therein lies the problem.
Rather than going into the session aggressively, I started off my first set wondering how on earth I was going to manage to do this six times. And then I got it completely wrong, went off too fast (finishing in 4:45) and after the second set my legs felt like everything had gone out of them and I was close to tears.
Now I know what you’re thinking – either it’s “aren’t you meant to be doing this for fun?” or it’s “WUSS!” But it is fun, and I do love it. Plus if it was easy, then quite honestly what would be the point? But I’m still learning. I’m learning how to pace myself, what my limits are and what I’m capable of. And at this stage, it’s not 6 x 1200m. It’s 4 x 1200m.
But Alan being Alan decided that if we were only doing 4 sets, I was only going to get a 20 second rest between sets 3 and 4. Now I know Alan tells me I recover quickly, but that was a shocker. But I remembered Alan’s infamous phrase about how there’s “no point taking anything home with you”, so I dug deep and did the last set bang on 5 minutes (which for future reference is how I needed to do every set).
Alan wasn’t going to let me leave without a pep talk, and he reminded me that we’ve only been working together for 6 weeks, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried to pace myself over 1200m. He said we got the set wrong, but this is all trial and error. And I know that without him I wouldn’t have attempted this session, and if by some miracle I had, I would have quit after the first set like my head was screaming at me to. Quite frankly, I would have bailed, and I would feel a lot worse about that than I do about struggling with the session. According to him, running is 80% in the mind, 20% in the legs. He’s right. Of course he is.
So after I did my customary barefoot lap around the track like he always makes me do after a session, he told me he wants a 21:5-something Parkrun out of me this Saturday or I have to give him a Mars Bar. He also told me not to run with any water as I’m treating it like a baby treats its dummy (harsh). I get a dry mouth quickly on a run, but it is a comfort blanket and I know it makes me run unevenly. I shouldn’t need water on a 20 minute run if I hydrate myself sufficiently beforehand. As per usual Alan is right (I’m sensing a pattern here), but I’m a little bit nervous…..
Barefoot laps. They’re the future.