Real quick

This is going to be a really quick post, as I’m in the office, but I have a couple of speculative articles to write this morning so this is to get me in the mood.

Tuesday was once again training night with Haywards Heath Harriers and I duly turned up despite the pouring rain and the fact that I had to change in the office to get there on time.

We warmed up with an 800m jog as per normal… normal, that is, except for the rain. 

David had laid out some flags as markers and after stretching out a bit, we hopped on one leg to the first flag, the other leg to the next, jogged to the last flag, did ten squat thrusts and sprinted back to the start.  Sounds easy doesn’t it, but it is surprising how quickly you run out of puff.  By the end of fifteen minutes, the hops were slower, the squat thusts more laboured and the sprints a mild jog!

At one point I was stunned when the whole ensemble raced inside because of a heavy downpour… having run through last winter (oh, and with the protection offered by my Gore jacket, which I had judiciously chosen to wear!) I hardly noticed it.  To be fair though, there were very few other jackets present and many cotton t-shirts, so I can’t say I blame them!

Next up were 200m tag sprints.  One of a team of two sprinted 200m around the end of the track, where the other carried the metaphoric batten for the second 200m and the first walked back across the middle to the start to keep it going.  My partner Mike was quick enough to ensure that I always had to jog back to meet him, but not as quick as two of the others as I was always chasing the same two people down the back straight.  This was a really great target and it made me stretch out far more than I otherwise would have done.

On one lap I found myself behind a young lad who consistently has too much energy, demonstrated rather well by the fact that in addition to being faster than anyone else, he also kicks his heels right up as if he’s still only playing!  I chased him hard down the straight and round the corner, but on on the exit he just stretched ahead while my energy failed!

Having run us out of energy, we then had a gentle 400m jog, followed by a mass start for a 400m sprint.  I started slow (or was that I HAD to start slow, on account of still being puffed out?) but managed to reel a few people in down the finishing straight.

The final 400m jog then started out as a walk for me, as that was all I could manage, but I must be getting used to the training as my legs weren’t quite so troubled later in the week as they had been in previous weeks.

This weekend is another garden special, but I shall hopefully get a long run in at some point to see whether the training is starting to make a difference there.  Have a GREAT  l o n g  weekend all!

Off-track training

Last night was training night at Haywards Heath Harriers and once again, Martin was running the show.

There was a good turnout, in spite of the chilly wind and I for one needed the 800m warm-up to do just that, despite three layers.  After stretching out we ran another 400m, this time fast, faster and fastest. 

Next up was a rough 75 jog before turning to sprint back.  There were some quickies in my group so I ended up pushing myself hard and ended up right out of breath after three or four reps. 

Which was a shame as the next session was a timed mile.  I should have had no problem with this, but instead I had two.  First, the chilly wind was giving me ear-ache and second, I couldn’t breathe out enough to get rid of the stitch that I’d got from the spinting.

I laguished home in a sluggish 7 minutes 19 seconds, with only my ease in the last 100m sprint to suggest that I could have got a (much?) faster time.

From here, Martin took us off-track, running down into the local woods to a couple of useful football-pitch-sized grass fields.  Useful also because they had a steep gradient, or in fact several.  Twice up the hill across the middle of the first field and back around the outside left me hot and shedding one layer.

The second field had a similar gradient, but also had large undulations and by the time I had struggled up the first couple of short hills, I had shed a second layer and was much more comfortable.  By the third time around I was coasting happily down the downhill sections and sprinting hard up the final hill.

With twilight fast approaching, we took a gentle jog back up through the dark woods and I really admired the way that the only partially sighted Mike just went with the flow, keeping a smile on his face despite the fact that he clearly couldn’t see the dimly lit multiple cambers, tree-roots, stiles, mud, overhanging foliage etc.

A final 500m jog around the track finished the evening and sitting here the next day, my legs don’t feel too tired… let’s see how they are tomorrow though!

Tuesday training

It may prove to be too far to drive after work, but I thought I would try Haywards Heath Harriers midweek training session for a second time.  I was not disappointed.

The trainer this evening was Martin, who introduced himself to me after I had run the 800m warm-up by getting me to do another lap on my own, split into fast, faster and fastest.  This meant I was knackered before we even started!

First up was some circuit training: two sets of two minutes each of star jumps, side jumps, passing medicine balls at shoulder height, squat thrusts and press-ups.  If I thought that I had been exhausted, I was now!

Next was 15 minutes of the fast, faster, fastest that I had already experienced.  Wiser now, I moderated my enthusiasm, but after ten minutes or so of keeping pace with the ensemble, Martin pulled three or four of us out to put more effort into it… basically dropping the fast bit and running only faster and fastest.  Two laps of that and I was pooped!

Next were 200m sprints around the end of the track, with a recovery walk back across the middle.  I thought I was going to get away with coasting this, but I soon found myself rising to be competitive!  By the time I had completed eight of these, I was strangely starting to get into the swing of it.

To cool down we had four light & fast 75m runs with a recovery walk back and then stretched out in a group.  A gentle 400m jog rounded off the evening.

I felt pretty good, but my second-morning-after aches were profound and as of Saturday morning I was still suffering.  The sign of a GREAT work-out!  Whether or not I decide to continue, I can thoroughly recommend this club!

Mid week training

At the suggestion of Ray and Marian at the weekend, I joined the Haywards Heath Harriers for a training session last night.  The weather continued to impress as we completed two jogged laps of the grass track, before Brenda warmed up our office-bound muscles with a series of stretches and jumps.

Dave then started us on the hard work, with press-ups, sit-ups and squat thrusts interspersed with short jogs and sprints.

After another jog, he set us on a pyramid run around the track, with two, four, six, four, two minute race-pace runs, separated by one-minute recovery walks.

Brenda then stretched us out again and we completed a final slow lap of the track before heading for home.

It was a diverse and really friendly bunch of people and the training was sufficiently taxing to feel that I had given my body a good workout, without being exhausted.  The facility there at Whitemans Green is pretty good too and I can recommend the group to any locals who want to improve their running.

For the record, I reckon I ran around 6 km, or 3.75 miles during the evening and I noticed one of the younger lads running home afterwards!  Far too much energy!