Tag Archives: speed

Run 167 – B&WAC WISE Intervals

Date:  Wednesday 11th February 2015 7:15pm

Distance: [1.38] + 7.66 = 9.04km

Time: [6:02] + 34:35 intervals and recovery = 40:37

Pace: [4:22] + 4:31 = 4:30 min/km

Description: Still feeling the effects of last night’s yoga. Walk to WISE instead and have 6 minutes of warm up around the track followed by drills. I’ve decided to up the ante and tag on to the elite group to see how I get on. Tonight its 800m (2 laps) on, with 90 second recovery, 2 laps on with 3 minute recovery, times five!

BAM! And we’re off. Oh crap! Despite not having run the hills of Purdown last night, something tells me I’m not as fired up as last week. Oh crap! Breathing is all over the place. Just got to try and keep up with this guy at the back. Oh my God what am I doing? Breathing seems so ragged. Two laps seems an eternity. Maybe I haven’t gotten up to speed yet. Next effort, oh crap. This is not smooth. Legs seem to be ploughing in to the track, and seem to have little control over getting my breathing to steady. First set done. Second set! What already?! I’m so behind on this one that the whistle goes off after only 700m. The next 800m I’m really flagging, I’m in the shit.

Then, Keith, the guy leading this “elite” group has a word with me. He suggests I do only one lap next, use the remaining time for a longer jog recovery, then do the following 800m. It’s bitter sweet. Relieved, because I know based on that last one that my performance is going to nose dive very soon and I’m going to be doing an impression of a dying seal on the side of the track for all to see. But pissed off and embarrassed that I can’t hack it in the fast group. Ego not having a good evening.

But surprisingly, what it does do is allow me to push harder knowing I only have 400m to get round. At this point the whole group is feeling the effect of being on the third set. I speed past one group down the first straight, and bizarrely feel so self-conscious for being so fast, that I feel I have to reassure the others with “Don’t worry, I’m only doing one lap”. Moron. Anyways, that lasts until I reach the second half of the group ahead, and my body realises it still has 200m to go and whatever burst of enthusiasm powered me through the first straight was obviously left there.

The extra recovery seems over all too soon as the runners come back round from the second lap. And we’re off again, another 800m, oh God this is still hard. What the fuck is wrong with my body? Why is this so different to last week? Why am I not able to sort my breathing out? Is it the yoga? Is it the fact that I walked instead of jogged here? Should I go for an easy run the day before instead of yoga? So many questions. This isn’t helping. I just need to not get too behind the last guy in front. And even then I’ve still got another set to do (hell am I doing five of these!)

Thank fuck that’s over! Gasp gasp, gulp, cogh gasp gasp. Right, look active, start cool down jog. Most people are carrying on with the fifth set, but there’s a couple of guys who are also cooling down, obviously way out in front though. Theme of the evening.

I’m really keen to know what sorta pace I’ve managed tonight, hope it’s better than last weeks. We certainly did seem to be overtaking Chris’ group. And I hope the reason why tonight has felt so bad is that I’m doing a pace that I’m not used to.

On the plus side as well, the other guys were saying that this was a hard session. I had a chat with a chap who’s doing one of the night races in Forrest of Dean tomorrow and Skyline on Sunday. Then had a chat with Keith, who also takes a hills session at Ashton Court on Saturdays at 10am. I say I should probably go back down to Chris’ group, but he says that I should do the fast group next week, but maybe cut some of the efforts short to gain recovery time. Cool.

I’m exhausted and legs are sore but not hurting, which is a positive sign. I hobble back home and start to have a look at my interval paces and heart rate. First of all, switching off the 1km auto lap on the Garmin and using the lap button works for Garmin Connect, but not for Strava. But at least this makes extracting interval times easier. And the distances are a consistent over estimation of the lap distance, so times are used with 400m based laps to give the following breakdown:

[800m 2m46s 3:28/km]

[800m 2m48s 3:30/km]

[700m 2m33s 3:39/km]

[800m 2m52s 3:35/km]

[400m 1m20s 3:20/km]

[800m 2m52s 3:35/km]

[400m 1m22s 3:25/km]

[800m 2m50s 3:33/km]

Total effort distance was 5.5km, in 19:35, giving an average effort pace of 3:31 min/km. And that’s corrected for distance! OK, not bad, but how does that compare to last week?

That was 4.0km in 14:54 giving average effort pace of 3:44 min/km. So, the good news is I was “faster” this week by 15 seconds. But it goes to show the step change in effort needed to knock 15s off a pace. I really, really do have my work cut out for me!

Pace comparison between WISE sessions week 06 and 07.

Heartrate! Surely feeling so bad means that I was reaching 200bpm for most of that? Well, not quite, mostly between 190bpm and 195bpm. But when compared to last week’s trace, it maybe makes a bit of sense. The biggest difference is the heart rate was built up over several minutes last week. This week the first loop was 180bpm, which still doesn’t seem that high. But perhaps the body was shocked a little, and I wonder if I might be better off not worrying about keeping up with the pack on the first interval, and build it up! Indeed, shooting off at 2:50 min/km pace, as it appears I did right at the start, is a recipe for disaster. Heart took a whole lap to go from 104bpm to 184bpm and doing that kind of pace without the bloodflow to back it up surely isn’t good for endurance?! The previous week was a more gradual increase in heartrate over one lap with recovery and another two laps after that!

WISE Intervals comp
HR comparison between WISE session Week 06 and 07.

But, how do these spikes in heartrate compare to say Aztec 5k or Brighton 8k? Go look. Aztec I was starting at 130bpm, and was up to 180bpm after 200m, 190bpm after 500m, 195bpm faster 2km, finishing on well over 200bpm! Same starting rate for Brighton, so maybe I was too “cold” starting at WISE. And the Brighton pace was around 7bpm slower throughout, but with consistent steady increase.


Run 164 – B&WAC WISE Pyramids

Date:  Wednesday 4th February 2015 6:30pm

Distance: [2.1] + 7.3 [+ 4.0] = 13.2km

Time: [12:03] + 14:54 intervals only [+ 24:35] = 51:32

Pace: [6:01] + 3:37 [+6:09] = 3:54 min/km

Description: After getting changed at work, it’s a gentle 2k jog with the hoodie and Camelbak rucksack to WISE track. Turn up early, and the guys on reception suggest I go round the back where the track is. I’m there, but no one else is around. Then an older chap turns up, who turns out to be Chris, the gentleman who sent me the email after Aztec West 5k inviting me along.

We have a good chat, telling me about the lie of the land with regards to other clubs (particularly Westbury). Happy for people to come along from any club or not and pay the £2 to support the use of the track. Happy, as long as there’s no poaching or hypocrisy. Sounds fair.

Other people slowly turn up, it’s not a huge group, but he introduces me to each person as they arrive, which is really nice. There’s a sub20 group, but considering the 21k I did last night and how I’m feeling, I’ll start with the 20-25 group.

The warm up exercises are just what I’ve been after, something more structured. And it helps, because it’s bloody cold tonight with a slight breeze that goes right through you. After that it’s simply 400m, 800m, 1600m, 800m, 400m intervals with 400m recovery in between. Unfortunately I haven’t got the Garmin optimised for intervals, and hence only recorded the speed sessions and not recovery. Full distance was 7.2km including track warm up and cool down and recovery laps. Each lap is 400m.

[400m 1m26s 3:35/km]

[800m 2m56s 3:40/km]

[1600m 6m14s 3:54/km]

[800m 3m03s 3:49/km]

[400m 1m15s 3:08/km]

I really enjoyed it. I found the recovery laps perhaps too leisurely at first, but I wasn’t at the front, just trying to keep up with the front runners. Particularly remember a great battle on last 200m. And the pace trace is very telling! I sped up and over took one chap. Then, as we enter the corner he seems to take back the place. My trace clearly shows a sharp drop in pace, as if I’m giving up once I see him overtaking me. This out-psyching often happens during the end of races. Fascinating. But then when we rounded the corner to the final straight I had to give it my all.

Running, focusing on a point far in the distance, arms swinging, head and chest up, trying to kill thought and emotion in order to run faster, further. The legs are robotic, and what’s left is becoming too. Faster! Accelerate! Faster! I start to overtake him. I’m not letting up. Accelerating. It’s like the end of Blaise again. Come on! I shoot past the finish line ahead. Too fucking right! I stop the Garmin. Damn good pace on that one. I feel the time killer rising up in me again, blood boiling. It is in THIS moment, that I’ll become faster in training. I NEED this competitiveness. Racing is the best sort of training, as is being demonstrated!

I tell the guy well done and thank him for a tough finish. Any runners that I passed I said well done in the SRC tradition. Jogging around on the cool down, it was nice to hear feedback on SRC how we cheer on runners from all clubs, particularly at the Towpath.

The chap is also telling me some really interesting stuff, particularly about the possibility of joining Bristol & West as my second club. Any races where Southville have a team, I’d enter under Southville. But if not, such as the Gwent and Midlands Leagues, I could be competing with Bristol and West. That would be fun! It was also interesting to hear that Bristol and West train on a Monday at Whitehall, Tuesday and Thursday at Combe Dingle and Wednesday at WISE. Hang on. Yup, apparently it’s Bristol & West coaches taking the interval sessions on a Thursday at Combe Dingle. Other clubs are welcome to use them of course, and do, it seems. Noted!

So, post Aztec, February is bringing a new phase on the war on time. Even more determination and focus, gym membership and recovery swims, track sessions with Bristol and West, hills with TACH. Thinking back to all those positive comments I received following my first sub20 5k, they were very similar to things I first thought when I first started seeing sub20 race results. “Fuck that’s fast!” “How is that even possible?” I’ve just to think back to how I thought exactly that about a 1:43 half marathon time…just before I smashed that by 5 minutes. It’s just a function of time and effort!

Happy with tonight’s session for starters, considering the 21km last night and how unfresh my legs are! Despite the perceived effort tonight, the heart rate says otherwise. Remember, if it’s not 100% anaerobic, I’m obviously not trying hard enough! Go hard, or go home! Next week, I’ll change to a Monday run with a Tuesday recovery (swim/yoga or gentle SRC run?) before I’ll go with the faster group next Wednesday. I wanna see those times fall! According to Chris, if I want to be sub40, I need to be running a 5k in 19:25. Sub32 8k, Sub18 5k.

Gentle 4k jog back to Patchway. Legs and feet huurrt! Recovery day tomorrow I think before this all catches up with me.