I had committed to run today, to make up for a lovely indulgent week with friends N&A. Of course, I made that commitment before having checked the weather.
We didn’t have two feet of snow in London, but we did have a considerable amount of frost and ice. As a street pounder when I am in London, it’s not awfully convenient to get to a park for a nice run. And to be honest, the thought of getting a tube to Regents Park for a run didn’t appeal, given I’d get really cold on the cool-down.
So bright spark that I was, I thought I’d do the Couch To 5K Speed Programme today instead and do it on the Barbican Highwalk. This is an interval training programme designed to help you work faster and harder at your running, increasing your speed and calorie consumption.
After a morning/lunch time/early afternoon of Faffolino visiting at my behest, which went pretty much like this:-
Cup of tea to wake up properly – of course Faffolino, why hadn’t I thought of that?
Sort out the laundry – oh it definitely needs doing, before I can run.
Cup of coffee and breakfast – sure can’t run on an empty stomach (in fact I can and do and prefer to)
Walk up to the fish shop – definitely necessary – a good protein source for today’s run
Grocery shopping – woman cannot live on salmon alone…
Do the ironing – well we have a visitor coming, so it’s better to get it done
Sew on a press-stud onto a summer shirt – self evidently a critical task
I was just about to eye up another ‘must do’ task, of wrapping up two last minute Christmas presents, when Mr JCR interjected ‘I thought you were going for a run, after you’d done the ironing?’. BUGGER, my prevarication had been sussed, so I somewhat reluctantly got changed into my kit. And as ever, my resolve always comes back when I am in kit.
A stroll to the Barbican Highwalk, with my runners buff up by my nose, hat on, double layer of gloves, including the amazing LED finger gloves above. Then Laura started all friendly…. but I know she’s a mean son of a gun. I’m all for girl power, but daughter of a gun, doesn’t sound the same.
Walk for 5 minutes on the 1,2,3,4 beat, which is fine whilst she’s counting, but when it comes to me and my counting, well I go a little awry and I use the 5 minutes to check out my running route – around the mini duck pond. No ducks but rather a lot of duck poo. There are some little patches of ice, so I note their whereabouts and carry on. 5 minutes warm up walk done – by this stage according to Laura my muscles should be nicely warm …mmm, I’m not so sure. It’s flipping freezing and my legs feel a bit leaden, but here we go.
Number One interval – 5 minutes of warm up running to a 150 bpm pace, apparently you can still count it on 1,2,3,4 they are just faster 1,2,3,4s. Well done JCR, you did that one – ah yes I’d forgotten, that’s just the warm up run. Ho hum, okay now Laura ups the ante, still the 1,2,3,4 count; only a heck of a lot faster at 165bpm. My little legs are going like pistons, but I am pleased I get it done…
Then my ‘comfortable’ pace run (according to Laura) but she can’t see my face or hear my breathing…, at which point I come up with a better pacing mechanism than the boring 1,2,3,4 count. I find I can run at the right pace whilst rasping ‘I hate Lau -Ra’ – it isn’t anything personal you understand, but these interval runs are crappy, necessary but crappy. Followed up by the sprint, it is too fast for me to curse at Laura, I content myself with wheezing a generic ‘F..k, F..k, F..kety, F..k’
Comfortable Pace Run 3 to 6 – four x sixty seconds of I hate Lau-Ra, which frankly on the last one, was bloody uncomfortable, with a knee twingeing away.
Sprints 3 to 6 – it has to be said the pace dropped somewhat, from my initial enthusiastic F..k, F..k, F..kety, F..k, to a more sedate F..k, F..kety, F..k, – I dropped a F..k, as my speed slowed.
What did I learn today?
- I have to do interval training to up my speed, so these training runs have to be done
- I really need to use Laura for something else other than speed training, as I am not sure she deserves the abuse
- My timing and coordination is shocking
- Prevarication serves no useful purpose whatsoever, and it’s much better just to go and run
- I had hoped to Up Speed, but it was really hard work and at the end I was in the reverse ‘deep spu’ and ended up with a slightly twangy knee and a stitch
In summary, Laura and I are probably going to have to keep dating, but Mr Smooth please, please can you come up with a programme that I like, or is that impossible?
Face Colour -Monarch Red
Nothing – just the bizarre running beat that Laura and Audiofuel recommend – I hate it!
Distance – 3.75km including the warm up and down walks
Time 26.32 mins
Pace 7.04 mins/km (including walk elements)
Squats 3 X 15 sets of reps.