Another Tuesday, another double run – albeit slightly different this week.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m now in training for the Dublin Marathon. Today my plan called for a speed session. Specifically, a three mile run with the first and third miles at an easy pace, whilst for the second I had to go at full effort and aim for nine minute mile pace!
That alone would have smashed my PB for the distance, so it was a little bit daunting even thinking about it.
Putting off this session for as long as I could, I eventually went out at around 4pm. My route was the old tried and tested path alongside the dual carriageway to the industrial estate, straight and uninterrupted.
As stated, the first mile was to be easy – and easy it was. I tried to take it very gently, just enough to get warmed up for what was ahead. I clocked the mile at 13:13.
Next up, the attempt at the nine minute mile. Sods law dictated that the first mile ended just when the route rose slightly, so setting off at pace I was immediately running up a bit of a climb, although I did turn around at the top which then gave me the luxury of a drop for a while. Again, like the rise, not massive but enough to provide a little relief.
Four minutes in, my legs and body started screaming at me. What the hell was I doing to them? What was this speed? They weren’t used to going this fast.
This was tough but, interestingly, I found that my stride began to lengthen which made the speed I was going more manageable. I naturally slowed a little, but this was partially caused by the road rising again. It’s impossible to find somewhere totally flat but I really felt the slight rise although, to be honest, that’s not necessarily a bad thing in a speed session like this. It can only make me stronger.
Anyway, I was sprinting along as fast as my tiny little stumpy legs could carry me, keeping one eye on my watch for my time. I was trying to get as close to that magic nine-minute mark as I could.
In the end, I ran out of puff, eventually finishing in 9:06 … but I don’t see that as a failure. Quite the contrary in fact. It was my fastest mile ever by some 30 seconds and, with it, my fastest ever kilometre too. I was challenged to aim for nine minutes and came damn close to it. Not bad for a first effort.
After that was another easy mile to finish. Strangely, despite expending almost every ounce of energy I had, I managed to complete this mile over a minute faster than the first one in tonight’s session. It felt sluggish, it felt laboured but, yet, it was quicker.
That done, I had a bit of a rest for an hour before going out to Cullybackey for week seven of the club C25K programme.
Tonight’s schedule called for 2×15 minute runs so I figured it’d be a good recovery session.
And so it proved. I felt really comfortable throughout, totally relaxed and fresh despite my speedier sessions over the last couple of days.
I didn’t opt to run home tonight. I figured I’d done enough for one day!