Striding out

Another day, another run.

This time it was an early evening intervals session with Bronagh. The thoughts of these sessions are always worse than the reality, so it was good to have company.

My plan for tonight was a one mile warm-up, followed by 12 sets of 200m all out run/200m jog and then a one mile cool down. Different from before, but I enjoy the variety of each session.

Having run it so many times before I knew there was exactly a mile from a certain point on the Antrim Road to the entrance of the industrial estate along the dual carriageway, so that’s where we headed for our warm up.

Once there we had an almost secluded ‘track’ in the form of a now unused section of the M2 Bypass. It was around 300m long, so perfectly suited for our purposes.

I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the first split so was a little cautious, completing it in 55.5 seconds which, apart from a little bit in the middle, was my slowest.

My next two came in it 50 and 48 seconds respectively which, my Garmin tells me, is 6:42min/mi and 6:27min/mi … usually unobtainable speeds for me so it was nice to experience it for a change! The rest of the splits (apart from a 57.4 and 58) came in at around 52 seconds or just over 7 minute mile pace. Again, usually out of reach for me but nice all the same.

I’ve been having a slight issue with my left knee so was a bit concerned about how it’d cope with a high intensity session such as this but, generally, it felt ok. Yes, the first few steps/seconds were a little uncomfortable/stiff but once I got going it was fine.

What was also pleasing that as each split progressed I began to lengthen my stride which caused me to go faster without working harder. It’ll take a bit of work and a great deal of confidence to maintain it but I’d quite like to experiment with it further. It’s not my natural running style but, being of limited stature (ok, I’m a short ass!), lengthening my stride might well improve my times whilst also cutting down on the amount of energy expended. Who knows? I likely have that all wrong but at least I could give it a go.

To recap, it was a successful intervals session, I was pleased with how I coped, went faster than I thought I would and got a little insight into another aspect of running that might improve my overall performance. Win win.

Next up is a four miles easy run, before I head back over to England for the Bath Two Tunnels Half Marathon on Sunday morning, a race which brings me to the halfway point in my #18in18 Challenge.

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