It’s not that often I attend club training nights. Mainly because I finish work at 3:30 each day so can have ran, come home and have the tea cooking in the oven before the majority of people finish work. However this Wednesday gone I finished work late and opted to come to club training.
Arriving at The University Sports Centre (Formerly known as Maiden Castle) at around 6:45pm there were (as always) no spaces to be found in the main car park so into the Overflow it was. At this point I still hadn’t decided which of the sessions on offer I was going to take part in. did I just want a nice steady run out? Did I want to do some speed work? Did I want to do some Cross Country training? Well if I wanted to do the latter I was in the wrong place!
After hearing the different options available (and having read them on TeamApp) I decided I’d give Michael’s Track alternative the Theatre of Dreams (ToD) a go. My good friend Dave Toth, also making a rare Striders appearance, decided he’d give this a go too.
So announcements over with and assembled outside in our groups off we went.
The warm up for the ToD session is a nice gentle 1.3 mile hill climb up to the Howlands P&R where the main session takes place. Even walking uphill for 1.3 miles would get you successfully warmed up, this was just a nice conversation paced jog to warm the legs up.
Once at the P&R Michael explained what his session was going to be.
Four repetitions of six minutes at threshold pace, thirty seconds hard followed by a minutes recovery. Michael defined threshold as Ten mile to Half Marathon pace to save any complicated mathematical calculations taking place which for me would be around 8:45 pace.
A quick blast of the whistle and we were off, first six minutes. Dave and I started this together, both running about the same pace. He couldn’t see his watch (old age!) and I knew it was faster than my threshold pace, but it was comfortable and we stayed together. The six minutes passed and Michael blew the whistle, 30 seconds hard effort. This of course started on the uphill incline for me! Puffing, panting and working hard the whistle for the minutes recovery couldn’t come quick enough! I slowed to a very slow jog to regain my composure ready for the next repetition.
Three more repetitions followed with everyone working hard at their own paces. Come the final hard thirty seconds at the end of the last repetition I had nothing left in my legs and was pleased to hear the whistle one final time for a minute recovery jog.
The cool down was a return to the University Sports Centre, fortunately this time downhill, followed by stretches.
Thank you to Michael and all the other Run Leaders for putting on these sessions each week to allow this club and its members to go from strength to strength.