|Ready to head out for tonight's run with Negrita|
My training yesterday was split between a lunchtime 3k timed run and the group coaching session with Jeff in the evening.
At lunchtime I got confused by the fact that my Garmin was reading in miles instead of kilometres, and ended up going off way to fast, before I realised what had happened. Then I didn't know how far I should run in miles in order to have run 3k, and didn't want to play around with the settings whilst running, so in the end I did just over 3k. To be precise I did 3.13k in 12:24.
Then yesterday evening was my weekly coached session with Jeff Grant. It was the first lesson of Series 4, and Jeff decided to focus on hill training. After a short warmup we did a benchmark test that he will use at the end of Series 4 to see if we have improved. It was a short run around part of the field that is next to the Saalsporthalle and then at the end there was an uphill section. The final section was steep enough that if you hadn't paced yourself well till that point and left some reserves, you were a little bit screwed. I completed the test in 6:04 and at the end of Series 4 I will post my new time so you can see my improvement (or not as the case may be). There were 3 people who beat me in the benchmark test. Two of them I thought might beat me and then there was a new guy that turned up. He was a short Mexican guy and he ran like Speedy Gonzales. I bet he had consumed a few handfuls of Chia seeds before starting.
After the benchmark test and a huge hailstorm (the weather is so unpredictable at the moment), we started with hill sprints using a series of cones laid out on 3 spokes. One of the "spokes" was actually downhill and it may surprise some of you, but downhill running can actually be a valuable tool in your training repertoire. For a start, running downhill makes you good at running downhill. This can be important if you are going to do a race that includes some downhill sections (which the Ticino Trail will in copious amounts). Running downhill also helps to increase your leg turnover speed (which is why it is often used by sprinters), and last but not least it makes your muscles stronger and so you are less likely to suffer from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Like any new element of training it must be added gradually to your schedule to avoid risk of injury. Too much too soon can be a very bad idea.
Upon completing the hill sprints we headed back to the Saalsporthalle to do a few stretches (even more important than usual after hill training) and then the lesson was over and we dispersed as quickly as we had come together one hour earlier.
Todays training also consisted of 2 parts. At lunchtime I ran 7k with 3 of my colleagues (if you recall I have a lot of colleagues who have taken up running in the last half year or so). Then tonight I went out for a 6k run with Negrita - why walk your dog when you can run with your dog I say. Negrita has had a new haircut as you can see in the photo above, and looks ever so smart and cute. I am sure it is also better for her to run like this, as she won't get so hot as before. It also shows off how lean she is. A lean mean running machine. Both runs were down in my Vibram Fivefingers.
What will tomorrow's training include? I am not sure yet, but most likely I will run to work and then I have my one to one Pilates class in the evening. There is also a fitness store opening near work, and they are giving people the chance to try out Kangoo Jumps, so I may go there at lunchtime to try them out, and drag along one or two of my sporty colleagues.