Thursday, 28 February 2008

Life's Treadmill

Work conspired against me this week in my attempt to keep to my marathon programme, which is the peak week in the current 4 week cycle. (i.e. 14 x 400m @ 3k pace on Tuesday and 5 x 1 mile @ 10k pace on Thursday) While Monday is a scheduled day off I had it in the back of my mind to get a few easy miles in but I woke too late to go out in the morning and did not get home from work until after 8 in the evening. Work had me on the 0740 flight to Dublin on Tuesday morning with a drive across the country and an overnight stay in Nenagh for an early morning meeting. I attempted to find a quite stretch of road with public lighting to complete my 14 x 400m but after a mile warm up decided to return to the hotel gym to complete the session. I had set my polar to 400m auto laps. I set the gradient to 1% and off I went - "beep" cranked the speed up to 16 kph (06:00 pace not quite the 05:48 target) "beep" dropped the speed to 8.5 kph and so on I went cranking the speed up and down like a fiddlers elbow until I had cranked out 14 x 400m (except that it turned out to be 13 x 400m as I had lost count somewhere in the middle) The 400m turned out to be closer to 450m as the fast reps took 109 secs to complete as opposed to the targeted 90 seconds - in my mind this made up for the slightly slower speed and the missed rep. This session was certainly tougher than the track equivalent. (longest run to-date on a treadmill). Following a late night on Tuesday (Client entertaining - some Guinness involved) and an early start on Wednesday morning I was pretty shot Wednesday evening but still planned an easy run from the gym after work. On discovering that I had left my reflective bib in the hotel in Nenagh I was again consigned to running on a treadmill cranking out about 6.7 miles in 55 minutes. I decided to sleep-in this morning and to leave my 5 x 1 mile @ 10k pace to the track after work. I found this session very difficult over the last 2 weeks (3 x 1 mile & 4 x 1 mile) and felt that it would be somewhat easier to complete in the evening and on the track. As I was running in lane 3 I adjusted for the extra distance 4 laps would give me and set a target of 06:24 (01:36 laps or every 200m in 00:48, 01:36, 02:24, 03:12, 04:00, 04:48, 05:26 @ 06:24). Breaking the distance down into 200m chunks really helped. The 2 minute active recoveries consisted of walking the 200+m around the track in lane 5/6 to the start line. (time, start HR, avg HR, end HR) 06:26, 101, 138, 160 06:20, 118, 157, 163 06:23, 126, 158, 163 06:24, 118, 159, 165 06:24, 111, 160, 163 The session proved much more manageable than last weeks road equivalent (I suspect last weeks mile may have been longer - that, and the early morning start/lack of pace feedback that a track session gives made the session more physically and mentally demanding) Mon 25th Feb Day Off Tue 26th Feb 8.1 Miles in 01:16:17 (09:25 pace @ 147 HR) incl 13 x 400m @ 06:00 pace - Suspect overall distance (& avg pace) is well off. Wed 27th Feb 6.7 Miles in 55:00 (08:13 pace @ 132 HR) Treadmill Thur 28th Feb 9.3 Miles in 01:13:29 (07:54 pace @ 138 HR) with 5 x 1 generous mile @ 06:20 to 06:26.


  1. I don't think I'd ever attempt an interval session on the treadmill - too much beeping ;)

    I have to agree with the track being a better venue for speedwork. Not only the pacing of 200s etc, but your mind seems to be 'in gear' to run fast at the track. Good consistent miles! Start HR for the third one seems a bit high.

  2. Good w/o on Thursday, well done! Running mile repeats like that will keep you strong.

  3. I find it actually feels harder doing a pace (say mp) on the mill than out on the roads. 6min pace and I'd feel like I was going to fly off the back through the wall! Good effort keeping work in it's place too.