Monday, 9 October 2006

Running training: 3-weeks done

I'm now about to start my 4th week on Norrie's "10km in 45-minutes" programme. You want to know how it is going?

Overall - pretty good. But, I will confess that I haven't stuck to the programme 100% and I haven't been 100% consistent. But... I've definitely upped my running over the past 3-weeks and I'm thoroughly enjoying the fartlek sessions.

This past week (week 3 of the programme) the speed intervals were just that bit harder than before. On Tuesday I had to do 4 x 400m in 1:40 with 2-minute rest between sprints and on Friday I did 3 x 800m in 3:30 with a 4-minute rest between sprints. The thing with fartlek is that you start with a warmup (I do 3km to warm up) then you do the speed session and then you cool down (I do a 3km cooldown). To cover the 400m distance and the 800m distance I run at 14.5km/hr on the treadmill. For the rest sessions, I slow the machine down to 10.5km/hr and get my breath back at this easy pace.

This programme is meant to be done on a track but I do confess to being a treadmill junkie. I like the controlled environment of the treadmill. When I set a speed, I have to stick to it (or risk being flung off the back!); on the road or track you can slack off.

The 800m intervals were good, hard work and I definitely relaxed into them more towards the end.

Yesterday (Sunday), I ran the Germiston 15km with my friend Heather Graz, who was up in Joburg from Cape Town. We had a lovely run, chatting the whole way, and finished in an easy 1h24. I was feeling terrible before the start - the result of two consecutive late nights and early mornings. For a change I wasn't pushing for a time and instead enjoyed running with my friend and catching up on news.

I'm definitely feeling faster and stronger - certainly a result of the speed workouts. My basic "easy" speed on the treadmill is up and I'm finding the max speed, 16km/hr, quite comfortable for sprint sessions.

This week the intensity goes up a notch. On Tuesday I'll run 5 x 400m in 1:40 with 2-min rest between sprints and then on Friday 3 x 100m in 4:20 with 5-min rest is on the cards. The other days are easier runs ranging from 5-8km.

As always, I'm cross training. Before my treadmill sessions I ride the spin bikes for 15-20mins. My run is followed by stairmaster (all-time favourite), circuit weights and an eliptical trainer session. Sometimes all three, other days only 2 of the 3 variations; depending on time.

There are 4-weeks left of this programme. If you're working on your running, let me know how it is going.

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