Conditions were near perfect. I was running late (no pun intended) and barely had time to warm up before taking my place on the start line. Daventry is well supported of late. There were roughly 220 runners lined up around me on Saturday.
Although I took a while to get into my stride, I felt really good through the middle part of the race. I’m sure, in part, this is down to the interval training I’ve introduced into my weekly schedule. For those of you not familiar with this type of training, the idea is to run a given distance/ time at approximately 90% of your full speed for that distance, jog for a set time (in my case one minute) and then repeat the process a given number of times.
I tend to run most of my intervals for anything up to two minutes: last week I ran eight 30 second intervals. The recovery is all important, in duration and pace. Some runners stop running for their recovery which means their heart rate drops too low and they lose some of the beneficial effects as a result. As a rule (if done correctly), your heart rate will be higher for each interval started, and by the end of the session, you should feel really out of breath.
There are numerous benefits to this kind of training which include improved speed, greater VO2 Max and it gives you some of the toughness needed for racing. A few weeks of this training usually improves my race times, or is that just wishful thinking, as I’m a little off the pace at the moment. Although I’m training and running well, I’m not quite where I was 12 months ago. On Saturday, I recorded a time of 25.08, which to be fair, is my third fastest this calendar year, so not too shabby. Hopefully, faster times are ahead.
This week I might be lucky enough to participate at a different Parkrun venue. Each course is unique as they boast a variety of surfaces and differing landscapes. I’m also persisting with competing without watch/ GPS assistance. This has proven a very interesting experiment. I will let you know my conclusions in due course.