Sunday, 3 February 2013

Running with Trent Park RC

So I got one of my New Year's resolutions out of the way in early January and joined a running club.

A few runs with Trent Park Running Club later and I'm already started to find a bit of speed returning to my legs.  I am still way, way slower than when I used to run 10km races years over a decade ago and I was never even that fast, but I'm currently a long way off my 41:30 PB for 10km.

These are the sort of training sessions I'm doing - and I wouldn't be able to push myself at these paces on my own.  The club consists of a great bunch of runners - very friendly right from my first run with them.

Out and back course, running as far as you can out for 21 minutes, then aiming to get back in exactly 20 minutes.  I just about managed 20 minutes back, despite it being uphill and into a headwind!

8 minute miles in a big group.  This one was fun as it was such a big group.  I dropped off the back at the start as it took a while to warm up my legs, which were in no way recovered from the out and back run two days earlier, but a couple of miles in I got back in with the group and enjoyed the climb up to Hadley Wood, before a long, fast downhill where I went for it in a lead group of ten runners.  That was me done and I couldn't stay with them for the final ascent back to Trent Park.

Figure of Eight Hill Reps in Trent Park.  This seems to be a regular Saturday morning training session.  The different pace groups take a different length warm up run to the hill, then proceed to run figure of eights with the centre of the eight at the top of a hill and each end at the bottom, so two climbs per lap.  All on grass which has meant either mud or snow in January.  I can feel the benefit of these already.  At the start of January I was struggling to hold my own on any of the ascents on the group runs, but I'm now starting to feel stronger.

Track Session.  This has to be my least favourite form of running.  Pretty boring, but I just focussed on trying to keep up with the guy in front for most of it.  Unpleasant, but I clocked some 3:45 kilometres which can only be good for my targets for this year.

Back at a New Year's Eve party, where were discussing our targets for 2013.  I'm starting to feel confident of achieving one of mine: a sub 20 minute 5k.  I already know I can run this pace for at least 1km and the track sessions with the club should see me through to achieving this.

My second goal of a 40 minute 10k race still feels a long way off.  The best I have run this year is 50 minutes on a training run, albeit a hilly one but I didn't feel I could have gone much faster.