A good night in the Meadows

Last night was my second evening training at The Meadows in Edinburgh with Edinburgh AC. It's a great mixed group of runners.

I arrived a bit earlier than I planned, not realising how quickly I would get there in the car, so I ended up going for a warm up loop before meeting with everyone else.
Once everyone had arrived we were given a quick briefing of what was planned for the evening and then we went for a group warm up, which again was a loop of the Meadows which is just over a mile.

The rain had gone but the wind was still gusting, it was a cold wind as well! I had my shorts on but kept my jacket on for the full session.

We were split in to groups and I was put in to the 2 second group of runners. We made our way to the bottom of the hill where one of the coaches was waiting for us. 6 reps, hard effort to the top, jog recovery back down. As soon as we regroup at the bottom it was back up the hill.  Once the 6th rep was done we had 1 minute recovery at the top and then it was reps down hill! 6 hard effort reps, down the hill and then jog recovery back to the top, again, as soon as we had regrouped it was back down the hill. Total distance covered over this session was 2.63 miles. Amazing how the miles clock up over a short section of path!!

At the bottom, after the 6th rep, Coach Garry appointed one of the regulars, John, to pace the group around the Meadows for 2 loops. We were all told to stick with him but not to overtake. It was about running as a group at a set pace.

It was a bit awkward at some areas as the path around the Meadows is narrow in places and I did clip a couple of peoples heels when they slowed or a sped up. I had to run on the road a couple of times as well to get around lamp posts and bus shelters but it was a very comfortable pace. The first lap came and went without any problems, everyone grouped together for the section heading in to the wind. During the second lap one of the other groups had a bit of an incident, a guy was hit by an egg which had been thrown at him by a teenager. The teens then made a run for it only to be met by our group, one of the teens knocked one of our group flat on his back and the guy hit by the egg quickly caught up with the rest of the teens.

Note to idiots who throw things at runners - firstly, don't! The likelihood is, we will catch you! Secondly, when we do catch you, which we did last night, at least have the decency to apologise! Luckily no-one was seriously injured, other than a cut on the guys head where the egg impacted and gravel rash on the other guys hands where he landed after being knocked down.

After the crash, we all picked the pace up again and finished the two laps at an average pace of 6:26/mi (2.91 miles total).

I finished the session with a 1 mile cool down (Approx 9 mile for the evening) and then drove home feeling very motivated and really glad that I went along. I think I may have found a suitable training route for a 10 mile winter run, it's really well lit and there are plenty of other runners out and about.

10 laps of the Meadows anyone?

Owain Williams

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