500. 300. 100.

Meadowbank trackLast night was my second visit to the Edinburgh AC track session. Last time I visited it didn't start until 7:30pm so I decided to leave the flat a bit later to reduce the hanging about. It didn't work!

I arrived just after 7pm after a mile warm up run from the flat, then after another 3 laps of the track after a chat with some of the regulars we still weren't training. Eventually we started at about 7:30pm so I think the next time I visit I will aim to be there for about 7:15 and still get a couple of laps of the track done. I don't mind hanging about when it's a nice evening but last night was cold and wet. (unlike the photo!)

Alex, the coach, got us all together for a quick chat. He went over the usual about track safety i.e. If someone shouts "Track!" at you, it's because you're in their way. Always look right before stepping on to the track. Once you're finished your rep, get off the track as quickly as possible. Commonsense really but last night was really busy with other groups so it's always worth reminding people to clear the track as quickly as possible, without tripping over the kerb!
The squad last night had a number of new faces so always worth going over track safety. I'm still fresh faced to this group and still getting to know people but I've had track experience. I can still remember the first training session on a busy track at Pitreavie, it can be quiet daunting! It felt quiet alien compared with road running.

Because of the numbers in the squad, we were split in to 3 groups.
We were grouped by our 5km pace, the first group were approx 20mins or slower, second group was approx 18mins - 20mins and the last group was anything faster than 18min.

Out of the squad, the first group was the largest, I'd estimate maybe 10 or 12 runners in total, maybe more. When they started the first rep they took up 3 lanes easily, at least until the 200m mark and then the different paces spaced them out slightly better over 2 lanes. In the second group, which is where I went, there were 5 or 6 of us and it was a well matched group with the final group behind us of a similar size. We were set off with 10 seconds between each group which meant we all finished the first rep at about the same time.

The session was 500m at "faster than normal training pace" followed by 60 seconds jog recovery, quickly followed up by 300m effort then 2 and a half minute recovery before doing it all again, for 8 reps!

My 500m reps were: (minutes/seconds)

  1. 1.49
  2. 1.44
  3. 1.40
  4. 1.38
  5. 1.36
  6. 1.39
  7. 1.39
  8. 1.36

Which works out at approx 5 minute mile pace which I am really pleased with. On the 5th rep I was ready to stop and call it a night but now that I've seen my stats, I'm glad I didn't. I knew rep 6 and 7 were slower because I was mentally struggling. My legs felt heavy and was drifting off the back of the group for the first 100 metres, after that I was able to catch up with them again. Not sure if it was the cold weather or just tired legs from Glen Clova and my 10 mile run home on Monday evening.

The 300m reps were: (seconds)

  1. 55.7
  2. 55.2
  3. 54.2
  4. 55.3
  5. 53.4
  6. 54.0
  7. 54.2

This works out to be approx 4:40min/mi pace - something to aim for! A 4:40 min/mi would be very nice indeed, but so would a 5 minute mile. You may have noticed that there are only 7 reps of this, this is because after the 8th 500, Alex took us all on to the grass and got us running 3 x 100m which I clocked at 17 seconds each rep. It wasn't meant to be a sprint, more a final stretch of the legs.

Full splits can be seen below:

All in all it was a really good session and I will be heading to the meadows tomorrow evening for the Thursday evening training squad. I'm not going to make next week due to be away on holiday but will be back on the track the following week.

I reckon, with a good winters training like this then next years times should come down nicely. I just need to stay injury free and also continue to get out on a Sunday morning with the Edinburgh AC group for the 16 mile session and maybe once in a while pop back to Harrison Park to beast out their route!

I'm feeling more confident about attacking Edinburgh Marathon next year and getting sub 3 hours officially. Yes! I've still got a chip on my shoulder about my sub 3 at Loch Ness not counting!! Can you tell??



Owain Williams

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