A change is as good as a holiday!

Tuesday is usually track training in the evening, but because the track is closed we met at 10am this morning at The Meadows. For anyone who isn't local to Edinburgh, this is a large green space with paths around it. It's used a lot by cyclists, runners and walkers all year round. There is even a 1 mile loop which is used for races during the summer months.

Today the 1 mile loop was going to be used by us to do our speed work.

I woke up to silence, the wind that has been battering the flat for the last couple of days had all but gone. The rain had stopped and the sun was shining. Rather than jump the bus up to The Meadows, I decided to take an easy run up since it was only 3.5 miles away - a good warm up. I arrived dead on 10am and we did another mile for those that had just arrived by car / bus.

After some strides we were all ready to go. The session, 6 x 1 mile with 2 and a half minutes recovery.

The first mile felt good and I was pleased to hear that I ran it in 5:27. The next was a bit slower in 5:29. Get this next rep out the way and we would then be halfway but my legs were starting to tell me they didn't like me. Then I realised, this was my 8th mile since I left the house! I clocked it at 5:32. Slower again!

My target for the next 3 reps was not to slip in to the 5:40s.

4: 5:37
5: 5:37

Now it was really hurting and I really had to concentrate on keeping my pace while trying to stay relaxed.

One more rep, the last one, the pain would be temporary. Before I knew it we were off and my legs didn't feel like the belonged to me. 

The last 1/2 mile of the rep I had Michael, a fellow Saughton Squad runner, right on my shoulder and I wanted to either keep him just behind me or just beside me. I had a horrible feeling that if he got even one stride ahead of me my legs might just give way completely! We worked well together over the final 1/2 mile and I'd say that was what helped me get the pace down to 5:32.

I was expecting Garry (our coach) to shout 5:40 something so I was delighted but totally spent.

The group had a chat after the reps saying they thought the session was totally different to doing 6 x 1 mile reps on the track and I would agree. 6 laps of The Meadows seemed a lot easier than doing 46 laps of the track and dare I say it, more enjoyable!
Maybe it was a mix of training in the day light, training somewhere different or having to keep my wits about me as we navigated pedestrians, dogs and cyclists rather than just run lap after lap on the track.

It's a shame I'm working on Thursday because it's another session during the day which I would have enjoyed doing.

The run home was more of a shuffle than a run but it also doubled as a long run since my total mileage for the day was 14.5 miles! Not bad!


Tomorrow I'll go for a run but I'm already dreading how my legs might be feeling! I'll update you all with tomorrow's blog!

If you get the chance to mix up your training, I'd say definitely do it, even if it's just one change in the week. You'll not regret it.

Owain Williams

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