Can't Touch this...

Last night was my first evening session with the track squad. The group is made up of all different age groups, me being one of the oldest and I have to admit I was a bit worried about training with these guys and girls. The last time I took some of them on was a 1 mile race on the track and I finished dead last! 

Went up to Touch (pronounced Too-ch, ch as in Loch) in Dunfermline and met the Coach, changed my shoes to my XC treads and waited for instructions. He pointed to one group and said, 4 laps for you, then to another group, 5 laps for you, then to the final group and said 6 laps for you. I then noticed I wasn't in any of those groups and at this point he said, "Owain, 8 laps for you". 

Off we went, I started at the back of the pack but quickly found my position, about 4 or 5 from the front, following them around the route as I had never done this before. First section is up a small grass hill then down in to a glen, the coach at the top telling every runner to just let gravity take you to the bottom. No problems I thought, got to the bottom then a sharp left hand bend and there it was, a very steep climb back out of the glen, the pace went from a run to a very quick walk, heart pounding, breathing heavy and then it hit me, I need to do this another 7 times!! 

Take a right turn and back down in to the glen, running down the side of the hill at an angle towards the original decent, but this time its an accent. Climb back up towards the second coach and this time his instructions were, use the flat to get my breathing under control. This second section is mostly flat and it really did let you get your breathing together but we were still pushing ourselves. 

Finish that loop and it was back to the start and another time round, another climb, another decent, another climb and then the flat again. With 2 laps to go I realised I was the only one still out, breathing out my backside and dreading another two climbs of the hills! 

At the time I felt like my pace was staying pretty constant but looking back at my watch, I was getting slower on each rep. 

A bit annoyed with the way my reps died off at the end but I guess I still have Loch Ness marathon in my legs and its a good starting point! My aim is to get this session to sub 40mins. 

Today was another session on the track in my lunch hour. Really liking having a track so close to my work which I can get to so easily. 

The session was 12 x 400m with 50m recovery and then finish on a 200m sprint.


I had to estimate the recovery distance, I walked around the track before I started, counting 50 steps and placing a cone on the ground, I think it was roughly correct. Close enough anyway!

The last time I ran this session at Pitreavie I managed 21mins 30seconds, today was 21mins 44seconds. Again, annoyed that I didn't get quicker but my recoveries were slower. The splits were pretty even for the efforts though. Again, something to improve on and again, I had last nights session still in my legs. 

It sounds like excuses but I need to keep a track of what may or may not cause slower times. Tomorrow is a session on the track again but with the squad, not sure what we are doing but looking forward to it. Then Friday is a rest day! 

Owain Williams

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