As usual, another hard week of training finished with the final YDL match of the season, so I’ll jump right to it.

Monday – 250m Repeats

My session today consisted of 10 minutes of skipping (or attempting to skip) in order to work on my coordination before moving onto:

  • 8 x 250m (3 minutes recovery)

I was fortunate enough to have two club runners from Bedford & County AC join me, Ahmed Tassadaq and Alex Alston which definitely made training more fun as I’m used to training on my own. I managed to stay at the front for the first two or three, but after that Ahmed always had a really good kick on the last 100m which neither I or Alex could keep up with.

My times from the session (in seconds) were:

  • 36.2
  • 37.7
  • 39.2
  • 40
  • 40.4
  • 42.8
  • 42.7
  • 41.3

I was very pleased with my first two reps as they were round about 60 second 400m pace although I did think I would be able to run faster. Towards the end, I began to lose my pace a bit, but I see that as a good sign because it shows that I really did use and activate my muscle fibres because even with the 3 minutes recovery they were too fatigued to be able to produce similar times to those I achieved at the start.

Overall, a session I felt really good about in 30ºC heat.

Tuesday – Aquajogging

When I found out my session for today I knew it wasn’t a joke but I sure hoped it was a joke.

  • 1250m swim warm up
  • 20 x 25m aqua jogging with 1 minute recovery
  • 150m swim cool down

In fact, when someone asked me what today’s session was (they had the same session as me), they said ‘Nah that ain’t the session’ to which I had to break the truth to them.

The warm up was alright, I alternated between front crawl and breaststroke and then got onto the main session and attached the aqua jogger around my waist (which soon floated up to my chest).

Aqua jogging is basically a form of running underwater and each 25m aqua jogging had to be done as quickly as possible. Since it is zero impact, this means that you can do a higher workload of aqua jogging with a lower risk of injury. When you’re doing it, you can really feel your hamstrings activating to pull your leg back due to the resistance of the water. It really is a tough session to do.

Despite feeling like I was going nowhere, it took me between 59 and 68 seconds to aqua jog 25m and I felt good after it.

Wednesday – 8km Steady Run

My legs felt worse than I expected this morning when I woke up, but in the evening I decided to go out for a steady 8km run with a friend around nearby fields and forests. It was quite relaxing and we ran just below 5 min/km pace or 8 min/mile pace.

Thursday – Split 600m

My session today was short and sharp. Effectively it was 2 x 600m with 15 minutes recovery with my target time as 1:30, set by my coach. There was a catch though.

They were split 600m.

This meant I had to run 400m flat out, have 10 seconds recovery and then sprint 200m and add my times up. It might sound easier than running a straight 600m, but in my opinion, it really isn’t. In that 10 seconds you stop, you can feel the lactic acid in your legs and then immediately after you have to try and get back up to speed again!

My times were:

  • 400m – 62.3 seconds and 63.2 seconds
  • 200m – 34.4 seconds and 34.2 seconds
  • Split 600m – 1:36.7 and 1:37.4

Not quite on target for either of my 600m, but I was pleased with the session since for me, they were still quick times and I was facing a 24 km/h headwind on the final straight. It was the last 200m of the 400m where I fell behind my target time. I could see from the data on my watch that on the 200m, I wasn’t able to get up to the same pace as I was on the 400m which is interesting and shows the effect the 10 second stagger has.

Friday – Explosive Hills and Easy Swim

Just had some short sharp explosive hill speedwork today.

Did 8 reps of 10 seconds of hill sprinting to try and work on developing my speed with 2 minutes recovery. After that, I went for a gentle swim as part of my cool down.

Sunday – Race Day

It was a cold, wet, windy day for the first time in a while which made for rather unpleasant and unfavourable conditions for achieving good times – more so the wind than the fact it was a lot cooler for the first time in ages. It was the final YDL match of the season.

My 1500m went well, going out with my first lap in 66 seconds and holding onto 72 second-ish laps to pb by 0.49 seconds for a time of 4:26.76 which I was happy with given the conditions.

My 800m, I tried to hang onto the back of the pack and my first lap was 62 seconds – the fastest I’d ever run the first lap in, but because of that my second lap was absolutely atrocious. I got dropped from the pack and heading into the final 100m there was no one left to shield me and my final time was 2:14.79, about half a second off my pb.

Overall, given the conditions, I’m quite pleased with how the day went. I definitely think if I pace myself better and have slower runners who run similar times to me, to run against I will be able to achieve some good times towards the end of the season before cross country!

Final Thoughts

It’s been a good week of training and I’m pleased with my race results, given the conditions. I only wish I could’ve pushed a bit harder towards the end, but I’ll find out how to overcome the mental barrier that I feel limits me from pushing to the max.

How was your week training? Let me know down below!