Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Struggle

A solitary figure in white running laps on the empty floodlit track, late into Friday evening. The rest of the country getting ready for the night to start while the night on this track was coming to an end.

As much as I enjoyed having the track to myself it'd probably have been nicer if the hours before hand and the training that preceded the warm down laps had gone a little smoother.

Dublin didn't want me to train last night, but I persevered! 5 hours after I left my flat to train, I returned. FIVE HOURS!! All I did in them 5 hours (300 minutes) was commute and train... that's all. It all started with the trek to Santry stadium. I left at around 4.30 hoping to beat the traffic. No joy. Friday evening, there was plenty of it. I must have made it to the track an hour later to find it closed because there was a football match on. Only thing I could do was hop on a bus and head back towards town. At this point I had to decide what to do next. Head home and do a fartlek session or go to a different track and hope it'd be open. I wanted a 400m session because 400s don't lie. You can't cheat yourself on a track session and I wanted to know where I stood. To Belfield track with me. 6.20 I got on a bus heading to UCD. The bus actually passed Irishtown track on the way but I chose against getting off and trying out that track. I wasn't sure what the costs were and as I had initially been heading to a free track, with no changing or storage facilities, I had left all cash at home. Staying on the bus, getting out to Belfield and hoping they haven't closed off some of the lanes with barriers was the only option. At around 7 o'clock I arrived at a barrier free track and striped off quick fast to get started ASAP.

The goal was for 10 x 400m under 70 seconds. I set myself a recovery time of 75 seconds between each rep. I felt good on the first one (1:07), strong on the second (1:09 seconds), then it started to be a battle. The next two were about 1:10 before another two at 1:11, then 1:12. Eight reps down and the times progressively getting slower, I called it quits.

It seems the only session that I quit earlier than I initially set out on is my 400 sets. The fact that I do them by myself probably plays a large part in this. It does really annoy me though. I've done plenty of track sessions with various clubs this summer and not once did I give in early, but stick me there by myself, when I have to do all the work, and I shut up shop a few reps earlier than I planned. Last year in France I could manage 10 x 400m at 1:14 with 60 seconds recovery by myself, no problem. This year I start faster, but give up sooner. This has to stop.

This week I was told to go at 68% before pushing it to 98% next week. That was kind of playing on the back of my mind last night as I didn't want to push myself too hard to get the 10 reps out when I'm only meant to be easing back into training. Tuesday's session will see more 400s, but more than likely the bar will be set higher than 10. I'll be interested to see how I fair.
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