Joining a Track Session

TRACK. It sounds like something for the elite, speedy few. It can be quite intimidating showing up for the first time and I won't lie, I felt the same. I was terrified. It took me a while to work up the courage to go at all. But as always, I'm glad that I did!

So literally running around in circles on a track? Yeah but also no...the sessions I go to are run by the local athletics club. There are children learning to run, teenagers running at the speed of light, lifelong runners working on speed and me. I joined the "long distance" group because apparently anything more than 800m is considered long distance. 


What do you do?
The coach Pete works out sessions that focus on speed. Sometimes we run 8 x 400m with a minute recovery. Other times we do 10 x 200m with 2 minutes recovery. He is wonderful and after going a few times, he spotted my lack of speed and endurance and now, always advises me on a slightly lesser session. For example is everyone else is doing 8 x 400m, he might tell me to do 5 x 800m. 

Why do you do it?
It makes sense really, if you run faster you will be able to cover more distance more quickly. Duh! Running intervals focusing on speed, will naturally get you running faster. Pushing hard when your working and the short recovery times means you are constantly working. Trying to keep a steady pace when your body is feeling more tired with every set requires serious work!

Isn't it boring?
Yes and no. There's no two ways about it, you are running in circles and it can get a little monotonous. As the most you usually run is 400m (unless you're doing a horrible 800m set!), it's only a short burst of focus. I'm usually thinking about pumping my arms, breathing and making sure I don't run into anyone else on the track so most of my focus is used!

Anything else?
Like anything, you do have to go a few times and keep going and going to see any improvement. But I can feel myself getting faster and looking at my km times, they are definitely improving. Intervals are the best thing for speed but for me it's so much more than that. Everyone is so encouraging and kind. They usually lap me but as they run past no one has anything but encouragement to yell out. I always smile to myself when I hear heavy breathing approaching followed by a "ye'right girl, go on". I really enjoy going and at just £4 a session, I think they are brilliant!

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