Friday, May 23, 2008

Death by Treadmill

Phew! Today I finally got to do the second of the two treadmill interval workouts Duck had scheduled for me back when I was training for the Rimutaka Incline last year, before my ankle went bung. It goes like this:

  1. Two minute walk to warm up. So far so easy.
  2. One kilometre at setting 8 (approximately 7.5 minutes per km). Hohum. So strange to think that this used to be my maximum pace when I first started out two and a half years ago. This almost feels like a waste of good exercise time.
  3. One kilometre at setting 9 (approximately 6.40 pace). Curse stupid new treadmill controls that make it impossible to change pace easily. Mess around and finally hit right setting. Still waayyyyyy too easy.
  4. One kilometre at setting 10 (6 minutes per kilometre). Still slower than my easy run pace, but at least no longer feeling like I'm wasting my time.
  5. One kilometre at setting 11 (just under 5.30 pace). This feels a bit more like it. Floating along, feeling strong. Heartrate climbing a bit.
  6. One kilometre at setting 12 (5 minutes per kilometre). This is my goal 5km pace. Heartrate really climbing now. Sweat flying. Feeling incredibly happy to approach the end of the interval!
  7. Slow back down to 8. Oops, hang on, I'm still on 9. Slow down properly to 8. Resist urge to slow to walking pace. Wait for heartrate to come back down. Wait some more. Curse heartrate. 7.5 minutes pass remarkably quickly.
  8. Back up to 9. Hmmm. This should be feeling easy, but it feels a little faster than I thought it would.
  9. Up again to 10. Only 10, no, 16 minutes till this is all over.
  10. Up to 11. The endorphins suddenly kick in. Those glutes are firing, the knees are lifting. I'm floating along. 5.30 seems to be my golden zone.
  11. 12. Only five minutes left. Please let this time go quickly. Sweat going in all directions. Heart firing. Feeling strong and dead at the same time. Focus on the darn music, not the silly little display climing .1 at a time.
  12. Finished. Over 10km in total. Hit stop. Die quietly. Watch heartrate slowly (too slowly) falling back down for a couple of minutes. Feel sweat slowly trickling down arms and chest. Wipe sweat off treadmill. Stagger back up stairs to stretching area then crawl into shower.

I felt remarkably exercised after this workout. It's harder than you'd think it would be, given that much of it is spent at an easy pace. All that time on the treadmill leaves a lot of time to 'watch' yourself running. I really noticed today that my left glute is lazy. If I don't focus on keeping my heel down and driving through then I start running toe-to-heel and deactivating the large muscle groups on that side. The solution seems to be to continue to focus on keeping my torso upright and pushing off with the rear foot, imagining myself lifting up so that my heel comes through and the glute stays engaged.

I'm guessing my calves are going to be really tight tomorrow. As for the ankle, let's wait and see. I'm so happy to have this workout done at last. 30km so far this week, and another 17km planned for Sunday. I finally feel like I'm starting to get back into some real running training.


Kate said...

Good work!

(PS- I reckon you could easily go sub-25 on a 5k)

Sass said...

Darn you Pip - you totally infected me with a tummy bug via email and stole my running!;p The Incline was pure misery yesterday and I have my doubts about making it to training tomorrow night:(

Which translates as: you are awesome and I am jealous:)