So I have been getting Tangled up in the boys in blue by joining the UCT crowd for their once a week speed work session. We have done mainly 1000m repeats with down to 60 sec rest. Truth be told Coach Dion has always got some little twist on this theme to keep us entertained. Why would a trail runner (read slow runner) put themselves through this pain you ask. The Simple Twist of Fate is that after my disaster at UTMB last year I had to refocus and rethink. You’re a Big Girl Now! And I realised that I cannot train the same way as last year and expect faster results. Yes I was pretty amaze by how well a large volume, low intensity regime worked. I do fear that I have exhausted this avenue though.
The competition is getting faster and faster (As shown by Ake Faqerang breaking the Bat Run record a couple of years ago.- It now stands at 3:35) Meet me in the Morning I hear for the next showdown. The speedsters refer to the local 10km, 15km or extreme 21 km. Not the epic trail stuff I know. I cannot Shelter from this Storm for much longer so I have to get into the fray and join em.
Truth is that our weekly puke session has several layers to it. Egos are made and broken, potential romances debated or vented. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is never far from the door when a bunch of boys, drenched in sweat run around a field under the gaze of first year Venus.
The pain of the back straight as we fight into the Idiot Wind is long forgotten as we finish our reps in front of the club house.
So what am I hoping to achieve and why the long silence (from blogging)?
As Prof Noakes and other brainy folks tell us we are not training our bodies but rather training our mind (our Central Governor). Ego and Central Governor make an interesting mix when I see guys “win” the training session and then break at a race a few days later.
I maintain that we need to learn from other mainstream sports in order to improve and evolve.
I recently picked a fight with a fellow runner 2km from the finish. Previously I would not even consider taking him on. However out in Paarl I decided to try something new. I pulled up alongside, He responded, I pulled ahead and thought that I had it in the bag as he dropped off. I knew my pace was not sustainable but I was willing to go there. He came back. And I kicked again. He dropped back a little and I knew I had to open a gap big enough that he could not catch me on the field. I would never have been able to take my mind there a year ago. I think we need to feel the pain in order to be more comfortable with it. That is the lesson I have learnt from track. Oh and it is quite fun to be done with your race in under 60 mins and lounge around the rest of a Saturday 😉
So who of you will come and watch the African Cross Country Champs at the WPCC in Rondebosch this weekend? The main races start at about 11h00 on Sunday. See ya there.