By Lawrence Kaile
During Lockdown I had put a few pounds on and needed to find a goal. I had looked in the accountability mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t want any pressure and initially thought I would stick to some gentle jogging and keep it low key. How wrong could I be?
After a few weeks of following the C25k plan, some early morning runs and sticking to some cross training, I started to notice some gains.
The biggest thing I noticed was that feeling you get after exercising. The ‘Endorphine Rush’. Why had I left it so long? I was loving it so much I started to look at interval training again and thought I would give it a go with my club.
The session was perfect. 5 sets of 1k intervals on a pan flat route… With friends.
After an initial warm up, I set my watch for the first interval… Pacing myself at the back of the pack and not worrying if I came last. This was about me being better than I was last week, or the week before… 500m done and I felt great, 700m and into a shaded alley-way. A welcome break from the heat of the day. The front pack are now passing me as they begin loop 2, its all high fives and encouragement as I approach my 1k point and a welcome rest.
I’m buzzing, but patiently keep walking or gently jogging through my rest interval, two minutes is not a long time… My watch beeps and I check with my training group if we are all good. It’s all thumbs up and we are off. This time 500m comes in no time and I have to check myself back. I feel great but conscious of the three remaining intervals. It’s a great day and the villagers give some banter as we pass, the front pack cheering us on as they begin rep 3.
I didn’t know how I was going to feel for the remaining reps and would have been happy if I stopped at this point. But I didn’t, I was working as part of the team and the team were helping me through. Interval 4 came and went without issue, as I stuck to my own personal effort, I wasn’t here to chase anyone down, or to beat anyone across the line… This was more about beating the guy that was looking back at me in the mirror.
Rep 5 and the front pack are getting closer, we have stuck to our own ability and it’s worked. Consistent splits are going to get us to the end of the session. My sweatband is leaking and salt is dripping into my eyes, i’m crying, yet it’s fun. The cool alleyway now seems far away as fatigue is setting in. 700m and the first front runner is on my shoulder cheering me on, I’m lapped but I don’t care. The guy in the mirror lost and I won.