Lordshill Road Runners Track session #1

It’s been several weeks since I last trained on the track. I love these sessions and was going weekly as part of Thursday morning Run Camp sessions. However, attempting to focus on training for the half distance triathlon meant that I decided to stop doing Run Camp until late September.

However, Lordshill Road Runners’ Club Coach, Ben, had organised a monthly Wednesday night session at Southampton Track and I decided to give that a go. Although less frequently, it has the benefit of being free as the club pay for the exclusive use of the track for an hour.

As I was still recovering from Sunday’s Challenge Weymouth Half Distance Triathlon event, I did briefly contemplate an evening at home but as the DOMS had subsided and my blisters on both insteps were both starting to heal and less sore, I went against better judgement and headed for the track leaving home at 6:20pm to battle the traffic across town.

I arrived at 6:50pm, parked and walked down to the track chatting with Lou along the way.

After a quick toilet break, I was joined by Teri as she jogged by. As she caught up with me, she suggested I might like to jog too to warm up. I did and immediately felt the blisters being rubbed by my shoes. It could be a painful evening.

As we got to the track, Ben was resting after a session he’d just completed so we chatted with him. Before long, other LRR started to join us until there was a group of almost 40 of us. It was going to be a busy and popular session.

As it got to 7pm, Ben described the evening. We’d start with a warmup lap of the track, do some dynamic stretches and then do the intervals.

Once the warmup and stretches were over, we prepared for the first of two identical sets comprising of:

90 seconds fast (e.g. at 5 or 10km pace)
90 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast
75 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast
60 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast
45 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast
30 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast
15 seconds recovery
90 seconds fast

We’d then get 3-4 minutes recovery before repeating this set. The intent was to cover the same distance in each fast interval with less recovery time.

With a range of pacing abilities and 40 of us on the track, it was quite crowded on the track but we coped. We alternated running the fast intervals between anti-clockwise and clockwise with the intent to finish where we’d started.

In the first interval, I covered about 325m which I was very pleased with. In the second, I overdid it a bit and got to 400m! After that I tried to consistently hit 325m each time which I managed.

The sessions definitely got tougher with the shorter recovery intervals. I was really looking forward to the long rest between the sets.

I love the track. STC do a weekly track session on a Tuesday evening as well which I may consider. With the evenings getting darker, the floodlit track offers a safe running surface which also mean that the coach can keep a watchful eye over participants.

I completed the session having run every interval at a good pace. I did overdo the first 200m of the last interval and almost fall apart over the last 100m or so. D’oh!

It was great to see lots of running friends and chat. Running alone really is nowhere near as fun as with a group.

Overall, a great session. Will it replace Run Camp for me? No! The two are quite different.

Run Camp track sessions have a max of 6-8 on the track and are weekly. You pay for that exclusivity and it’s worth it. However, the LRR sessions provide a great opportunity to get on the track in a coached session for free. I do fear the sessions will get busier and busier though.

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