Team work making the dream work

No matter how much you enjoy solo running, there are times when you really do need your mates.

Perhaps I am spectacularly undisciplined, but the truth of the matter is that I tend to avoid formal/structured workouts like intervals and fartlek when I run alone.

On my own, I’ll happily run long – that’s my “speciality” long, s-l-o-w solo runs – I’ll even run fast, but drills and hardcore training…nope.

I avoid.

Which is why I need my Coach and my running group.

This morning (and WHAT a fabulous morning it was, by the way! Delhi at her best) we did pyramid intervals in my ASICS Running Club.

Like so:

4 x 800m

4 x 400m

2 x 200m

I was in the slowest group, but it was still a stiff workout which left us all gasping for breath at each authorised recovery break.

Our pyramid intervals worked as follows:

We did the 800m loops at a pace of 5:45 m/km

The 400 m loops a little faster, at a pace between 5:30 to 5:15 m/km

And the final 200m at a rather impressive 4:30m/km

All of the above details are from one of my running friends, Saurabh Garg, who paced our group. At the end we were just 5 running together in a tight little posse, matching each other step for step:

I actually didn’t realise how much we were ramping up the pace, leaving it to Saurabh to set the pace, and by virtue of not using the interval programme on my Garmin & simply recording the distance run/pausing it for the recoveries, I theoretically ended up running my fastest 5km ever!

Got one of those “congrats” messages on my watch which made my morning 🙂

Of course, it’s not a PB at all, I know, I know, but it all goes to show – running with your friends definitely makes you work harder.

If I’d even attempted to do this pyramid interval workout on my own (& it’s a big “if” 😛 ) I would have given up, slowed down, walked.

But by dint of running in a group, I kept up, didn’t slow down once, didn’t stop – and felt amazing afterwards, as a result.

I also felt – fleetingly – nauseous as we did the last, fast 200m loop. Coach Vijay says feeling nauseous is a good thing, since it’s proof that you’re pushing your physical limits. So I’m trying to embrace that nauseous feeling!

As well as the pyramid intervals, we did the usual warm up and cool down laps, and then a nice long session of yoga and stretching where I yet again made a complete fool of myself.

I have always been stiff and not very flexible, but with age it is only getting worse.

I’ve said it many times before, but I really do need to start yoga or at least stretch regularly and consistently, but left to my own devices, all I want to do is run.

Anyway, I’m going for a trial Pilates class tomorrow so perhaps this will turn out to be the kick up the proverbial that I need to make me start exercising holistically.

In the meantime – long live my running group!

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