my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

I’ve realised that fartleks are hard work!



I’m a failure.

Last night was the first specific running training session on my 2-month training plan a friend had written for me, in my pursuit of a sub 17 minute 5k.

What I had to do was: a 10 minute warm up, followed by 6 repetitions of running a hard 1km, 2 min recovery, then 500m hard run, 2 min recovery.

After 2 repetitions, I knew I was in for a hard time! I managed four repetitions, but was so tired at the end. It was a gruelling session and I’m going to have to work up to doing 6 reps, rather than start at 6 reps and work up to ten (what was my ‘coach’ thinking?!).

During the session, when I was in a recovery period, I did think that I don’t like running any more!! This was short-lived, as I was just so tired from my efforts, but it really made me think seriously about the kind of effort and discipline elite runners need in order to achieve what they achieve.

It is strange the thoughts that enter your head, post-run too. I felt dejected with myself for not completing the six repetitions. Something inside my head though, tried to make me feel better. My mind was saying, ‘Hey! Don’t worry – your coach was just testing you. He didn’t think you’d actually be able to do six reps straight off.’

That made me feel better briefly, but then got me thinking – why would my brain do that? Do I feel better? No, not in the cold light of day. I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve, but I did run hard and today my legs are tight and aching, so it must have done some good. If these are a sign of progress, then I welcome that. I read recently that you should end a session when you feel you could give one more rep a good go. Well, I don’t think I could have yesterday, but it is something I’ll bear in mind in the future.

Today is a self-imposed rest day (my training plan said to jog in to work and cycle home – but my coach set me 5 runs a week when I knew I could only reasonably do 4 at a push, so I don’t feel bad about altering my plan in this respect – and I’m open to increasing my volume of activity as I see fit).

My session can be seen here:

Generally speaking, I am an optimist and this helps me in being self-motivated to challenge and push myself. This was a learning curve for me, as I’ve never done any specific speed work sessions. Now I know what to expect, I’ll be working harder to get more reps done next time.

Today I need to do a 30 minute core strength session, which I’m going to research on Google during the day! I’ll probably do this at work before heading home.

Tomorrow I have a cycle in to work and then a tough hills session after work. I’m looking forward to it, and am determined to work really hard during the session to reap the rewards come the day I achieve that sub-17 minute 5k time!

Keep pursuing your goals!



2 comments on “I’ve realised that fartleks are hard work!

  1. pnwrunner
    April 29, 2013

    Sounds like you have some good goals! I wish I could run a sub 17 min 5k. My fastest is around 23 minutes. I’ve learned that sprint and interval training is great for getting faster overall.

    • barefoottc
      April 30, 2013

      Thanks! I think they might be a bit ambitious given how difficult my training plan is to fulfil at the moment (more on this in my next blog post, which is coming up soon!)

      I hope to see some fruit of my sprint and interval training soon, but it is really tiring! I’m sure I sound like a thirsty baboon as I rush past people going at a more civilised pace, breathing hard for all the oxygen I can muster!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: