Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

What gets me going; hills, intervals & coffee

on November 15, 2013

After running for a year, taking part in loads of events, hundreds of hours of training and a full marathon I knew I could run a fair distance, but my pace wasn’t improving at all. I was proud of all of my achievements but I wasn’t getting any quicker and a year on this was frustrating. Now I’d proved to myself I could do the distance, my next mental challenge was to better my personal best times (PBs).

With no idea where to start I did what we all do in this modern age, I hit the internet! Various forums, advice sites and twitter led me into a whole new world. I’d never realised there was more than one type of training session…I’d only ever laced up my trainers and plodded along for ‘X’ number of miles, but here I was reading about fartlek, recovery and progression runs. Many sources (friends as well as the online community!) said my performance would improve greatly if I joined a club, but I just always thought ‘well, you run as fast as you can run, so how can you run any faster?!’

I’m happy to admit I’ve been proved wrong! I’m pleased to report that only 6 weeks after joining the running club I’ve knocked a clear 30 seconds off my average mile! I’m amazed! So far I’ve done 2 hill sessions and 4 brilliantly varied interval sessions with the club, and my performance has rocketed! I’ve set a new 10k PB and I can run steadily up any incline I’d have probably just gawped at from the bottom of before! It’s not just my speed, but my recovery rate has quickened. I get my breath back quicker, my muscles aren’t quite so sore the next day (don’t get me wrong, they still ache, i’m not bionic!) and I haven’t yet sustained a single injury (touch wood) since club running. I’ll be honest, I don’t know the science behind it but it works! Whether you do these sessions on your own or as part of a club or group, I would highly recommend them.

I’ve also reintroduced coffee into my life! After a few months off of the black stuff, not for any particular reason, just because I was drinking too much (if there is such a thing!) I’m having a nice black coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil 30-45 minutes before every run. Now, if you’re on twitter @thebodycoach has branded this ‘rocket fuel’ and it really does work! Just the one a day for me (addiction is a slippery slope) gives me a real boost before I start running. It might be psychological but it’s working!

I think I’m on to something here with the pace thing, all the signs are looking good, so fingers crossed I carry on picking up speed and am burning up the local footpaths soon!






One response to “What gets me going; hills, intervals & coffee

  1. runjackson says:

    I’m entering this phase of training with structured session and have my first 10km race since starting the new plan tomorrow. Let’s see if it has started to work!!!

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