Feet To The Beat

I meant to do some intervals after work on my hill on Friday but three hours in a ditch in the rain put me in no mood for anything but trying to get dried out, so I wimped out and came home. But Saturday left me feeling guilty and wanting to run, so I decided to go for it.

 As soon as I’d decided to try a) running with an mp3 for the first time, b) that Audiofuel could supply the tunes, c) that I’d borrow Cathy’s pink i-pod because it was simple, things went misty.

The rain started immediately. Even waiting for the i-pod to be loaded with the music (I thought it’d already be on there…silly me!) brought no ease in the intensity of downpour. Nor having a late cup of tea. So, once again, I decided to get wet.

I fancied the pyramid 180 workout – everyone seems to like it and all say it’s difficult, so that was to be it. Select a closed road, run towards it, warm up and play…

The distance to the closed bit meant I had to pause the warm up while I arrived – the only busy, narrow bit of lane lies just at the end of a 5 minute jog and it’s no place to be concentrating on intervals, but I reckoned I wouldn’t do too badly having a longer warm up and the only annoyance was re-starting the music to find my left foot in time to the beat my right had previously kept. Odd how it jarred!

So the intervals began.

The warm up proved the power of music. The run simply went with no thought for the fact I was expending energy. I was simply a slave to the beat, keeping time as instructed. The interval was something else.

As soon as the rhythm increased, my legs picked up. Rather than risk injury again (and so relatively early into my new running campaign), I shortened my stride and concentrated on smooth. But quick. And was relieved to discover how short the interval was.

The recovery went equally quickly, though, and the discipline of the session became obvious. Equally obvious, however, was the discovery that I was going to run out of flat road. And that, as an “out and back” route, I was at risk of being miles from home after the top of the pyramid, knackered, with a mountain to climb down and a longer than wanted recovery. But the ace in the recovery sleeve is being able to loop around without upsetting the workout. Nice work!

So the 180 peak beckoned..and with it, a bit of an uphill. Very difficult to match my steps to the beat with the incline and I dropped one pace in the process, making it a failure and a 179bpm workout, I guess, but the process proved how good the tunes were at getting me going and keeping me there – I felt like flagging, but the beat kept me honest.

And the other side of the pyramid was horrible – no music would surely have seen a similar drop off in performance as experienced on my hill last time out.

Audiofuel = a great workout.

The jog back home ws the only downer, really. Being wet and knackered, I fancied an uplifting track but the “out” tune put me in a slow spiral of despair. I need a structure to the music, I guess, and will use the warm up track instead, next time, as my warm down. I always was a “Subliminal Cuts – Le Voie Le Soliel” rather than a “Chicane – Sunstroke” enthusiast, but it’s each to their own and it takes all sorts. At least the rewind button exists!

So now I need to match a beat to my stride length to obtain a driving tune for a race. I’ll play around some more, but reckon I might be able to adapt 165bpm to a reasonable speed with a touch of stride length modification and some practice, so I’ll see over time.

Until then…Audiofuel..thoroughly recommended. Intervals…fun. Rain…I hope I’m not feeling the start of another cold in my chest!

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