Another return

Back to the track for the start of another 4 week threshold training cycle. I hadn’t slept well; a big thunderstorm came in to Singapore and woke me at five this morning, and I didn’t feel too bright all day. The rain came on and off (it was still threatening at 6:30 when I got away from work) and I didn’t feel quite up for this, but I knew that missing out would feel even worse, so off I went to the track to see what I could do.

Tonight’s session was 6×5 minutes at threshold pace, with a minute’s rest between each repeat. I prefer the sessions later on; breaking it up into these smaller segments doesn’t feel like as much of an achievement as running hard for twenty minutes, but it’s a necessary evil.

Last time round, I went off like a rocket on the first few, and then got worse pretty quickly, incapable of holding my target pace after the first three repeats. Of course, that was better than the first time I did it, where I couldn’t even manage all six repeats. Mindful of the slowly diminishing jet lag and my general fatigue, I didn’t hold out much hope for tonight.

I started ok:
1:37.77
1:36.99
1:36.03
Everyone else seemed quite worn out as well, so rather than being left behind by the main group, I kept on their heels. That provides great psychological benefit. It also meant that by not going off like a scalded cat, I was protecting myself against a future collapse.
1:35.24
1:36.89
1:36.70
So the second repeat felt quite healthy; every lap within a second of my target pace. (I omit the little bit extra after each of these three laps ,where I carry on running to make up the five minutes.)
1:35.90
1:39.57
1:36.63
Then it all went wrong on the second lap. I lost concentration (not sure why) and the group suddenly made a big gap on me. I pushed hard on the third lap and got back to where I was meant to be, but I was starting to run low on energy.
1:36.13
1:40.37
1:36.58
Looking at these times now, I’m surprised that with the fourth repeat I managed to arrest the slide in the second lap and put in a third lap at the ‘right’ pace. I seem to remember thinking the wheels were inexorably falling off.
1:39.95
1:50.50
1:50.78
Which of course, on the fifth repeat they did. With my times suddenly collapsing, I didn’t even attempt the final set, just waiting a couple of minutes and then putting in one final lap, which was actually right on my target.
1:36.80
After that, feeling quite broken, I plodded around the track for a warm down for four laps, and then headed home.
Track times - 6x5minutes

Because I’ve been hard at it, with running or Spanish every night this week, there’s precious little food left in the house. I had nothing to eat but smoked cheese, the remnants of the hummus I bought on Sunday, and some chocolate. Around 11pm I realised there was still half a loaf of bread in the freezer, but that was no good to me, especially as the butter had gone mouldy while I was away for two weeks. Mouldy. In the fridge. What is the world coming to?

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