Our next club Grand Prix event (5k) will be held at a Parkrun (Northala Fields on 21 September) and is open to any club member registered with Parkrun. With this in mind, Captain Ali initiated an intervals programme two weeks ago and we will use next week’s track session (see below) to take this to the next stage. If you get the chance before then, have a go on your own at some one minute hard, one minute recovery running (say 10 of these). At the track session we will move this on to two minutes hard, two minutes recovery. There is a third stage that we will aim to fit in before Northala, but view Northala as a staging post towards some great improvements in your 5k times.
The various intervals sessions that the club organises each month (hills, track and intervals) are all designed to improve speeds. As well as the obvious benefit of getting your body used to moving at a faster pace, there is some science behind this (which is entirely beyond me): intervals training is generally reckoned to be one of the best ways to increase your VO2 max, which is the amount of Oxygen that your cardiovascular system is capable of delivering to your muscles. It also likely that intervals training increases your lactate threshold: the maximum amount of ‘waste’ (lactic acid) created by your muscles that your body is capable of dealing with. You can see why these improvements might be good for your speed.
The idea of intervals is that shorter amounts of time are spent pushing these limits by running in the ‘red zone’ (ie very challenging effort levels, certainly faster than you can chat at). You then give your body a chance to recover before repeating the effort.
But forget the science and do join us in the programme.