I am happy to report that I have successfully made it through week number one of mission strongfast. It was an interesting first week, starting out with a battle against my stubbornness, and ending in a happy pile of endorphins.
On Sunday March 31st, as I sat down to plan out my week’s training, I found myself questioning the volume of running, arguing training decisions, and just overall being a bit of a grump. I was nervous. Like a lot of people, I like to succeed. I like doing well and being the best. Prior to beginning this week of training, I genuinely did not know how it would go. I have completed a lot of fartleks, intervals and hill training, but always without any form of timing device. Because of this I did not know exactly what a 3:45 min/km pace would feel like. This made me very nervous, because at that time I was not at all confident in the feasibility of my goal.
The Monday and Tuesday of the first week were low volume days, getting my legs back in the swing of running after a post-race rest period. I also used those runs to test out a new toy, my first Garmin.
The Wednesday marked the first real test. The plan was to run at 3:45 min/km and see how it felt, and how long I could maintain it for.
I am happy to report that in the workout I ran 5 k in exactly 18 minutes and 45 seconds.....split up into 300 m segments, all at the 3:45 min/km pace.
I finished feeling euphoric for a number of reasons. Firstly because the workout involved pushing myself physically to a level that releases endorphins into your system. Secondly, it was exciting to feel the pace of 3:45 min/km, feel the ability to cruise at that speed for a short distance, and then feel my muscles screaming at me as I continue. Lastly, I felt a combination of relief and excitement. Though I am not currently at my strongfast speed, with time and a lot of hard work, I will be able to get there.