A rather unusual run last night. We have our company's ekiden coming up next weekend, and the guy who should be our second fastest runner has not put in the work he should have, so last night I tried to put him through the wringer to give him a bit of a fitness boost. Two or three years ago he ran about 20 minutes flat. At that time he'd been playing a lot of futsal and was in reasonable shape -- with proper training he could break 20 minutes. Last year he only ran about 23 or 24 minutes and was well beaten by one of the ladies on our team, Mrs Nakamiya, who is in her 50s. It actually annoys me a bit because we have placed around 5th to 7th these last couple of years, and if our two other guys really got in and trained solid for just two months, shaved a couple of minutes each off their times, we'd probably place at least in the top three, and possibly even win. And it would be great because we are a team with one old fella (me), and two ladies, one of whom is in her 50s. The rules are that a team can have up to four young bucks and one man over 40 or a woman; this "weaker" member only has to run 2.5 km, whereas the other four run 5 km. Both Mrs Nakamiya and I run the 5 km. So under those conditions, I'd really love to win this thing, or at least go close. One of our guys, Mr K, gets in and has a real go at training, but is not quite as athletic as this other fella, Mr A. As for Mr A, well, he does a few runs late in the piece, but it is just not enough. What's worng with these people? Where is their competitive spirit? Harumph!
So last night I made Mr A do an interval workout. Running around the palace we ran easy from the office to Sakuradamon, the zero point of the 5-k loop. There are markers every 100 m. So we ran hard from the start to the 1 km point. I hoped he would do it in about 4 minutes, but no 4:15 or so. We jogged very easy back for 100 m, then turned around and jogged back to the 1-km, so a 200-m recovery, and then started another rep. We did five repeats altogether to bring us back to Sakuradamon, then completed the second loop back to Hanzomon at an easy pace. Unfortunately he couldn't get much under 4:30 for the last four reps, even though one of them was downhill. I didn't think he was breathing hard enough at the end of the reps either, so he was probably barely even going lactic. Bludger! He told me it was a very hard workout though, so I guess I just have to accept that that is his fitness level at the moment. Doesn't auger well for any improvement on last year's result, but I guess we'll have a good time all the same. Despite my moaning and bitching, I know that it is really just all about the participation and I am not nearly as narky in real life as I have been in this post! (I hope!)
Anyway, for me, it was a funny old run, much of it at a slowish recovery pace, but with those five 1-k repeats at around 4:00 to 4:20 pace thrown in. I'm not really sure what kind of run you would record it as, but I feel pretty fresh today, even though I will take the day off, so I suppose on balance it was a recovery run.