TRAINING: Anaerobic Windsprints

With only this week to go before my taper for Snowdon starts, this week’s injury was a major threat to my ability to put the finishing touches on my work for the summer season.

Luckily, two long walks and some Nurofen had my foot feeling fine and I went to Marlay to conduct a harder session of Windsprints than previously. Instead of 20x200m (100m on/off), the session was 10x400m (200m on/off). This makes the session considerably more anaerobic and more race-specific whilst staying just about short enough to be able to maintain good leg speed.

This way I considered it a good bridge as I hope to do a minimum of two more anaerobic sessions, this week. Optimally, I will be doing the 3000m race at the Track Meet at Santry on Wednesday, which replaces one of the Lydiard “time trials” (basically tempos). Finally, I’d love to find space for another set of 400s.


My legs were extremely stiff after Lugnacoille and overall I felt a bit battered, so I opted to go to Marlay and run the 200s on the grass. This would slow me down a bit, but I was happy enough I’d be able to keep sufficient speed to make it a good exercise both for legs and lungs.

Tearing the Grass

…is not exactly what I did, but I was happy with the way the session works. My “kick” was more that of a Skoda than and Audi today (I’ll blame Lug for that too) but I held a pretty decent speed throughout the actual windsprint and the amount of pain suffered was close enough to a 9-10 for me to be satisfied significant oxygen debt was experienced.

Speed was around 3:03min/km on average: Ok on tired legs, but worth keeping in mind that the good guys can run 400m well faster than this so there’s a lot of work to do on leg speed.

I found it quite odd actually: During the sprint I was just breathing very hard and generally feeling laboured but the moment I stopped to jog, my body reacted like that of a drowning man getting his head over the water and gasping for air (a reflex of the body perhaps?). I found myself having to reel myself and staggering along for a good 20-30m before managing a nice shuffle. Yet I never lost the ability to turn my legs over quickly. In hindsight, perhaps I should have done a few more and waited for complete localised fatigue in the legs (edit: after my recovery run tonight, it was good I didn’t as my left hamstring is barely mobile).