Feb 01 2017

Interval Training – Thursday 1 February 2017

After a month of January that brought with it a not inconsiderable amount of bad news (the appointment and investiture of a shit-slinging orange gibbon to the highest office in the land, the passing of the Member of Parliament for Linlithgow, etc.), Barnes Runners brings yet more bad news with which to “kick off” February:

This Thursday’s interval training session is a repeat of the globally reviled, universally dreaded and altogether unpopular three by two session.

Essentially, it requires that runners maintain their 5K pace (or a whisker slower) over 3 repetitions of 2 miles (8 circumnavigations of the track), interspersed with 400 m recovery run.

In so doing, paid-up club members will be raising their lactate inflection point – the exercise intensity at which the blood concentration of lactic acid begins to exponentially increase in their muscle groups and they start coughing and wheezing like the cross-bench members of the Economic Affairs Committee). This is because the lactic acid (or lactate) is being produced faster than it can be removed from the muscles. The anaerobic threshold is reached and one quickly starts feeling as though one might want to die.The purpose of such sessions – in addition to providing club members with an opportunity to embrace anguish and woe – is to exercise the heart muscle and so improve aerobic capacity. The ultimate aim is for members to be able to exercise for longer and/or at more intense levels. They will also become more charismatic and alluring in the process.

The weeks ahead will feature more sessions involving Short High-Intensity Training… before a final repeat of this week’s session in March. The three by two session is unpleasant. It is arduous, toilsome and an exercise in tackling tedium and ennui. But it will make you stronger and more desirable. Just picture yourself after the endeavour, smiling smugly in the bath as you leaf through your copy of Horse and Hound with your special friend.

Programme “He leads a protest, I lead a country”:

  1. 4 laps warm-up, integrating dynamic stretching, Harman lunges and Allpassian bottom-kicking
  2. 3.2 km (8 laps) at your 5K pace (or a whisker slower)
  3. 400 m (1 lap) recovery run
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 two times (making a total of three reps)
  5. 4 laps recovery run


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