Playing Tricks at the Gym

Saturday morning…

I have a set myself the target of running 15km of running for the week for four weeks starting last week.

By Friday afternoon this week I had only made it to 5km total mileage (kilometrage? Seriously, is that a word?) for the whole week!

Last week I did 9km for the week, so I was determined to do 10km this week at the very least, thus beating last weeks total. Since my week is Sunday to Saturday, this was it, my last chance to get in 5 more kilometres.

I went to the gym to do a treadmill run for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to talk to the staff member on duty, since she had a few questions for me and I didn’t have time to help her out last night.
  2. I waited around way too long in the morning, and it was STINKIN’ hot out by 9:30am when I finally got my running shoes on.

So my aim was to run 5km at 10km/hr for 30 minutes continuous. I haven’t done a continuous 5km run in ages!

I almost did 5km continuous, no walk breaks, except for three small interruptions.

The first interruption was right after I was finished my warm-up and I realised that a piece of equipment that had been confiscated from the gym needed to be returned, so I hopped off and grabbed that, and promptly got back on.

Since that was only 5 minutes in and maybe .35km on the clock, I wasn’t too worried, and just started from scratch.

About 3 minutes into the (second) start, I was already sweating really badly and really hot! So hot that I actually hopped off to see if the air conditioning was on.

It was!

Ugh!! So hot!

Then, at around 1.6km (the last number I remember seeing) I accidentally bumped the damned emergency stop button!

AARGH!! Infernal Machine!!

After running into the control panel and cursing under my breath, I got it fired up to 10kph again and set off to do the last 3.4km without slowing down again!

And this is where I started to play tricks on myself.

A couple of times I was really feeling the urge to slow down and take it easy for a minute or so, but instead, I did the opposite:  I sped up!

I ran at 11kph for as long as I could, maybe only 100meters, maybe longer, it just depended on what felt safe and doable, and then slowed down to 10kph again.

Worked like a charm!

10 kilometres per hour felt safe and easy, I didn’t slow down my average pace, and I still got my run done in near to the target 30 minutes.

Give or take one or three unexpected stops along the way!

What tricks do you use to get more out of your workout or squeeze out one last rep, push a little more weight or run a little longer/harder/faster?

Ever tried my go faster trick?


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