Last night at the Oval track our 10k running group did a ladder of laps, instead of the usual track distances that end in 00’s. The inside running lane around the ice is about 446m, to accommodate the regulation speedskating ice.
Being slower, I usually keep to the inside, left lane most of the time. The running lanes are narrow – two skinny runners can run elbow-to-elbow per lane when they’re taking it easy. When folks kick into high gear on a busy night, shoulder checking before passing on the outside (right) is very important.
Our ladder was very simple. After 4 laps of warm up, we picked up the pace and did 1 lap, 2 laps, 3, 2, and 1 again. I felt pretty good through most of them, though had to work hard to keep my breathing under control in the last 250m of the 3-lapper.
I broke down the workout into even smaller bites by focusing my vision on targets less than 25m away. I used bleacher railings, posters along the walls, doors, wall fixtures, etc. and concentrated on gliding smoothly along as I approached each point. It really helped me keep the mental momentum up.
Once I even got to yell “TRACK!” at a bunch of rugby players walking all bunched up across the lanes on the back straight. That was fun. I so rarely get to do that.
It wasn’t a particularly long workout, but by the time I finished my 4 lap cool down I was spent, in the best way.
This Thursday I’ll be doing hills outside, not stairs inside. Just a few, to get me all ready but not worn out for Saturday’s cross country 8k.