Juneathon Day 8 – A New Week In Which To Redeem Myself

Sennheiser Thru the Gears

The first week of Juneathon is over and now begins a whole new fresh week – a week in which I can hopefully redeem myself after the slackathon that began the first week.

I had planned to run today but when I got up, my legs were still aching from last week’s run (although I don’t think they can still be aching from last week’s run; it must be from something else. What that something else is though, I haven’t a clue. Maybe lack of crisps or something.) so I decided to go to the gym and go on the rowing machine which usually sorts any DOMS out.

But because I had planned to run though, and because I am supposed to be marathon training training – especially as marathon training singular starts next week, eek – I thought I’d do some intervals on the treadmill when I got to the gym. Intervals are an integral part of training, after all.

So, I did 30 minutes on the rowing machine, then as I was scrolling through my Audiofuel playlist looking for the Pyramid Max 180 interval session, I saw the Sennheiser Thru The Gears track which is my absolute favourite Audiofuel track as it gives you such a fantastic workout on the treadmill, so I gave that a blast, then I went on the cross-trainer for 20 minutes.

Not a bad workout for a Monday, eh?

Well done everyone on your efforts throughout the first week of Juneathon – I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves. Personally, it’s given me the boost I needed to motivate me to get back into exercising as I’ve been a bit slack over the last few weeks. Hopefully it’ll give me a good base for the beginning of my marathon training too.

Oh, and I promise to run tomorrow. Punky promise. (That’s pinky promise as autocorrected by my phone.)


Rowing machine: 30 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Juneathon’s completed: 6/30

Juneathon 2014 – Day 24 – Back To The Running Group

Usually when I go along to something, at the end when saying goodbye and I’m asked if I’ll be along next time, I always reply with ‘yes, definitely’, then am never to be seen again. This isn’t because I haven’t enjoyed myself – when I say, ‘yes, definitely’, I mean it (except for that time I went along to the local writing group. I most definitely did not mean it that time) – I just seem to not go along again, at least not for a long time after, anyway. But last night saw me going along again to the Tuesday session of a local running group. They do meet at other times – on a Wednesday night when I’m at my spin class and on a Saturday morning when they meet too early for my liking and so Tuesday suits me. It especially suits me as, on a Tuesday, they do things like hills (see last week) and speed sessions. Last night was a speed session. I thought this would be a bit of running fast, then stopping for a break, then doing it again a couple more times. Oh no. We got to the field and the leader said while pointing at each corner of the field, ‘start at that corner, then run to that corner as fast as you can and don’t stop until you get to that corner where you can slow down a bit then when you get back to the first corner run fast again and repeat for thirty minutes’. Um, okay. Not.

We all started off well, then I was out of breath in about twenty feet but I managed to carry on until I got to the corner where we could slow down and I slowed down and slowed down until I was walking and then I ran again then I walked again and then I thought I need some sort of system here and everyone else was going round the field doing their own thing and so I decided to run round to one of the corners then walk for a minute and repeat until I’d done the thirty minutes. I got back to the start at about 28 minutes so I decided that was near enough thirty minutes, then every one got back and the leader said to me, ‘did you enjoy that?’ and I said, ‘yes, and I must have won, as I was back first’. Yay, I am the champion.

Janathon Day 15 – Tabata is not for me


A few weeks ago, I was asked if I’d like to attend a Tabata class. This prompted flashbacks involving a shouty orange woman to the last time I’d said yes to attending a gym class when not knowing anything about the exercise involved, so I politely declined.

They didn’t want to let me off that easily though and asked if I’d like a DVD to review instead. Okay, I thought, I’m willing to embarrass myself in the privacy of my own home and so I politely accepted.

It’s taken a while for me to get the DVD out but, hey, it’s Janathon and Janathon is a good time to be trying new things, so today was the day to get Tabata’d up.

Tabata is trendy-at-the-mo high intensity interval training (HIIT) and apparently the only scientifically proven fitness session born in a lab, not a gym. Being one of those annoying vegetarian animal-rights people, I was a bit worried about the ‘born in a lab’ bit but I ascertained from the intro it was tested on small Japanese men and not bunnies so, so far, so good.

Except, further into the intro it became clear me and Tabata weren’t going to get on. It consisted of fresh-faced boys and girls wearing skin-tight white lycra doing what can only be described as break-dancing but without the spinning-on-your-head bit (for those of us old enough to remember break-dancing). Uh oh.

I started the warm-up and that was fine; it only involved moving my arms a bit. But then the lycra-clad gym bunnies on the screen started moving more and getting on the floor and I ended up just watching and not doing and so I gave up and went to the gym instead.

If you like gym classes that involve coordination and floorwork, you’ll probably like Tabata (you can find official Tabata classes at your local Fitness First), although Warriorwoman did a Tabata workout on a treadmill, I think that’d be more my kind of thing.

Audiofuel Power Up 2012 Interval Training


Audiofuel Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training


I’ve always said Audiofuel rocked. Now they really do. Audiofuel’s Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training tracks have left their dancing shoes behind and put on their biker boots.

A pyramid session is split into sprints and recoveries, the seconds/minutes increasing on the way up to the top of the pyramid and decreasing on the way down. The longest sprint in the session I tried out today is two minutes, so even lightweights like me aren’t scared of giving it a go. What’s even better is that you’re allowed to walk in the recovery bits.

Having a new training session motivated me to get out of the house. I haven’t run for a week as I‘ve got a bad knee but I wanted to try out the pyramid session. I also wanted to try out my new Craft running top.

craft-running-top-pink (Please excuse my cat licking her bum)

I’m a fan of Craft tops. They’re not expensive, fit well, comfortable, stay in place and still look good after they’ve been washed lots of time (unless your washing machine is like mine and eats your clothes).

With my new running top on and my new Audiofuel pyramid session in my iPod, I flew out the door, eager to run. There are two levels to choose from – 20 or 30 minutes. I chose my level of hardcore – 30 minutes. (Actually, I chose 30 minutes because I wanted a 30 minute run but sshhh, don’t tell anyone.)

It starts off with Sean (one of the founders of Audiofuel) introducing himself and explaining about the pyramid session and then leads into the warm-up with Audiofuel’s trademark ‘one two three four’. After the warm-up is the first sprint of 30 seconds, followed by the first recovery – also 30 seconds. The sprints and recoveries go up in increments of 15 seconds until the top of the pyramid of 180 seconds is reached. During the sprints, Sean gives encouragement and shouts out things like ‘COME ON, LET’S GO!’ and ‘LET’S SEE YOU FLY!’ and as he’s telling me to fly, I catch a glimpse of my shadow and um, I’m seriously not flying. In fact, it looks like my shadow would like a bit of a sit down.

On the other side of the road, I see two girls jogging. I’m not sure why I’ve decided they’re jogging and not running, maybe it’s because they’re wearing lots of clothes and going slowly (ha, like I’m not going slowly). I’m on a walking bit of my recovery and I’m hoping they don’t think I’m a lightweight and I want to shout out ‘I’M DOING INTERVALS. I’M ALLOWED TO WALK’ and then I’m on a sprinting bit and I’m about to catch them up and I think oh fuck, they’ll think I’m purposely overtaking them and just as I’m so close I could almost bite one of them on the shoulder*, it’s the recovery bit again and I slow down and then I’m hoping they don’t think I’m playing tag with them and then they go off a different way and I can stop wondering what strangers are wondering and I carry on doing fast bits and doing slow bits and then I’m in a field and as I’m on another walking bit, two girls are running up towards me and they must be proper runners as they’re wearing short shorts and I want to shout out again ‘I’M DOING INTERVALS. I’M ALLOWED TO WALK’ and I wonder why there’s so many people out running today as that’s five in total (I didn’t bother mentioning the man I saw, he wasn’t very interesting and he never says hello to me anyway so he can bog off) and maybe they all got their happy face magazines the other day and thought ‘OH SHIT, I’D BETTER START DOING  A BIT OF JOGGING’ and because I deferred from last year, I also got the happy face magazine and so I’d better stop pissing about and do some jogging too.

Anyway, Audiofuel’s Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training session: It’s magic, as my mile splits – even with the walking bits – are faster than I’ve done for ages. And it’s rock music, none of that poncey dancey stuff**.

*I’d like to point out that I have never bitten anyone on the shoulder.

**I like the dancey Audiofuel stuff too.

Intervals with Martin Yelling

Not actually with him, of course, but I thought I’d be brave and try out Audiofuel’s Yelling Performance 180 MAX Interval Training which lasts for 43 minutes and 8 seconds. I’m only used to doing the Pyramid interval training which lasts for 22 minutes. Eek.

After yesterday’s shopping trip for a pair of sandals, I came home with four bras, a silver and purple ring, a top (I had originally thought it was a dress but on further inspection and a quick reminder to myself of the date of birth on my birth certificate, decided it was better off as a top), a dress (of an appropriate length for my age), three books, and a white and pinky-purpley running vest.

I don’t usually wear running vests unless it’s proper hot, but decided today would be an exception as I wanted to wear my new one and so I put that on and then realised that with my pinky-purpley running vest and my pink socks and my pinky-purpley running shoes, if I was five stone heavier, people would think I was out training for a Race for Life.

I set off for my intervals and Marty (I am allowed to call him Marty, aren’t I?) does the ‘run to the beat 1 2 3 4’ thing but I still can’t keep in time and so I just plod along in my own haphazard fashion sticking to my own haphazard beat and then it gets faster and then we’re on a recovery bit and I stop to walk and I wonder if we’re allowed to walk on these recovery bits but Marty doesn’t say anything about walking and so I start to run again and then I’m about to go downhill and I think RAMP IT UP MARTY, I’M ON A DOWNHILL BIT AND I CAN GO FAST ON DOWNHILL BITS and then he’s telling me to run with my arms down by my sides and I think HUH, YOU WANT ME TO RUN LIKE A SPAZ? and I refuse to run with my arms down by my sides, especially as there are three people in my immediate vicinity and then as I get near the bottom of the hill, Marty decides to ramp it up and tells me to go faster and I agree to do this because of the aforementioned three people in my immediate vicinity and I’m thinking ha, look at me as I fly past you, I can see you’re mightily impressed with my athletic prowess and graceful running ability and then a fire engine goes past and I think YEAH, BABY, I’M GOING SO FAST I’M ON FIRE and then we’re going slowly again and Marty says again to run with my arms at my sides and to shake them about but NO WAY AM I GOING TO DO THIS AS I’LL LOOK LIKE PHOEBE IN FRIENDS

and then we’re going fast and then slow again and I get to the traffic lights and my Garmin says I’ve done 2.98 miles in just under 33 minutes but the lights won’t change and I think I’m not going to make under 11 minute miles again and I think CURSE YOU, YOU RATHER ANNOYING TRAFFIC LIGHTS (‘rather annoying’ may not be the exact words that were in my head) and my Garmin ticks over and I need to do another half a mile and so I go up the road and as I cross over Marty says it’s the last fast bit and tells me to give it everything and so I run and run and run and run and run and I run through the park and back home and when I get in my Garmin says I have indeed done under 11 minute miles.

Splits (you can see where the rather annoying traffic lights held me up)


Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 37:04
Pace: 10:35 m/m
Calories: 368
Martin Yelling interval programs: 1
Shopping trips to buy a pair of sandals: 1
Pairs of sandals bought: 0
Runners wearing too much pinky-purple: 1
People in my immediate vicinity: 3
Fire engines: 1
Rather annoying traffic lights: 1

Thru the hardcore Pyramid

Hal says I have to do three miles this morning. Hal also said I was supposed to have stretched and strengthened yesterday but I spent the day trawling the mean streets of Maidstone (successfully) looking for a new book club venue and then going to Pizza Express for lunch and then going (even more successfully) shopping in Ashford on the way back and then I couldn’t be bothered with all that stretching and strengthening nonsense but I decided the runs are more important than the stretching and strengthening nonsense anyway, aren’t they?

So I get up this morning and my shoulders are hurting as I must have slept funny or something and I can’t be bothered to go out for a run but I don’t want to slack off this early in my training schedule as I have got two half-marathons just two weeks apart to train for after all and then I’m on Twitter and Travelling Hopefully says she was going to do intervals and I think ooh, intervals, that’s a good idea but the Audiofuel Pyramid 180 Max interval session only takes me about two miles and so Travelling Hopefully says that sometimes when she does intervals, she rounds it up to three miles and I think, well, I can’t be outhardcored by her and so I plot a three mile route and decide to do the Pyramid followed by Thru the Gears and when I go back to Twitter to waste some more time, Lissy Runs tweets that she’s got two halfs to do but there’s only two weeks between them and she’ll have to ditch one of them and so I say

I must be stupid two then as I’m doing two halfs with two week’s between them

and then I delete my tweet and correct the embarrassing ‘two’ and tweet it again, as yes, I’m that sad that I edit my tweets and then I delete it again and write it again, this time without the unnecessary apostrophe, as yes, I am that sad that I will edit twice the same tweet and then helsbels comes on to say to Lissy Runs that we’re doing two halfs with only two weeks between them and if we can do it, she can do it and I remind Lissy Runs that Juneathon participants are hardcore and then fairweatherrunner comes on and says she’s done two halfs with only two weeks between them before and she survived and Lissy Runs says ok then, she will do it, so yay for her, and then I ask Travelling Hopefully if she’s been out for a run yet and she says yes, she went at 6am and so she has definitely outhardcored me there and I force myself out the door and turn my Garmin on while I’m still walking down to the gate as then my three miles will be up sooner and I cross the road and start running and I do the interval session and I walk most of the recovery bits although not all of them and then Thru the Gears comes on and I run along to that and when I get close to three miles my Garmin tells me that I’m close to doing it in under 11 minute miles for the first time in about two years and so I don’t stop to walk across the last two roads as would be befitting for someone who usually adheres strictly to the Green Cross Code

(and not just because I’m scared that a weirdy looking man will turn up and call me Dumbo) but run across them as befitting for one of those small children who run out in between cars* in one of those scary public information films they made you watch at school**

and I do indeed manage three miles in under thirty-three minutes which is pretty cool considering that included walking breaks.

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 32:33
Pace: 10:46
Calories: 318
Stretches and strengthenings slacked off of: 1
Runs slacked off of: 0
Time wasted on Twitter: some
Hardcore Twitterers doing two halfs in two weeks: 3
Roads run across: 2
Miles over 11 m/m: 0
Audiofuel – Pyramid 180 Max
Audiofuel – Thru the Gears

*I am not as brave as I sound. There weren’t actually any cars coming.
** I didn’t go to school in the 1940s but that’s all I could find.

Day two of my latest challenge

Ok, so it’s not a very big challenge but I’m doing a three day detox which involves drinking lots of fresh juice and smoothies and you can read about it on my Planet Veggie blog. I’m also weaning myself off Facebook and Twitter and not looking at them for three days. So far, so good.

I’m not sure how well detoxing and interval training goes together but today is Tuesday and therefore interval day.

As much as I love Audiofuel, I only want to listen to it when I’m running, either outside or on the treadmill, but not when I’m doing other stuff in the gym or on the train but it’s also too much faff to keep changing the tracks on my ipod, so I keep all the Audiofuel tracks on there and autofill around them and the pyramid training tracks are at numbers 98-100 on my ipod and so I have to click and count to 98 to get to the first interval track and I get to 98 and listen to see if it’s Audiofuel, but no, it’s Courtney Love screaming something and I click once more and hurrah, I’ve found the right place. I listen to the introduction as I put on my Garmin which has been lying in the driveway getting a signal and I miss the beginning of the warm up as I’m getting out of the gate but soon I’m running slowly down the road waiting for the intervals to start.

Today I’ve decided to run slowly in the recovery bits and not walk like I did last time but I’m full of pineapple, blackberry and blueberry smoothie and I’m not sure if I’m going to manage it.

I manage to run all the way up the first side of the pyramid, although the top interval was more of a shuffle than a sprint and I do a bit of walking in the recovery bits on the way down. I do run all through the cool down though except for the bit when a car came round a bend and I had to get out of its way.

Distance: 1.91 miles
Time: 20:22
Pace: 10:41 m/m
Calories: 196
3 day detoxes: 1
Facebooks: 0
Twitters: 0

More interval training with Audiofuel Running Music

I’ve drawn myself up yet another half-marathon schedule, seeing as the Folkestone half I’m supposed to be doing is in eight weeks’ time and if I increase my long run one mile per week for the next eight weeks, I should be ok, barring any injuries. I think the furthest I’ve run since moving to Kent over a year ago is 6 miles so it’s not really looking very likely but hey ho.

My new schedule is very simple, it goes like this:

Monday: Gym/XT
Tuesday: Intervals
Wednesday: Gym/XT
Thursday: Short-ish run starting at 3 miles for the first week, increasing to 5, then dropping back to 3
Friday: Drink wine Rest
Saturday: Long run, starting at 5 miles for the first week and increasing to 11
Sunday: Gym/XT

Hmm, just realised I have no weight sessions in there. I’ll do them on the cross-training days.

My new schedule may have to be altered depending on if I get a new job and if I do, what days I’ll be working.

Anyway, as today is Tuesday, that meant intervals, so I took Audiofuel’s Pyramid Max 180 interval training session out with me and this time, instead of going slowly during the recovery bits and going a bit less slowly during the fast bits, I walked during the recovery bits and went faster during the fast bits as I thought having a greater difference between the fast and slow bits would be better than having just a marginal difference between the fast and slow bits. If that makes any sense, perhaps someone could tell me if that’s right or not?

I took a new route today and ran up the road, nearly into a car coming round a bend, and got to the top of the pyramid, turned round and went back the way I’d came.

And even though I did walking bits, you can tell I went faster in the fast bits, as my average pace overall is still faster than I’ve been doing recently.

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 21:29
Pace: 10:45 m/m
Calories: 205
New training schedules: 1
Weight sessions on training schedules: 0
Walking bits: Lots
Cars nearly run into: 1

Audiofuel Pyramid 180 Max Interval Training

pyramid180 At the post-Juneathon Party in the Park, Sean from Audiofuel handed out CDs of their latest interval training tracks and after last week’s interval session with celebrity trainer Nicki Waterman (blog to come later), I promised myself that I would incorporate intervals into my ‘training’. So, when I got up this morning and spotted the CD sitting on my desk, I said to myself, ok then, intervals it is.

Unfortunately, updating tunes on my ipod these days – since Windows 7 doesn’t work with the old Shuffles – is a complete flipping faff and involves me putting tracks onto my main PC (which has  Windows 7), then onto a memory stick, then loading them onto my netbook (which has XP) into iTunes, then plugging my ipod into my netbook and updating from there.

I was a bit hesitant to do intervals this morning from a coaching session, as the only one I’ve done before is the Kara Goucher Endurance Boost , which involves running fast for four minutes a few times with three minutes recovery in between. Or something like that. And I can’t even run slowly, let alone quickly, for four minutes without wanting to return to my more natural environment in front of my pc where I don’t have to do anything more energetic than use my index finger to gently press the left mouse button to switch between Outlook, Facebook and Twitter.

Still, I eventually do the necessary to get the tracks from CD to ipod and get outside and press play. There’s a 48 second introduction where Sean (who has a very nice voice and does the voiceover for the Audiofuel pyramid coaching sessions) tells us this session will keep our heart fit and improve our aerobic fitness and will also burn fat and make us look good, which I like the sound of and could probably do with, especially after yesterday’s dinner which comprised of potatoes being cooked in double cream and cheese.

To start us off slowly, there’s a warm up of five minutes at 155bpm and then we’re counting down from 5 to the first sprint at 172bpm. Yes, Sean says ‘sprint’ and I’m scared. I don’t think I’ve sprinted since school and I’m in complete agreement with Miranda who says ‘As an adult you should only run if you’re near a train station and look at your watch first’. Quite.

But, wait! Sean says we’ve only got to sprint for 30 seconds! Woo hoo! I can run for a few seconds, can’t I? Of course I can. Even if it’s only as punishment for using an exclamation mark at the end of three consecutive sentences.

I sprint for 30 seconds and don’t die. Result. Then there’s a recovery of 60 seconds and Sean says to ease off and run at your own pace or walk if I want to. WALK IF I WANT TO? I love Sean. He says I can walk. Yay for Sean. But I am hardcore and don’t walk. I do my recovery ‘run’ of 60 seconds and Sean says to take lots of breath and get ready for the next sprint. ‘Breath’? Just the one? What does that mean? I can’t hold my breath for the rest of the session, I WILL DIE!

The next sprint comes up and this time I’m doing 45 seconds at 175bpm and then once again there’s a recovery of 60 seconds and then it’s a 60 second sprint at 178bpm and I get told I’m nearly at the top of the pyramid and I think oh no, I won’t be able to sprint the last bit as I’m at the bit of the route where I have to tread on fallen down fences and climb over discarded shopping trolleys and then I’ll be on the grassy bit which is hard to run over as it’s all lumpy and bumpy and so when I get told to brace myself for the top which will be 75 seconds at 180bpm I run as fast as I can over the grassy bit which isn’t really very fast at all, more of a tiptoe over the bumpy bits really, and then I get to the slopey bit that leads up to the housing estate which I usually walk up due to it being a bit slopey but because I’m on an interval session and supposed to be pushing myself, I run up the slopey bit and then I’m told ‘that’s the top of the pyramid sorted – just down the other side now and then Sean says take lots of breath – more than you think you need’ and I still think I need more than one breath, unless it’s my dying one and then I’ll probably only need one but I’m not dying and after the 60 second recovery Sean says I’m doing 1 minute at 178bpm and I think HANG ON A MINUTE, I ONLY HAD TO RUN SECONDS BEFORE, NOT MINUTES, THAT’S NOT FAIR and then I realise that one minute is 60 seconds. Duh.

And then there’s two intervals to go; the penultimate one being 45 seconds at 175bpm and I’m told to take shorter strides if I need to and I think if I shuffled with strides any shorter, I’d trip myself up and then I’m on the final 60 second recovery and told that the final 30 seconds will be a sprint at a cruisey 172bpm. Cruisey? What kind of word is that? That’s almost as bad as ‘take lots of breath’, and I would offer my services up as the voiceover and therefore use proper words and maybe even squeeze an ‘innit’ in it but no one would buy anything with my less-than-dulcet Essex/East London tones and then I’m told to steel myself to go in 20 seconds and then I’m running the final interval and then there’s a five minute cool down and Sean says I can walk it if I want to and so I take him up on his kind offer and then he says ‘if you got through this interval session sprinting the whole way, you’ve had a great workout. If you haven’t, you’ve got something to aim for next time’.

Um, I didn’t do any walking, so that means I ran it, doesn’t it?

I get home and feel great and upload my stats and SportTracks says I did my first mile in 8.59 and I think WOO HOO, WAY TO GO ME as I usually do 11 minute miles and so of course, being the modest unattention-seeking person I am immediately tell everyone on Facebook and Twitter about my 8.59 minute mile, being careful to omit the fact that the second and third miles weren’t maybe quite as quick (the third mile not actually being part of the interval session – the session lasts for 22 minutes [which is probably how long it’s taken you to read up to here, sorry] – and so being mostly walking back to the house).

Running fast for seconds at a time. What a brilliant idea. Everyone can run for a few seconds, can’t they?

Audiofuel’s Pyramid 180 Max Interval Training is released today, costs just five of your English pounds and you can buy it from the Audiofuel shop.