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I feel the need, the need for speed

by editor
Friday 23rd March 2018
Tags  Lucozade   |   Our Parks   |   Born Barikor
As the saying goes ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. I’m not entirely sure who said that, or what they were talking about but it is applicable to running! If we get in the habit of running at one pace, it’s no surprise that we can’t sustain a pace much faster than that in a race. 
And so it was that a group of us gathered at a track in Paddington on a Tuesday evening, under the expert tutelage of Born Barikor, Founder of Our Parks, to work on our speed. The evening had been put on by Lucozade. 


For the London Marathon, now is the time to be working on your speed and putting the icing on the cake of all those long hard months of training. By training for short periods at a faster pace, your cruising pace will feel easier, Born told us. 
Born started by getting us to do some running drills to get muscles warmed up and to get us focusing on our form. These also showed up our weaknesses in coordination. Who knew that moving your opposite arm and leg in time with each other could be so challenging? 
Once warm and with all relevant muscles firing Born set us off on a set of 6 x 400m repeats, with a minute’s rest between each rep. I’d summarise these 6 as: 
1. Oops, too fast
2. This is actually ok
3. Starting to smart a bit
4. Over halfway now
5. Please let this end now
6. Please kill me
Once we’d completed the set Born gave us a few minutes to recover before doing another set of 6. I think we all had grave doubts about whether we could see this through. I think we were all pretty relieved when Born revised this set to 4 reps.
It was a very useful session for me. I very rarely push myself to run fast over short distances like that - except when trying to avoid being run over - and it showed. This is definitely something I want to work on and I think a lot of ultra runners neglect it similarly. 
Born Barikor was a great coach, positively overflowing with positivity and enthusiasm, and his Our Parks initiative, which puts on free fitness classes run by qualified coaches in parks all round London, is an incredible thing which is well worth checking out. 

Images by Pip Haylett

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