10k Training – Week 1: Session 2 – 6mi @ 5:35/mi

Today’s session was dedicated to Big Ron (Hill) – 75 today the inspirational character epitomising the “run hard and don’t be shit” ethos of MCKEP.

Session 2 of week 1 was planned to be a good solid tempo effort. Given recent efforts at Bristol Half Marathon, and the pre-Bristol treadmill session of 7mi @ 5:40/mi, MCKEP scientifically deduced that 6mi @ 5:35/mi was the way forward for week 1 of the 8 week 10k training block – further analysis showed that this was in fact harder than week 2’s tempo session – but since it was already written in the training spreadsheet, it would be unlawful to deviate. After all, it’s universally understood that spreadsheets cannot be wrong.

Despite the best efforts of the backroom staff at MCKEP, the athletes were unable to secure their elite/free 1 day gym passes to Nuffield Gym in time for this session, so plan B came into effect. Simkiss had planned a route utilising a ‘pretty flat’ 6mi tempo section, with a 2.25mi warmup, and 1.5mi cool down.

Simkiss had in fact been looking forward to this session – but by usual standards, this would likely mean he would crash and burn during the session itself. McCarthy approached this session with the same steely determination as always stating “I’m not looking forward to this” and “My legs feel shit”.

As it turns out, the route wasn’t perfectly flat, and the pace was hard to maintain, Chris finding the final miles tough and falling a few strides behind. All in all though, it was a great session, especially for a ‘week 1’ session.

Session Target:

2mi Warmup
6mi @ 5:35/mi
2mi Cool Down

Session Outcome:

2.23mi Warmup @ 7:07/mi
6mi @ 5:37/mi
0.16mi Walk Recovery
1.58mi Cool Down @ 7:02/mi

McCarthy doubted his ability to sustain the pace in the early stages of the session, but battled through to the end of the session – although didn’t respond lovingly to Simkiss’ suggestion to rounding the 6mi effort up to 10km. An easy day now due before Friday’s long run (Week 1, session 3).

McCarthy Loves Hills


4 thoughts on “10k Training – Week 1: Session 2 – 6mi @ 5:35/mi

  1. I think my comment from 10 yards behind at 5.95m was ‘f*ck off’, if I remember correctly….

    This was the most disgusting tempo route I have ever run on. As someone who has previously run 30 laps around the track for tempo sessions, or a canal stretch whereby I class the lock inclines as intense – this was sickening.

    At 1.25m my head had gone, we were slower than Bristol and I was struggling and I battled hard but then had to shout out ‘my head has gone, I’m struggling’. I have no idea why it was needed but I couldn’t carry on without declaring that I was already f*cked and the idea of another 4.75m was horrid.

    As we passed 3mile I was beginning to find a rhythm until we turned a corner and faced what ended up being around 1.75m of climb. Why? Why would you plan to run a route at your Threshold pace but then run up a hill, this surely defeats the object? In fact, why would you ever run up a hill. The idea is to run as fast as you can. A hill will limit this.

    As we were halfway up the hill an additional comment of ‘Zatopek trained in adverse conditions’. That was it…I was ready to throttle you Simkiss. Anger built up inside me so much that I was raging and just wanted to stop and tell you to take your hilly route and f*ck off. Could I really give a sh*t about Zatopek.

    Anyway…having passed 5mile up another massive hill, I decided to break the deal I had made with myself that I would throw the towel in at 5 and carry on seeing as it was downhill into the finish, this didn’t give me anymore desire to do another 240m however.

    The logic of doing the distance we are training for at not far off the pace we are hoping for in the first week of training, off a pretty heavy track session on Wednesday is, to a certain degree, farcical. But if the spreadsheet says so….

    As for next weeks session, with a 2 hour long run and a 10 mile race on Sunday – that seems a lifetime away.

  2. Hello this is a reply totally unrelated to the session described. I would like to know what the effects of are training in high humidity conditions (97 – 100%) for 3 weeks. I believe this may be comparable to training at altitude. I’m not aware of any meta study on this phenomenon but I speculate ( maybe even theorise) that he effects are similar. Can anyone at the MCarkiss Elite Project offer a comment?

  3. Whilst it has not been officially documented in a peer reviewed scientific McCarkiss study – it could be hypothesized that these conditions may be replicated in the UK climate, whereby persistent periods of precipitation may be experienced at virtually any point of the year, though typically moreso outside the season of summer, which would likely provide the near 100% humidity conditions of which you speak. The statistical period of 3 weeks however may or may not be realistic for the unique UK climate.

    It would be true to say that members of members of McCarkissElite have trained in the rain, although there were no notable additional training adaptations. There was a statistically insignificant increase in cerebral signals relating to the sensation of dampness, an increased desire to wear waterproof clothing, and a reduced desire to commence running in subsequent ‘high humidty’ sessions.

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