I've always said for me that pavement and/or forest tracks were the surfaces I preferred and I have stuck by my beliefs for almost 3 years. That is until this morning!!!!
The past two weeks I have been running with Jog Scotland (Tues & Thurs evenings) doing interval training on grass, lovely flat, short cut grass at the playing fields at Kings College. Now the first time I hated it, it was hard going, my knees screamed at me, my footfall was heavy, this was just not for me. But me being me I would not be beaten and went back for a second training session, then a third. By Thursday I had become used to the grass surface and was almost enjoying it, it would have been better if the laps were bigger but with only one coach he had to keep them manageable to keep track of all runners.
So this morning I would set off from home to do a 5K run on pavement and guess what!?! "I want grass, I need to run on grass" my brain kept telling my body, especially my knees/legs that grass is a must!! The other problem I had was my stupid brain kept telling my body "It's stopping time, interval break" I had got used to running 4 minutes faster with 2 minutes recovery.
I by this time was back to my usual plodding speed and feeling heavy legged due to not stopping for a recovery, to say it was a hard run would be an understatement. I did have to stop for traffic twice, a blessing in disguise. Bonus was I took a bit of a diversion to my normal route and did the last 400m, yes you've guessed it, on GRASS
So my light bulb moment has drawn me to this conclusion:- As a graduate I must mix up my running more to improve. I need to mix up the surfaces so that my leg muscles cope better. So from now on I will try and run on a different surface each time, i.e. forest track, grass and hard surface such as tar/pavement slabs.
I will try and mix up my time sessions, i.e. intervals extending the fast time to about 5-6 minutes with 2 minute recovery. Some hill work, this I can do in my forest track as I already have a 800m loop I do but it would seem not often enough. Then for my hard surface run making it a 5-7K but working to reduce the time.
Run this morning was not flat but no big ups, it was hard and it was slow at 34 minutes but I will work on improvement
Happy running everyone