(More first impressions from the post-C25k brave new world)
These podcasts are great! Maybe I got a bit bored with just running for time in the last few days of the programme (when they felt like a bit of a slog), but mixing it up makes these a lot more interesting.
Running to a beat seemed OK in the previous podcast, Stepping Stones, but there have been hints that the Speed podcast was harder or more difficult, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
I set off with iPhone in hand, fiddling with MapMyRun (to measure the walk-run-walk distance for 5x50 stats) and then starting the podcast - then also getting Runkeeper ready (to share run details with with my daughters). Plus of course setting the Garmin to find its satellites. (I'm fairly sure that Cape Canaveral needed less computing power to send rockets to the moon than I do going for a jog.)
Anyway I'm trying to find the pace for the warm-up walk as I am going, iPhone in hand, and Laura counts out the beat. In Stepping Stones it had been 1--2--3--4 and I'm expecting 1-2-3-4 in a speed podcast. It comes out 123412341234. Bloody hell, I almost fall over trying to walk like a demented Chaplin before I realise that it's impossible and I must have pressed the little 2x button on the touch screen - stupid machine. Panic over and it's back to a reasonable, not particularly quick, pace.
Then into an easy 5 minute warm-up jog at 155bpm before the 6 repetitions of 60 seconds @ 165bpm with 60 seconds recovery @ 150bpm.
Initially 165bpm seemed quick, but it soon felt good, and easy to follow (once again stirring up old memories of what running was like once). By contrast, slowing down to 150bpm was awkward and quite difficult. I found myself trying to slow my stride in the air, waiting for the beat to catch up, and then the footfall was heavy. But after a few repetitions, it got a bit easier all round and it was possible to make the transitions reasonably smoothly. Running for just 60 seconds at the faster pace didn't seem particularly hard, but would probably have been pretty tiring if done for longer, so the recovery times worked well.
But then that was it - just starting to get to grips with it and it was over! All the running done in about 17 minutes - and Laura was waving me off on a warm-down walk already. Well, I can take rejection as well as the next man (ie. badly) so I ran the warm-down walk just to show her (and even that seemed shorter than 5 minutes). Then walked for another 10 minutes (to get the distance for the 5x50) feeling slightly short-changed.
I'm enjoying these podcasts a lot.