I don’t think enough running challenges are about going for distance for a given time period. Sure there are ultra-running records for 12 hrs or 24 hrs and even 1 hr but what about a time that correlates to the more commonly run duration of 30 minutes, 20 minutes or even 3 minutes?

I performed the latter 8 times in the bright midday sunshine on Tuesday as I was left without a group and to my own time schedule. A midday session seemed just the trick and my ’go to’ 8 x 3-minute session (see blog 96 days to Rio) just right for a solo max aerobic workout.  (OK so I had long hills on the program but even marathoners can take the ’softer option’ sometimes!)

The main challenge that comes with running for 3 minutes hard is how far I can get. Being a creature of habit, for every location I have lived in for the past 18 years I have arrived on the prime location for the 3-minute session;

  • In Newcastle it is Adamstown Ovals
  • In Canberra it was Aranda Ovals
  • In Maitland it was Maitland Park
  • Back at Glenbrook, the family farm, it’s the “Willow Tree Paddock” (I’m serious)
  • In Santa Barbara it was Girsh Park (I spent time there with Ian Leitch my coach before US races)
  • At Falls Creek it is Langfords aqueduct (as with most runs at Falls)

For each of these locations I quickly defined a starting point and then determined a run course. Once I had completed at least two workouts there were defined benchmarks. A post, tree, pole, ditch or ant mound all became meaningful as they represented a good distance as opposed to a poor one. The beauty with the 3-minute session is that I get 8 chances to try and better the distance. This is important as an older gentleman as the first one is typically a ’warm up’. a bit like Mitchell Johnson spraying his first delivery to 2nd slip, my first effort of any workout is my slowest.

Tuesday’s workout was on my traditional 3-minute course. I passed the bubbler on all but one occasion but didn’t quick make it to the bush, or where the bush used to be. I was well passed the ditch on all occasions which meant I was going OK. When going really well I can reach the soccer goal or even the pale barked gum tree where the cricket scorers gather on a Saturday morning in summer. This is where I hope to be come late July.

So given the challenges a tough workout brings, lap times, GPS and heart rate feedback can all become a bit wearing. The challenge of going for distance is a welcome one, even if only for 3 minutes!

Picture at the top, ultimate going for distance!

David Proctor set a new 24hr world record distance of 260.4km on a treadmill on May 27-28 this year. Full article at Runners World.