This week has been one of pretty much running polar opposites (in my world anyways) with sprint start training this evening and a 5km run yesterday. Yes I know it could be more polar opposite, I could have been whacking out an ultramarathon yesterday, but if I did that I wouldn’t be doing sprint starts today because I probably wouldn’t be able to move. Or be alive.
Anyway, so today I learnt not only the mechanics of a sprint start, but also that my arms can in no way take my body weight in the set position and that if you don’t move your feet quick enough out of the start you will fall over. I learnt both of these things the hard way. Still I also learnt the power that can get behind you if you get a good start and that I have previously undiscovered muscles in my thighs. All in all a good evening.
Yesterday was a whole other kettle of fish. I’ve got into my head that to better my sprinting, I need to better my longer distance running and get used to going faster for longer. I’m pretty sure this is actually all made up and the only thing that will benefit my sprint is being fit in general, however I’m a determined minx when I want to be. So on reading about the Self-Transcendence runs in my trusty Southern Runners Guide, coupled with a visit to Battersea Park a few weeks ago (its beautiful, go there if you get the chance), I packed my running stuff yesterday and off I went. My pal Georgie accompanied on this mission as I thought it could be a fun way of us hanging out as busy pals with hectic schedules, however I was wrong when she left me for dust near the start, her training for the upcoming half marathons she’s signed herself up for obviously coming into effect in a distance as petty as a mere 5km. I was very proud of her!
I’d looked at the times for last years runs and although saw some pretty good times I figured they wouldn’t close the course until everyone got home so headed to the park all cool and casual, setting myself a lenient half hour to get my butt round. However on seeing the running vests, the faces of those I recognised from my athletics club”s middle distance speedy group and pretty much every item in Sweaty Betty’s running collection on display I have to admit the nerves kicked in. So as a way to focus and calm down I set myself two aims, 1) get round in under 30 mins 2) do not be beaten by the girl in pigtails with ridiculous scrunchies in her hair.
Now I must point out that the whole ethos of the ‘Self Transcendence’ runs are to compete only against yourself and your own goals. Set up by Sri Chinmoy in the 1970’s, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon team have the philosophy that running is about each individual seeking to go beyond their own limits and bring forward their inner, spiritual potential. Therefore my sudden determination to beat some poor woman who happened to turn up in the wrong hair attire didn’t quite fit with the surroundings I was in.
In the words of the great man himself:
“Competition is good, provided it is the competition of Self-Transcendence and not the competition of ego-demonstration.”
You’ll be pleased to know I kicked her ass though. Oh and got in well under my set time too.
Self Transcendence runs in Battersea happen every Monday at 7pm, with other similar races happening throughout England. For more info on Self Transcendence runs check out uk.srichinmoyraces.org and look under ‘races’.
Photos by Alex Winn and taken from the Self Transendence gallery