Week 38 – Interval Training

In the past I’ve done what I’ve believed to be interval training – running for a short distance at a fast pace, then either slowing down or walking for a shorter distance. Repeat a few times.

Now, while I’m not entirely wrong, my version of interval training is actually more correctly termed ‘fartlek’ training where there is no structure to the training and you’re not necessarily pushing yourself to your limits.

“fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover.”

Interval training on the other hand is where you are pushing yourself to your limits, based on a time period, and then rest for short periods in between.

“you’re running above your red line and at an effort where you are reaching hard for air and counting the seconds until you can stop—a controlled fast effort followed by a truly easy jog. The secret is in the recovery as patience and discipline while you’re running easy allows you to run the next interval strong and finish the entire workout fatigued but not completely spent.”

I was recently invited to join an interval training session in the evenings so I decided to give this proper training a go…. and boy oh boy did it make the HUGEST difference!

It’s run by actual coaches so there’s no mucking about. We’re there to work hard, and that’s what we do! The session changes up each week to keep things fun and interesting so although I’m only planning on going every second week, I’ll always have something new to look forward to when I’m there.

This week was on the slightly easier side of things – everyone there commented how much easier it was than last week (glad I wasn’t there then!😉 )

We jogged, very slowly, out to the start point – a 1.6 km little jog. Then we did a couple of lunges / squats etc. to keep the muscles warm and start engaging them for what’s to come. And then the interval training starts! The idea is to run at your best pace for 1km, then a 4 minute rest. Then run for 800m, with a slightly shorter rest. As the distance gets shorter, so do the rests in-between, and you’re increasing your pace each time because the distance is shorter… until you’re running only 100m at a completely flat-out pace. Extremely hard work which we then followed up with a very easy 500m jog. And then after a bit of chit chat we headed back the 1.6km’s to where we started.

Here’s a chart of my heartrate during the workout, including the jog out to the start point.

The effort shows what percentage of my max heartrate I was in at any particular time of the workout – and you’ll notice that a very large part of it was in 80-90% of my max heartrate.

By doing this type of exercising, I’m teaching my body to improve its aerobic capacity, which will allow me to exercise for longer, at more intense levels… which eventually boils down to me being able to push myself harder in races and get better and faster each time.

Here’s to hopefully getting a sub-2 hour half marathon this season!

Week 37 – 5-day long weekends for EID

A belated Eid Mubarak to any and all of my Muslim readers🙂

Eid-al-Adha, the long Eid, falls approximately 40 days after the end of Ramadan each year. Generally we are given 3 days of public holidays which almost always mean that we get a 5-day long weekend – bliss! And the schools really enjoyed it this year by being given the whole week off so a whopping 9 days off without having to apply for any actual annual leave!

Anyway, over this particular Eid break, I was here in Dubai so I tried to make the most of my days off by doing a bunch of things I don’t normally get a chance to do – visit the salon for a 2-hour long treatment during the day, go watch 2 movies in a row at the cinema, party it up hard with friends, chillax a bit, try out new lunch venues.

Over these 5 days I managed to do at least 3 brand new things so sit back and relax while I tell you about my fabulous Eid break🙂

Friday night we had a games night at home so nothing new there, but a really enjoyable evening as always.

Saturday we chilled about a bit and were meant to go to dinner and then party it up but it was then announced that Saturday night would be dry i.e. no alcohol from sunset Saturday to sunset on Sunday😦 So plans needed to be changed, and fast!

We decided to go to movies and instead of splurging our money on a night out drinking, we decided to splurge on move tickets – 7 Star cinema tickets which are super expensive (AED150 ticket only) but oh-so-much-fun! You sit in leather seats that recline fully, the legs lift up (like a lazy-boy), you’re given a blanket, and you can order food using the iPad that’s in the armrest of your chair, and they bring it to you during the movie!

We then decided that it was too early to head home so we bought tickets for the next movie (just the regular pleb type tickets) and watched a horror movie before heading home😮

Sunday I visited the salon for a hair colour and to try out this whole brazilian keratin treatment that girls rave about…. and so far I’m loving it! I was a bit put off on Sunday when I walked out of the hairdresser because my hair felt incredibly oily but the girls assured me it didn’t look it. I pushed it for as long as possible before washing it again (made it to Tuesday morning!) and it now looks and feels great🙂

My Hair's not quite that frizzy, but this is the idea...

My Hair’s not quite that frizzy, but this is the idea…

Sunday night we then decided to have a big girls night out partying which was the best fun! (And my hair looked amazing😉 )

Monday morning was a total waste (haha) but I then headed off to lunch with some friends which was meant to be at a restaurant that none of us had ever been to, but the boys decided they wanted to have a few beers and this place is unlicensed, so we headed off to somewhere else… again not new, but another really enjoyable afternoon.

I followed that up by meeting up with the football girls to try out  a new escape room challenge which was SUCH fun and so hard and even scary to a point! This was then followed by dinner.

Tuesday – our last day of holiday… so Villa Kunterbunt (that’s the name of the house I live in🙂 ) decided to go for breakfast together – and we tried out a place that none of us have been to before! Nathalie’s in Sport’s City. Just a simple café type place but done up really well, and the food was delicious (well, mine was at least – JPEG & Roomie were not that happy with theirs😦 )

And that’s the end of the weekend! 5 days – Gone!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

When I visited Australia – Melbourne – in 2013 for my uncle’s (surprise) 60th birthday, my family spent some time in Sydney too because, well, you can’t go all the way to Australia and not go to Sydney, right?!

We spent a day out and about visiting Koala sanctuaries, a zoo, a bunch of other places and the Blue Mountains.

There is this one outcrop in the mountains where you can sit on the edge and you feel like you are flying on top of the mountains! It was heart attack material for my poor mother when I sat on the edge, but the photo was so worth it! And then when some other people who were with us started acting about and pretended to be falling, well, that’s when my mom decided it was time to leave – but not before I got a photo in😉

And what would a photo challenge entry of mine be without some random youtube video relating to it… so for this week I bring you 30 Seconds to Mars – Closer to the Edge. One of my all-time favourite 30 Seconds to Mars songs❤