Monday, November 18, 2013

Aranjuez 10K Week 1 / 6

Monday: 2 x 3 x 1,600 @ 3:25
Tuesday: 40' easy
Wednesday: 20 x (30" @ 3:00, 30" @ 6:00)
Thursday: 45' @ 4:27
Friday: -
Saturday: 6 x (400m @ 3:15, 200m @ 2:50) + 400m w/ 2-3' rest
Sunday: 45' @ 4:21
Total kilometers: 46

The interesting half of this week I was in Moscow. I had been asked to present at a conference but then that conference was cancelled and I decided to go anyway, with my wife and no kids (4th time in 11 years for a "DINKy" - Double Income No Kids - weekend). As a bit of holiday reading, I bought a Russian text ("Supertraining", translated into Spanish) on strength training for my Kindle by one of the forefathers of "plyometrics", Yuri Verkhoshansky.

I found a gym which I planned to do my quality workout on Saturday morning but a day pass turned out to cost about 75 euros and the running machines were so slow to increase speed that running such short intervals would have been absurd. Instead, I braved the cold and ran the stretch between two bridges on the opposite side of the river from Red Square while my wife jogged past. With my generous rests in between sets, we ended up running about the same distance in the same time. The uneven pavement made the 200m intervals at over 21 kph quite hair-raising; I would start the 400m at what was quite an aggressive pace to find that I was literally wheezing and slowing down to a trot for the last 100m. Probably not the optimal execution but a good workout nonetheless and one from which I am still recovering today as I write this.

It's not the first time this year that I've seen that green bike somewhere unexpected
Just as I stayed on Madrid time when I went to New York a couple of weeks ago, it was also convenient to stay on Madrid time in Russia. As a result we would get up around 10:30 am (no kids!), have breakfast around 12:00 pm, lunch around 4 pm and dinner at 11 pm. I was suprised to find that not only were there many reasonable and good quality restaurants open 24 hours but we were not the only people eating at such strange times. So on the Sunday, just before checking out of the apartment, I went for a run around the river. I think I saw one other runner the whole time during the 3 days we spent there. Considering that Moscow supposedly had introduced a bike share scheme this year, I was expecting to see at least some bikes if not people riding them: nothing. I know it is cold, wet and windy but no more so in November than London! That, and the fact that people still smoke so much and in restaurants, were the only things which made the city seem a bit of a throwback; otherwise it was very clean, modern and impressive.

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