…in an enclosed chamber in a gym on a treadmill, alas not out in the Alps or in Kenya or anywhere else remotely high above sea level. Certainly not as high as the Atacama Desert. But still 2500m high in a chamber in the centre of London. Setting the treadmill on a gentle-ish incline I plodded my way through 12.5 miles in roughly 2 hours with a variety of pace and intervals. Variety helps on treadmill training because otherwise it really is the most dullest form of running. I always have the urge when I see people training really regularly on treadmills to go up and shout loudly at them “outside there is a world of adventure, colour and sights that will fill a short or long run with wonder and distraction and amusement and dilemma”. But I’m good I keep my mouth shut. Two hours in the hypoxic chamber – as it is so called – isn’t too horrendously boring, as it is high up in my gym with a big glass wall which looks out over the rest of the gym and makes for some rather entertaining people watching. Watching the hard core athlete gunning for it in some seriously fast sprints on either the main treadmills or the Watt Bikes, the ingenuous novice who doesn’t really know what piece of equipment to use, the posers who seem more interested in their latest colourful piece of tight latex (I won’t go into details) – I could go on, but probably best not to. Today, my high altitude session followed an hour of training with my trainer Luke. So my muscles have been seriously put through the mill today. I am apparently much better a press-ups now though – although as I wryly pointed out, that doesn’t mean that I like them any the more! I mean, it’s not as if I’m going to stop every few miles in the desert and think, oooh, better drop and do 5 press-ups. However, my protestations never work.
The thing that drives me through running on a treadmill, is that it is the only time I run to music. I’m not a big fan of running outside with headphones – not only do you miss all the sounds of outside but I have found that I become oblivious to other people which from my perspective is dangerous as numerous catastrophes might then ensue. But on a treadmill, it certainly keeps me going, I keep thinking I’ll stop at the end of this song, but then my ipod set to random shuffle picks something I haven’t heard for a while and boom I go for another 5 mins, and so on and so forth. Still I admit to being a bit cream crackered now but as a small reward I am enjoying a particularly delicious chocolate brownie and hot chocolate in Rapha cycling cafe in Soho – mmmmmmm!
And, I get my revenge shortly – I’m heading back to the gym to put a few crazy members through their paces in one of my classes – this one is called Hardcore Hypoxic!!!! The clue is in the title, ha ha!
20 miles done this week so far, including a 10mile run on Bank Holiday monday. Memo to self, must not run in the middle of the day on a Bank Holiday Monday – very foolish…prams, dogs, romantic ambling couples, bikes, people in bubbles of Ipods and MP3 players, on mobile phones – none of them look where they are going, or what is coming towards them…I just start pretending they are big boulders in the desert which I am going to have to dodge round, it sort of works.