Supersetting

I was finally back at the athletics track this morning for some fast running. It has been a fair while since my feet last hit the rubber coated asphalt. To my surprise it was a bit crowded. I counted twelve others doing their thing around the track. Everyone was following good etiquette, creating a real feel good environment.

Following twenty minutes of a mix of steady running, dynamic mobility drills and strides I was warmed up and ready. Today I was trying something different. A form of interval work that has been termed Supersetting by a few.

Today I was to run 3 x 200m-400m with 4-5min recovery.

This means you cover 600m of continuous running three times, but that 600m is separated into 200 and 400m segments by pace. The first 200m you aim to run at very close to your best possible 200m time, then with no rest at all, continue straight into 400m at a slightly reduced pace, basically whatever you think you can just hold for that distance. The exact times aren't too important, the goal is simply to go out very fast and get your system working at near maximum before trying to sustain a relatively slower pace that is still hopefully fast. Hard work.

Today was the first time I have attempted this, and I have to say it felt great. Very difficult, but awesome at the same time. My results are as follows (run in the lane 3, distances were slightly longer):
  1. 2:09 (0:36-1:33)
  2. 2:11 (0:40-1:31)
  3. 2:10 (0:37-1:33)

While definitely not the fastest times in the world, they are quick for me. The key feeling I found with these intervals was it was my breathing that was trying to keep up. It is rare that I ever feel the need to suck in air like I was this morning. Surprisingly my legs didn't burn as I expected. Instead they just became heavy, and I felt an extremely strong urge just to stop. This urge didn't seem to have anything to do with pain, my body just wanted to stop. So the fun came from using the mind to keep those legs ticking over as they should.

After the main set was over I was still feeling good, so decided to finish with a solid 10 minutes at about 10km race pace. After the previous intervals, this felt so easy, which is the main idea of the Superset. It is meant to help make the rest of your running feel relatively easy. I'll be interested to see how it carries over into the rest of training and racing.

Comments

  1. That's an interesting session Jason. I've heard of (our group uses it) the opposite - say, 600m... 400m at 21secs per 100 with 200 at 'best effort'.

    Supersets would seem good practise for fast starting then settling into a pace. You said not much lactate, but I wonder what it was? Maybe if you did 6x600 it would be high? The 200s look a bit slower than what you'd do 'all out' (30-31?).

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