I added some sprints to my workout at the gym today. Sprints in my workout at the gym are good because short sprints are an integral part of the weekly 5-a-side football that keeps me young(-ish).

Today probably wasn’t the best day to start them, though. There was clearly a problem with the aircon at the gym and it was uncomfortably warm in there. I tired more quickly than I might usually have done, and with all the sweating and the shortness of breath, I was just waiting for the chest pains to kick in for the myocardial infarction trifecta.

I did consider giving up but “well, it was a bit warm” really didn’t cut it as anything other than a pathetic excuse when I played it back in my head, so I kept going. Good for me.

I used a free-running machine* for my sprints. It was the first time I’ve used one. I don’t like running on treadmills and I can now tell you that I don’t like running on free-running machines either. I can run on trails, tracks, grass and tarmac with no issue, but I constantly felt like I was having to concentrate just to not fall off the thing. Lean a bit forward and it takes off like a jet, lean slightly backwards and it almost instantly stops, like some wild, mutant Segway.

18kph for 150m never felt so dangerous. Eliud Kipchoge would never have got anywhere near 26 miles on a Virgin Active free-running machine. Every sprint was like a 30 second panic attack. (Although obviously, it would probably have taken him a lot less than 30 seconds.)

Records show that my heart rate topped 180bpm, but probably only 150 of them were due to the exercise, the balance being made up by sheer terror.

I’m proud of myself for being so stupid overcoming my fears and doing several (or more) repeats, though. My legs feel tired, but good tired, and I can actually believe that after a few more goes on the scary machine, I’ll be going a bit faster on the football field.

Assuming that I don’t break some important bones while doing it.


* aka:”A Self-Powered Treadmill”