venerdì 31 agosto 2012

First Training for First Trial

Back again to "First Times".

I applied for a trial.

Maybe someone still doesn't know that, but I came back to study. I'm a graduate student, in Singapore. To be specific: National University of Singapore, aka NUS.

As a student in Trento (my undergraduate university) I used to do a lot of extracurricular activities. Mainly in university politics, associations and moot courts. Here I tried with sport.

The first people I meet are from the football (soccer) team of the faculty of law. Nice guys, but the team is full. They're all friends and all come from the same batch. No wonder they loose every game...

They are nice, though, and give me the number of a guy from the cross country team of the university. Yes, the running team.

The captain of the team (yes, there is a captain), is one of the nicest Singaporeans I've met so far. "Sure you can come". "Yeah take it easy". "Give me your mail and I'll update you on any event".

So I go to the training, today. My first "serious" training ever. It's done in the track field of the main university campus (yes, there is a track field in the main campus. And yes, there is more than one track field).

We warm up. We stretch. We talk ("ah, you're from Sicily, the godfather, ahahah"). Then the captain tells us the exercises we are supposed to do. The easy ones are 200m x 16 with recovery of 1 minute. The medium ones are 800m x 6 with recovery of one minute. The tough ones are 1600m x 3 with recovery of 1 minute.

The pace is that of a 5k race. Which means that everybody has his or her own pace (yes, there are girls). The good thing, though, is that there are enough people so that everybody who wants, can train with someone else, at a common pace.

Someone may wonder, is this the NUS Cross Country Team? Isn't there a selection? How can you have a team like that, were everybody may go at the pace he or she is good at? How can you choose who participates to the races (yes, there are races)?

That's what trials are for. You can just go to the track and run, with people who cheer during your training. But then comes the selection. Next tuesday, there is a 5k run, in the track. Anyone who wants may join it. Anyone who wants is individually timed. The first six runners will participate to next cross-country competition, wearing the colours of NUS. Before every competition there is a trial, so that everybody has the chance to run for NUS.

I will go to the trials. But I know I can't make it. Last time, the minimum time to qualify was 17 minutes and 10 seconds, 3m25s per k. They're good, they've been training for 2 years. I will try to run 5k in 18 minutes and 20 seconds, 3m40s per k. I won't run next cross-country competition. But this is only my first trial...

Ah, I almost forgot to talk about the first training for my first trial. Of course I chose the 1600m x 3. Of course I trained with two of the the fastest guys. Of course I died.

We ran the first 1600m at 3m19s per k. Exhausted, but we did it. One minute (yes, one minute) of recovery and then we started the second round. After 200m I lost the other guys. After 200m I decided I didn't want to pass away 28 year old, and slowed down. I closed at 3m49s per k (they did at 3m25s per k).

After 2 minutes (at least 2 minutes, come on!!) of recovery, we started the third round. One of the two guys was also "tired", and ran with me. We closed the last 1600m at 3m39s per k.

Then the "tired" guy cooled down for 5 minutes (yes, I know, it's impossible to cool down in Singapore), and went for some uphill interval training ("just" 50m x 5).


I know, my posts are going to become even more boring, with all such numbers. But for me, these numbers, make me feel like a happy little child.

(in the picture: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po, and Valerio, training for the trial)

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