The pyramid of pain

Aahh Wednesday night running club. I have a love/hate relationship with you.

This week was lead by a guy who runs ultra-marathons. In his spare time. For fun. So we weren’t surprised when he said “brace yourselves, this is going to be a tough session”. Wednesday nights are usually a challenge, but when someone makes a point of saying it’s going to be hard, you know you’re in for trouble.

We go for a gentle 800m warm up along the seafront (400m out, 400m back) to explain where the markers were for the sprints we were going to be doing. These types of sprints, he explained, are known as pyramid training. You sprint 200/400/800/1200 & 1600m and have a recovery run for the same length of each sprint. When you complete the 1600m sprint, you go back down the pyramid to 1200/800/400 & 200m sprints and recovery. Yeah. Tough!

The pyramid intervals were hard, but I would much rather be doing them than the beach boot camp I saw going on. Not content with just doing sit-ups on the sand, the trainer made everyone do sit-ups in the water.

With a headache looming and stomach cramps setting in, I sat the longest rep out and managed to stop and take in my surroundings. Yeah I felt exhausted, but the views are pretty awesome:


I’m still trying to work out whether I enjoyed it or not. I quite like sprint intervals, but I also had a bad exercise headache when I got home, and felt demoralised for being one of the slowest in the group. Even though I know far slower members of the club don’t brave Wednesday sessions, so I should give myself credit just for turning up – right?!

What will I remember from yesterday’s work out? However bad you’re feeling, there’s always someone doing sit-ups in water.




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