Rambling around Hambleton Peninsula

Training log: interval walking around Hambleton Peninsula

On Tuesday I set off for a walk around Hambleton Peninsula, one of my favourite short walks.

Hambleton Peninsula - round walk

It was an interval training day, as designated in my training plan for the Stroud Five Valleys’ walk. For those who don’t know, interval training is the discipline of walking as fast as you can possibly can for a few minutes, followed by a recovery period of walking at a more relaxed pace.

Because I hate walking with one eye on my watch (and equally hate walking to the dictates of a bleeping app), I decided to use the Fartlek technique – where you vary and choose the timings of your fast/slow sessions.

I set off in good spirits, buoyed by a successful 18 mile walk at the weekend, the longest walk I had ever done. So I was feeling strong, fit, and confident.

After a couple of minutes of brisk walking, I launched into my first speed interval. Almost immediately I developed a pain in my lower back, very low, near the bottom of my left sacroiliac joint. This radiated down to the back of my thigh. I slowed down immediately and started kicking myself (mentally!). Had I sabotaged my whole training schedule? And jeopardised my chances of a successful 21 mile walk on the 28th September?

Just as I was deciding to abandon the walk and turn back, the pain settled. I continued, maintaining a steady pace for the next five minutes, before cautiously going into my next speed interval. I completed the route without further problems.

Lessons learnt: I need to spend longer warming up at a comfortable pace. Next time, I’ll walk for 5 minutes minimum before the first speed interval.


It was a glorious day, and I took a number of photographs with my iPhone. Some of these are grainy, giving an oil-painting effect you could spend hours trying to achieve with paints and brush!

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