However, this time the Christmas feeling wasn't in the form of a fun novelty session, but rather a bit of athlete apathy.
Feeling a bit flat at this time of year is certainly understandable. Usually by now people have a fair bit on their plates, there are late night Christmas parties, family events, presents to buy, holidays to go on etc. So it is fair enough that people struggle to bring their focus and energy bear on a tough swim session.
Still, after a bit of a haphazard start to the session, with people gradually entering the pool in dribs and drabs we did eventually get a full squad of swimmers rolling along. To everyone's credit, once the swim got underway they found their motivation and ended up smashing out a solid Red Mist session.
And a very solid session it was indeed. Any 5000m session that includes a 400m threshold effort and finishes off with a timed 1000m effort is always going to be a challenge and it definitely was today. Still, despite people clearly struggling and suffering, everyone worked through and came out the other side, which is exactly what the Red Mist session is about. No silver bullets, no big secrets, simply gains and improvements though consistent hard work. Tough but true.
Speaking of hard work, the other thing I got up to today was another run. I almost wasn't going to go running today because my legs are a bit fatigued from the run on Monday, however, I know from experience that is I want to get some running form back then I need to be running consistently. I was only looking for another 30 minute run, same as Monday, so I thought I should just get out and do it.
Fair to say it wasn't a painless experience, with some fairly heavy legs. But still, the run actually went alright, with the average pace of 5:05min/km being a good improvement on the 5:30min/km average of the last run. Pushing the pace and making gains isn't really the focus of why I am running at the moment but still it is nice to get some indications of improvement.
Slowly but surely.