Wednesday’s Run: A matter of intervals

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Click for training peaks public page.

One of the things I am trying to currently improve is my run speed. In my lat 5k race with a timing chip I achieved a 44:35 time and felt I ran my perfect race.  As I move towards my triathlon I know I want to improve this time and get it down as much as possible.  Endurance and distance wise I can run over the 5k distance, but what I really need now is to focus on increasing my ability to run faster. Even if I only get my time down by a minute or two will make me happy heading into my first triathlon.

In light of these goals and the realization that currently distance is not a driving factor I have found an interval regiment I am experimenting with currently.  For the next month or so I am predominantly foregoing my long runs to do three varying interval sets every week.  Its a trade off but only temporary.  I believe focusing on intervals for a short while will benefit my running greatly.  As I have stated in other posts, my focus right at this moment is that first race.  Get done with that and I will start to prepare and realign my focus, taking back up longer runs.

The theory of intervals is of two different types.  The basic idea is that you benefit because you can go faster over short periods easier than longer periods and thus you stress your muscles differently and over time your body adapts to the stress.  There is allot more to intervals than that, but the basic principle is that different type so intervals, with varying lengths, rest lengths and pace/speeds produces different benefit. To make things simple I am trying an interval set from a site I found on the internet that seems sound and worth a try.

For Christmas I got a Khols gift card, for which I got these pants and shirt. Both sweat wicking. Pants are compression pants.

For Christmas I got a Khols gift card, for which I got these pants and shirt. Both sweat wicking. Pants are compression pants. My run outfit.

My interval set on Monday was the first of the week (here).  That interval set basically involved two long 15 minute runs at 14:40-14:50 pace with a ten minute rest interval in between.  Yesterdays intervals involved twenty one minute intervals at a 13:45-13:50 pace with one minute mixed in between.  The goal laid out says to try for twenty and get at least ten to fifteen.  If all twenty are doable, exhaustion should be the result in the end.

I felt deep concern and fear about yesterdays run, just thinking of the warnings and the intensity of this run.  Of course I shortly realized afterwards there was nothing to worry about, as I was able to do all twenty at this pace or below.  Hitting pace was difficult at times and often I was going faster than the prescribed pace. Other times I found I would hit a hill and I would try to push the pace to match the required pace, but sometimes this ended up being slower. Pulling the run only data from training peaks and averaging it out, my average average run pace was 13:12:15 with an average average speed of 4.56.  As I said I was trying to stay in the prescribed range but ended up going a bit faster.   I was able to do all 20 intervals, and was pretty spent in the ed.

This week I decided to walk the rest intervals til I see how my body handles the work.  After yesterdays run, I am going to try to do the rest intervals at a very slow jog instead of a brisk walk to see how that stresses the system.  It might actually make things a little bit more challenging.  I still need to determine this and look over the numbers some more.

One thing that was a little disconcerting was that after I finished and I felt I gave it my all, within a minute or so, I no longer felt exhausted.  Is my recovery getting that good that exhaustion does not set in for long? Granted I was tired and ready for an almond milk protein shake and a shower, but I felt good.  Overall yesterday’s run was a challenging set of intervals and a good workout.  After next week I will re-time my 5k race pace for the course I train on and readjust the numbers so it might be even harder.  Til next time.

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3 comments

  1. I’m doing a similar experiment with speed training using a TABATA type work out. They’re kinda awful but will be interested to see if it makes me faster … g’luck 🙂

    1. I need to find the site whose suggested interval scheme I am using comes from. I have it handy… somewhere, just being lazy to find and post it. Tabatta intervals are tough. I have heard of doing them on the bike, not on a run though. Good luck with that, should be interesting.

  2. […] Wednesday’s Run: A matter of intervals (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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