Some Days Its Just Going to Hurt

Details from today's ladder run.

Details from today’s ladder run.

When I started running I slowly eased into running longer as I worked through the couch 2 5k  program.  Within a year I was running my first 5k and a few later.  Since I have achieved running multiple 5ks, 10ks and even a half marathon.  But I did not do this by continuous running, instead I approached it using a series of run and walk intervals.  Using run/walk ratios in my opinion is a very smart way to run longer races.  I am actually faster running 5ks using a 1:1 run to walk ratio than I am running all 3 miles without stopping.  While I love the continued freshness I feel in my legs from using this method, after a year I fear I have hurt my running improvement by always using a ratio in all my training.

As I mentioned previously, my biggest goal is to  improve as a runner this year.  So far I have worked to increase my mileage from barely 10 miles a week to somewhere in the low 20 miles per week.   While I am now consistently getting my mileage goal, I feel I still utilize the run/walk ratios too much in my low mileage training days.  On long runs I am fully behind utilizing the run/walk method as it allows me to go farther and feel fresher.  But on the short runs I feel it hurts the development I need to develop.  Thus I have started to focus more attention on non-long runs on continuous running, especially on speed workout days.

Today’s run followed that formula and contained the following goals/components:

  1. Ladder Workout consisting of: 2×30 seconds, 2×45 seconds, 2×1 minute and a bonus of 2×45, 2×30.  Each of these should be between 12:50-11:0 minute per mile pace.
  2. Run the entire workout without stopping to walk unless at a crosswalk.  Of course the crosswalk showed walk every time and I never ran into the stop mode.
Ladder interval sets average pace, minutes per mile.  Fairly consistent  overall, differences are a result of elevation and time running.

Ladder interval sets average pace, minutes per mile. Fairly consistent overall, differences are a result of elevation and time running.

As usual, this run started out really slow as my legs warmed up.  After a mile or so I started into the sets of speed intervals.  After I finished one I just continued to push the run until my body felt ready for another.  As I got closer to the point of executing a full minute interval my body and mind were at odd over stopping to walk.  I fought it and pushed on, sometimes going so slow walking might have been faster.  I had a goal though and I wanted to complete this workout in its entirety.   By the time I finished all the ladder intervals plus bonus I was hurting.  My mind was shooting encouragement and feelings of awesome while at the same time it was crying out for me to make the bad man stop.  It was just one of those running days… it felt great but hurt so badly all at the same time.

Til next time.



  1. High five! The pain after the workout is a badge of honor. Wear it proudly!

    1. Yup, pushed hard but did not break myself.

  2. Well done! I want to make sure I understand this though, how long total did you run for and how far did you go?

    1. 3.5 miles in 52:51 minutes. Not fast, but the speed bursts with a running recovery was the main focus.

    2. A day later and I think I am just now getting what you were saying, you were not asking the times but making a point I had ran a certain number of miles for an hour. I was being dense. Thanks for the wake up there.

  3. Sounds like a great strategy! You’re really getting a knack for the ‘theory’ of training! Love watching you get stronger!!

    1. I am just hoping to start getting faster soon. Thanks for the encouragement. Our goals are pretty similar this year. Should be fun.

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