The dark days and lack of my ‘bloody garmin’ make it near impossible to get an interval session in without approaching the ‘dreadmill’. As regular readers know by now I generally hate the dreadmill with a passion and would rather chew my own arm off before using it for runs lasting beyond 25 minutes.
Nonetheless, I approached the dreadmill today without the usual trepidation and fear of falling asleep whilst in motion. That’s because I was doing a short, sharp interval session. I love interval sessions – if done right they are short, sweet and effective. They also naturally improve your running form and long distance speed. My last two long runs (10 & 12miles) have been at 7:50/mi and 8:15/mi respectively. For me these are quick for training runs. A year ago I would have been looking at somewhere between 8:30-9:00/mi for these runs.
Tonight’s session was short – 28mins 30secs – shorter than an episode of Friends; it was sweet because…it was different…and shorter than an episode of Friends; it was effective because I really really struggled at some points to get to each rest interval and felt like I was going to have a heart attack…but still completed each interval successfully…and it was over quicker than an episode of Friends! A few hours later and my lungs still feel expanded. I love that feeling (addicted to it maybe?)
The interval session itself, as with all the sessions in the programme I am following, is really excellent and just pushes enough to hurt, but not kill you. It tests resolve, but is still realistic. You feel achievement when you’re done yet don’t feel you’ve overdone it or done too little. The sesh is as follows:
Each interval distance works off your 10k race pace:
1200metres – (10k minus 40-45secs) e.g. if your 10k pace is 7/mi then 1200m (0.75m) is at 6:15-6:20/mi)
1000m (10k minus 42-47secs)
800m (10k pace – 45-50sec)
600m (10k pace – 50-55sec)
400m (10k pace – 55-60secs)
200m (as fast as you can or as for 400m above)
Take 200m rest intervals in between. Let me tell you, I needed them! This is 6 intervals and you only cover two miles approx at speed. The total run for me, including a couple of minute warm up & the rest intervals, was 3.65miles. Interval training really breaks up the dreadmill monotony, but if it is an appropriate speed & distance level then you should only be able to do it once per week (it’s a pity as I feel like doing it more than that).
My next session is a 7mile tempo run…I might be forced onto the dreadmill for this and I really don’t know how that is going to go…how can I relieve the ‘rhythmical’ boredom as the belt goes round and round and round and round? zzz
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