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Intervals, schmintervals…

Here is the Owl in his beautiful new hat a co-worker knitted for him.  He thinks it goes well with his new teeth.

More running talk….you’ve been warned:

Pick-ups, indian runs, ladders, intervals, repeats.  If you know what all these mean, you probably ran in high school.    If you did these a lot in your youth, you are probably like me and swore you would never do this stuff again.   When I first started racing again after high school (in about 1998), I threw in pick-ups into my morning runs.  I also met a group of folks a couple of years later who were faster than me and I had to work really hard to keep up on runs.  I also raced a ton, and used races to get faster.  Somehow, I morphed into a marathon and longer runner and stopped doing anything that had the word fast in it.   When pregnancy slowed me down to about 11 minute miles, I decided part of my comeback goal would be get faster.  Stage 1 was tempo runs.  These are just runs are your race goal pace.  Pretty simple.  Hurts a little, but doable.  The previously mentioned terms all refer to running faster than you would race, and they all hurt a lot!  Stage 2 of me getting faster was to add in intervals.

I have to say my interval run is becoming one of my favorite workouts.  Now I cheat a little and do long intervals.   A little over 2 miles.  Mile intervals are the worst I think, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to do those yet.   My current workout is about 7 miles.   I run a warm up, and start my interval.  The goal is to get it under 7 minute miles.  Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.   On days it doesn’t, I usually have had a night waking with the Owl, or something going on that I know is making me tired.  On these days I do the best I can, and accept that sometimes having an 11 month old just wears you out.  Anyhow, I finish one interval and cool down for about 30 seconds.  Then I start the next.  Once again, I try to keep it under 7 minute miles.  Then I finish and run a cool down home.  The cool thing is I focus the whole time.  My mind stays on pushing the pace and running.  I don’t daydream or make mental lists like I normally do.  Before I know it, I am done.  And because I ran faster than I normally do, I have a little extra time when I get home to stretch and do the dreaded core work.  Or sometimes I just get have a cup of coffee before the Owl wakes.

I recommend you give something like this a try if you are a busy person trying to get your workouts in.  It makes it go by so fast, and you are getting fitter while it happens.  You’ll feel like a real runner.  You ‘ll fly past other folks out running and feel really , really fast, even though, for me, I am just a mid pack runner.  But I get a little glimpse of feeling speedy.  The longer intervals make it a little less boring.  My future goals are to start those one mile intervals at some point to really speed it up, and increase my current workout to add an extra interval (this involves getting up earlier, so this is a very big challenge).

Ok, long run early tomorrow and then off for Mansfield, TX.  Gonna be a cold one.

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3 thoughts on “Intervals, schmintervals…”

  1. Thanks for the post, after Rocky my next commitment is to start running a little faster. I experimented with a few faster run this year but will really push it here in 2011.

  2. Saw your comment…didn’t know you were so tiny! I could tell by your picture that you are tiny…but 4’11 is really tiny. I’m 5’7-8ish so I have lots of room in my torso.

    I’ll have to try this workout post baby. I’ve always done shorter intervals. Should try for some longer ones 🙂

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