First Real Interval Run


November 16, 2012 by IowaTriBob

The past few days in Iowa have been absolutely gorgeous.  After a solid day of rain over the weekend followed by a day’s cold front pushing through, the rest of the week has been low to mid 50’s and nothing but sunshine.

Iowa Sunshine

It’s been great to see everyone flock back outside to take advantage of every nice day Mother Nature decides to give to us before the freeze sets in – and we all know it’s coming.  I’ve been no exception.  This week I took advantage of the weather by running outside in my summer run attire and did my first ever real interval run.

The workout called for a 10 minute warm up run followed by a main set of 3 x 6 minute tempo runs with 2 minutes of recovery in between each interval.  The tempo run pace was set by judging a comfortable perceived level of effort below race pace with my heart rate in my zone 3 to low zone 4 – no max effort.

I have to admit that I was very excited to give this workout a try as most all my runs have been drills, long and slow endurance sessions, or race pace.  This was the first one where I could see if there was something in between slow and race pace and experience what that would feel like as well as how my mind and body would react.

I found that I absolutely loved every minute of it.  It was a very challenging workout to say the least but knowing that I could still go just a little bit faster was a great feeling.  The recovery periods, although they seemed short, gave me just enough rest to feel refreshed and eager to tackle the next interval.

After a good cool down I was able to download the data from my Garmin Forerunner 310XT and was pleasantly surprised and very proud of my workout report.  You can see the workout splits below:

Interval Run Splits

All three of my 6 minute intervals were at a pace below 8:30 min/mile.  That’s well below my last 5K time trial personal best of 8:49 min/mile.  What’s even greater is that I feel like I was holding back from an all-out effort and sprint.

As I’ve come to learn, it’s these little moments of success and accomplishment that make the world of difference and make me look forward to my next workout.  Sometimes progress can’t be seen daily, or even weekly, but as I continue to look at where I was the month prior it continues to convince me that our bodies can accomplish so much more than we think is possible.  Sometime we just need to get out of the way and let it happen.

10 thoughts on “First Real Interval Run

  1. Chatter says:

    Looks like a fun set of drills. I have been sticking to a simple formula of easy run/speed work/long run. I am seeing progress, but I am interested in trying your formula above.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Same here. My first few months were just as you say easy run/speed work/long runs. This was a great way to mix it up and use a little of each but also be able to test some faster pace work. Good luck and you’ll have to post if you give them a try.

  2. Carrie says:

    Thanks for sharing your workout and results! I’ve never done true intervals before, just straight up tempo runs for TK minutes–definitely something to consider for my run tomorrow.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Carrie, you definitely should try them and if you get signed up with a coach or the club I’m sure at some point they recommend them as well. It was a lot of fun but still pretty tough.

  3. Solange Deschatres says:

    Congrats on the drills! Have you tried doing ladder drills? It’s easier to do on a track, but the goal is to go 2 min/mile faster than your LSD (Long Slow Distance) pace during your sprint intervals. Usually, it goes like this:
    10 mins warmup (jog), the active stretching drills (high knees, butt kickers and hip openers, plus lots of quad and ham static stretches)
    400m sprint
    400m walk/jog
    800m sprint
    400m walk/jog
    1200m sprint
    400m walk/jog
    800m sprint
    400m walk/jog
    400m sprint (everything you’ve got left)
    400m cool down AND stretch

    Doing those really helped me to improve my pace. I plan to get back to building my speed up, now that I’m over all of the hill and trail distance training. This is the fastest way to get fast, IMHO. :)

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Thanks for the comment and for the ladder drill. I’ve got a time goal to break 25 minutes in a 5k next year so anything that can help is definitely welcome and these look like a lot of fun. I’ll definitely be giving them a try.

  4. elisariva says:

    Don’t you wish you could bottle days like this? I was feeling the thrill as I read, so glad you had a good run!

  5. Great session!
    I have done very,very, VERY little interval type this was great motivation to switch things up a bit!

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