Does anybody actually like intervals?

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09/01/2008 at 16:10
JFB, I can maintain the speed AND sustain it for all the intervals. It doesn't stop each rep being a tunnel of pain though...!!
09/01/2008 at 16:27

Not too bad if I don't try to do too many too fast!

Like Man of Chocolate I(great name!)  did two short ones on the treadmill to try to find my MHR.  It turned out to be 19 bpms higher than the one done on the formula according to age .  Definitely didn't like those intervals! .

09/01/2008 at 18:32

Rach, you obviously know what you're doing with intervals and you sound like you're getting the max out of them.  I agree that if you are doing them properly, they are fun - after all, runners like running fast, and we get let off the leash a bit for speed sessions - but tough.

Are you a violinist, by the way?  (Off topic, I know, but just interested in your picture).

09/01/2008 at 19:21

I have to agree that interval sessions are superb.  Just build up the length and number of reps and you'll be fine.

Don't run reps flat out - if you  venture into anaerobic exercise, where you can't run for more than 20 seconds, you're defeating the purpose.

09/01/2008 at 20:12

May I ask a question here

Im not a fast runner, infact I managed to do my quickest outdoor 3.2 mile run this evening in 35 minutes and 41 seconds which includes 2 hills. (equates to 11.02 min miles). I coming from 14.30 minute miling so i am seeing the progress gradually so im doing something right!!

 On the treadmill i do my regular 20-30 minute run at about 9.1 to 9.3 kph.  I do my intervals at about 11.5-12kph for one minute then drop back to a fast walk at about 6kph or a slow jog at 7-8kph.  My questions are:-

In one session, how many of these intervals should I be doing, I normally do about 4, is this enough to be consdiered a good interval session. Or should i be doing 4 sets, jog a bit, then do another 4 sets etc etc?

Also, as stated I sometimes walk to recover, should I not be walking and always at least jogging?

Im grateful for any input here and many thanks in advance


Edited: 09/01/2008 at 20:14
09/01/2008 at 20:36

Lisa - will let someone more knowledgeable give you a proper answer on that, only thing I will say is that walking to recover is definitely fine in my book, personally I just drop back to a slow jog but my super-speedy friend does all his speedwork on a track and actually stops completely between reps and swears this is the best method (don't like the sound of it too much though, sounds a bit jarring..)

I think if you can, idea is to do a few reps to start with (I did my first speed session in months and months today, and did 5 x 800m) and then try and build them up, one more each time maybe. But there are loads of different ways you can do it - increase the length of the rep, reduce the recovery time, add more reps etc. Not really sure of the 'best' as I'm no expert on speedwork.  

Congrats on your run tonight too by the way Lisa! Speed is all relative to yourself and sounds like you have improved a huge amount, must feel good! 

Anyway my MAIN point - [sorry everyone, I do tend to waffle!] is -  

I used to go to a gym and do my speed sessions on the treadmill as it was easy to control speed but since I've switched to doing them outside this winter with the rest of my runs I've got a lot more satisfaction out of them. I generally hate running fast but when they are short bursts, but just long enough to get a nice pace going, they feel fantastic! Definitely definitely feel a lot more rewarding doing them outside so would recommend getting off that treadmill if you can!  Although looking at your watch if you are doing them by time is annoying, luckily I got a Garmin for xmas so don't have to worry about that anymore

09/01/2008 at 20:37
Rach E wrote (see)
JFB, I can maintain the speed AND sustain it for all the intervals. It doesn't stop each rep being a tunnel of pain though...!!

"tunnel of pain" - I like that phrase Rach, I know the feeling well...
09/01/2008 at 21:22


I would drop the speed a bit, perhaps to about 10.5-11 kph, and try and do 4-6 reps lasting a few minutes each.  Broadly, I would say you're better off doing more/longer reps at a slightly slower speed.

09/01/2008 at 21:28

Thanks for your input here Tutu and JFB, its very much appreciated. 

I would like to enter a few races this year (never entered one before) so im keen to get a bit faster, my current predicted 5K time is 34mins 35secs, id like to get to maybe 33mins for my first 5k so its gonna take a bit more work, however the 2 hills i encounter on my regular run slows me down somewhat but I dont have a completely flat course to do a better 5k time trial.

Many thanks once again both.


10/01/2008 at 00:03

I tried them for the first time today and found they made a nice change from plodding along for miles and miles.

I guess I wasn't trying hard enough then?

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