Sunday, January 20, 2013

Intervals, Speedwork, and the 'Schleprock Some-hundreds'


8 Days A Week.  I’d like to say I had a good weeks of training, but I have to go Saturday to Saturday to include all that I want to include.

Last Saturday, I did 14 miles at what I am guessing is my goal marathon pace, 8 minute miles.  (my average ended up being 8:03’s, so I missed it by that much) and then after a couple 6 and 7 milers and two spins on the bike during the week, I did Intervals.

Last year I focused so much on long runs, I ignored speedwork, so this year, I’m letting the pendulum swing and doing some faster ones. On a windy Saturday afternoon I did some soul-cleansing intervals, and they burned up my spirit and my legs  like only intervals can do.

Yasso 800’s are often the intervals of choice for marathoners, where you work up to ten 800 repeats using the hour and minute time of your marathon and converting to your minute and second time of your 800's, so that a 3 hour 30 minute marathon becomes a 3 minute, 30 second half mile. These workouts are amazingly accurate at assessing your readiness, but I have done them successfully many times in the past and not nailed my hoped for time come marathon day. I seem to fare better when I lengthen the intervals.

So, I developed my own workout on the fly yesterday, called the:
'Schleprock Some-Hundreds'
(Copyright coming soon, right after a team of exercise scientist confirms how effective they are in speed training.)
2 X 2000 (mile and a half) at 7:30 pace,
2 X 1600 (Mile) at 7:25 pace,
2 x 800 (half mile) at 7:00 pace.
2 miles warm up and cool down. 

Like the Yasso 800's, I hope to build on this and maybe add one more interval of each distance the next time around. 

Some of my interval nuances are:

*A nice warm up, with a few striders before I do my first interval. The longer the warm up the better. I’m feeling the fastest usually 40 minutes into a run.

*The first interval always seems the hardest. Once I get my legs in gear, I seem to be able to hit what I want to hit.

*If you aren't able to nail that last interval, then you probably did too many. I try to focus on the second to last interval since the last unit I have the power of "I'm almost done" to help me speed through to the finish.

*If you could read my mind after I nail the last interval, you'd really think I was a dork.

*I like to start an interval at the beginning of a song, and like a playlist designed specifically for intervals.

*As much of a relief it is to finish an interval, I’m usually ready to go to the next one pretty quick. My legs don’t feel right being stationary in the middle of speedwork, and less time passes between intervals than I think. I’m always eager to start again, usually in less than 2 minutes.

*I prefer the high school track and prefer to have it all by myself.  If I’m faster than other runners there, I worry that they feel like I’m mocking them in some way, and if the track runners are faster than me, I wonder if I’m the one being mocked (yeah, I got issues right) 

*Plus, when it’s cold out like yesterday, I can make some eardrum-shattering loogie and snot-rocket noises, and nobody should be subjected to that.

*Switching up directions on the track is mandatory, as is building up to speedwork. I”ve done some mini-interval speed sessions over the last month, this would seem to be my first full interval session of the season.

 *I’m fine to do pretty much any distance run on the treadmill, up to 20, but not intervals. They just don’t translate as well.

All running is not equal.  The burn after an interval session is different than that of a long run, as is the buzz of the workout.  Different muscles are engaged, different emotions come forth, and I can't wait for my legs to recover so I can do some more Schleprock Some-hundreds.

1 comment:

Ty @tyruns.blogspot said...

I suck at track running, mostly due to lack of experience I think. I have a hard time pacing consistently. The one good thing about running them on the treadmill is that the speed is constant, like it or not. Keep up or fall off the back. Or change the speed, and at least then you know you're slowing down! Also running that fast in the cold weather like this makes me nervous (injury-wise). I might hit the track club one of these weeks and make use of the indoor full size track if their workouts kinda sorta resemble what was on my plan.

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