Help critique my interval workout. (Read 855 times)

    I would already need to adjust down to a 3:40 goal based on my PR 5K back in October.  That just seems scary fast to me for my first marathon so that's why I kept it at 3:50.  That, plus the 1:54 finish on my most recent half marathon on a warm windy day on a very tough course in November.

     

    What about the 4 miler you did recently? That was not as fast as your 5k but maybe a better indicator of your crrent fitness. There are peaks and valleys in racing fitness. The equivilant 4 mile pace to your 5k PR is a 7:19 pace. remember your planning on racing 26 miles, not 3 ans endurance is the bigger concern here.

     

    Also if youré at the half way point and feeling great, go for a negative split. Learn from the first race and training cycle and adjust things for the second.

     

    The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

     

    2014 Goals:

     

    Stay healthy

    Enjoy life

     

      Sounds great.  This is all started with a lot of speculation on my part based on a lot of ifs and buts.

       

      I'm sticking with my 3:50 goal pace short of something dramatic and will work on running my next set of intervals slower.

       

      I do have a 2 mile race coming up in January, but I don't think I'll be using the results of that to change anything.  Wink

      I am hoping to go sub 14:00 and set the course record for the fat boy clydesdale division though.  Pretty soft course record, so I'm running the 2 mile on that race instead of the 5 mile.  The course record for the fat boy division for the 5 mile is a 33 something and I can't get anywhere close to that!

      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27


      And in the end...

        Intervals, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs should all be based on CURRENT fitness.  The only run NOT based on current fitness would be marathon pace runs.  If the Hanson's are suggesting otherwise, I've no clue as to why... that's just not smart training.

        ------------------------

        The GITM is moot.

          You are writing as if you know what you are talking about,...

           

          That's a great independent clause. I just wanted to quote it...without the current context.

           

           

          (Nothing against you, npaden. I just though Jeff's intro to his comment was a spit-take moment.)


          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

            Trying to predict a marathon off of a 5K time is nearly impossible, if not completely impossible.  Its hard enough to predict off of a half marathon to begin with.

             

            Is that really that hard? It has seemed to me that result predictions for large marathons often pay a great deal of attention to recent half results.

            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

              I'm coming in this discussion late (I've been busy with "Science of the Long Run" thread lately...! ;o)) so I haven't read the whole thread but this comment by Spaniel just popped in my attention.

              Admittedly I have not read the plan, but unless their chart is specifically set up for it, you should never choose a workout pace based on a future goal time.  That is backwards, unless you are in shape and rested to hit that goal time on the day you run the workout.

               

              Say you are 4 months out from a marathon.  Are you going to run that pace for that workout all the way up through the marathon?  Your conditioning is improving, so you should be getting faster that the workout as time goes on.  I am very skeptical of picking a set pace based on a goal time and using that over an extended period of time.

               

              That said, I have not read the plan so I am not sure this comment is relevant.  Smile

              He's a very smart guy with lots of experience and knowledge and I'm totally with him on this one.

               

              So the most recent argument seems to be whether or not it's a smart move at all to figure out the marathon "goal" time based on 5k performance (am I correct?).  Of course we have our own little gismo to calculate various race predicted times (@ Running Wizard) that's based on calculated VO2Max from whatever the recent performance you decide to plug in.  Is it perfect?  Absolutely not.  Why?  It's not because our calculation is wrong (of course not!!); but because people today just jump in and run a half or a full marathon when they are not even remotely ready for it.  There had been a debate (I think Spaniel was involved there as well) whether or not we can call anybody's marathon as "race".  I'd say for 3/4 of people running a marathon today, it's not.  It's a glorified "long run", a mere survival game, whereas those calculators, be it ours, McMillan's, Daniels, whatever, actually calculates based on estimated VO2Max on the assumption you'd be "racing" the half or the full marathon.  THAT is why it's so hard to "predict" marathon time from 5k today for most people.  

               

              And, as had been pointed out by various people, I'm totally against basing the training effort/pace on WISHFUL goal time.  I don't know how the Hansons do this but, knowing they are very smart and very knowledgeable bunch, I highly doubt they do that.  If they, by any chance, did; I'd say it's because they had to appeal to the audience and that merely shows the trend, not their true principles.  Simple reason--you just can't do that.  Well, you can; but 90% of the time the result will be disastrous.  "What's your target marathon time?" "Oh, sub-4." "Why?" "Oh, because Bob around the corner ran 3:57 a month ago.  I've got to be fitter than him!!"  That's how majority of people determine their target time.  Who's thinking "Oops!"?  It's like buying a huge house on the assumption that you'll win the next lottery.  Well, good luck!

               

              Now, npaden...I'm not saying that's how you set up your goal marathon.  In fact, I think you're being very smart about setting your goal.  However, I have seen the trend with your interval training that you tend to run them way too fast.  I've seen someone saying something about "intervals being done at your 5-10k race pace" (personally, I'd prefer even a bit slower...).  Your intervals seem much faster than 22:39 pace, is it not???  I plugged in your 22:39-5k pace into our Running Wizard and your long run and easy run came out as just spot-on--about 9:50 pace to 10+.  However, our calculation for interval training, which, of course, is perfect (;o)) shows that your interval pace is good 5-seconds per 400m too fast.  I've noticed that with your previous thread and been wondering--why is he running intervals at or even sub 7-minute pace when his race pace is somewhere around 7:15...???  Another thing I've noticed is; so you had this great workout on 12/18.  Previous interval was on 11/27, a good 3 weeks earlier.  The one before that was a month earlier still.  Are you set to do intervals once a month?  Or I guess you just started doing the Hanson's program so you'll be doing intervals more regularly, correct?  I guess my point is; I always look at "training" as one development comes after another...  This means, when you do intervals, you start out today and you feel sluggish and not much faster than your long run at all...but next week, BECAUSE YOU DID THE WORKOUT THE WEEK EARLIER (or whenever), you'll do them BETTER (=faster).  Then the week from now, you'll do them better still...right up to the race day.  This, I think, is what Spaniel means by throwing a question "so you're 4 months out from a marathon and..."  In a sense, why are you doing hard fast intervals (yes, I know, that's what the Hanson's program calls for, right?) 4 months before the target race?  

               

              My hunch, and this is just my HUNCH because I haven't read the book either, of them having some sort of intervals in the beginning is NOT to work on your speed or anaerobic development or whatever; but to get your body used to some sort of fast running that, once you start the whole program, your mechanics are good and you are loose and goose and ready to run hard.  That IS one school of thinking.  When McMillan wrote an article about the up-side-down pyramid, that's what he meant (I think).  It's not so much you start right from the sprinting all-out.  But you hone your speed first so you can do all the long run and whatnot "better".  But it's quite a bit different from "throwing out your guts by doing hard repeats...or what we term "anaerobic training".  I'm not 100% but if someone like Desi or Brian Sel did 8 X 400m at, say, 6-minute pace, that's a hell of a different feeling, or what's going on inside, from say I'd do 8 X 400m at 7-minute pace.  The former is more like glorified strides.  I don't think what you did was "glorified strides"--that was one very good solid workout.  A kind of workout coach would love to see his athlete perform a few weeks before the most important race.

                In any case, VO2 max is a much better predictor of 5k performance than it is of marathon performance. Nobody runs a marathon at anything like maximum oxygen uptake.  All else being equal higher VO2 max is a good thing, but there are world class marathoners with measured VO2 Max around 70 ml/kg/min, others at 90+

                  This thread is such a mess.

                  Runners run.


                  Feeling the growl again

                    Back to what appears to be your core question -- did you run them too fast.  Well, if you had to slow down the last interval or two because you just couldn't hack it anymore, that would be a definitive "too fast" under any interval workout I would prescribe.

                     

                    Yours were more or less even, you were running as fast at the end as at the beginning.  However, with the additional context on the training plan and the fact that your goal pace was supposed to be 7:20 according to the plan, I would say you went too fast.  Some interval workouts...as this one appears to have been...are not intended to be max HR leg burners.  Nothing to freak out about...just next time until you are comfortable choosing the pace on your own, I would try to stick a little closer to the prescribed times.

                     

                    You seem to have thought your HR was a bit lower than you expected...and you're being deliberately conservative with your marathon goal (not a bad thing).  At some point you must consider a training plan a guideline only.  It is written as an average, the point of the bell curve, so what it recommends will be too fast for almost half the people and too slow for almost the other half.  I would recommend either a) sticking strictly to the plan so  you don't over-analyze things, or b) trust yourself to adjust the workout to where you are at and feel that day so that you don't second-guess why you are off the plan and over-analyze things.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      So back to not over analyzing things.

                       

                      How do you learn to run a specific pace when interval training by yourself and when you are not on a track?

                       

                      I was running based on effort and that ended up faster than I intended.

                       

                      Several months ago I did an interval workout on the track and my wife was calling out my times and I could hit the splits within a second or two, but even then that usually ended up where I was slowing down or speeding up a little on the last 100m. 

                       

                      The only way I can think of to really nail a pace would be to pull my phone out of the armstrap and hold it in my hand and watch the pace on a regular basis while I am running the interval.  That seems like a pain to me.  Do I need to buy a GPS watch so I can wear it on my wrist and watch that?  That would be a little less of a pain.  I did buy a cheap GPS watch, but I don't trust it enough to give me an accurate split pace so I would need to buy another one if I did that.

                       

                      MTA:  To give them credit, in the book they do say that they strongly encourage using a local running group with a coach and using a track to work on the interval speed work.  They also state that "your pacing will likely require some trial and error at the beginning" so I guess that's what I'm dealing with now.  I'm just ready for this quote out of the book to happen sooner rather than later "until pacing becomes second nature".

                      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                        So back to not over analyzing things.

                         

                        How do you learn to run a specific pace when interval training by yourself and when you are not on a track?

                         

                        I was running based on effort and that ended up faster than I intended.

                         

                         

                        That is the fun part isn't it?  

                         

                        We had a prediction run yesterday where we were asked to predict our time to run a 4K (no watch allowed).  The one closest to their prediction is the winner. Quite a few people were within 15 seconds of their prediction, with the winner running his exact predicted time down to the second. Do a few of these and you'll know your effort to time correlation.

                          So back to not over analyzing things.

                           

                           

                          Some days are better than others.  Exact pace doesn't matter.  Practice doing it every week.  If you are too tired/beat up to run the next day's easy run or whatever, then you ran too hard.  If you can't do the next workout in 2-3 days, you maybe ran them too hard.  Maybe not, but if it becomes a pattern, then it's likely you are running them too hard.

                           

                          Otherwise, I'd say you are worrying about the wrong stuff.

                           

                            Otherwise, I'd say you are worrying about the wrong stuff.

                             

                            Yep. You do not need MORE gadgets. You do not need to analyze any single workout. You do not need to worry about whether one or two or five of your ten intervals was too fast or too slow.

                             

                            You're training for a marathon (sucker). Have some patience. Keep practicing. Keep running as much as you can. You've been running for what, a year? Give it some friggen time.

                            Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                            We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                              That is the fun part isn't it?  

                               

                              We had a prediction run yesterday where we were asked to predict our time to run a 4K (no watch allowed).  The one closest to their prediction is the winner. Quite a few people were within 15 seconds of their prediction, with the winner running his exact predicted time down to the second. Do a few of these and you'll know your effort to time correlation.

                               

                              I agree. When I can run for long periods at a specific goal pace and nail it within a few seconds per mile -- based entirely on feel -- it's a very, very good feeling. Especially given how many miles it took to pick up that skill.

                                "The only way I can think of to really nail a pace would be to pull my phone out of the armstrap and hold it in my hand and watch the pace on a regular basis while I am running the interval.  That seems like a pain to me.  Do I need to buy a GPS watch so I can wear it on my wrist and watch that?  That would be a little less of a pain.  I did buy a cheap GPS watch, but I don't trust it enough to give me an accurate split pace so I would need to buy another one if I did that."

                                 

                                Buy a watch.

                                 

                                A regular watch.  Like, no GPS, no HR monitor, Timex sort of thing.

                                 

                                Buy some chalk.

                                 

                                Regular chalk. 

                                 

                                Use your GPS or MapMyRun or whatever and mark off 400m and 800m as a replacement for a track.

                                 

                                Take the GPS home.  Leave it there.

                                 

                                Use the lap function on this regular watch.  Run from chalk line to chalk line until you can hit your target paces by feel.  If you don't run by feel, you'll never learn to run by feel.  I'm a fairly new runner, myself, but it really seems like you're too hung up on external feedback (HR, pace, forum comments).  I think it would help--a lot--if you stripped down your electronic aids to a minimum.

                                "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                                Emil Zatopek