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Intervals are hard and 800's are the worst! (Read 416 times)

    Okay, working toward my goal of a 45 minute 10K this fall and following a copy of a Hansons 10K Plan.

     

    I really liked their marathon plan and it made sense and their 10K plan is very similar with a little more emphasis on speed and a little less emphasis on long runs.  BUT it has even more intervals and I'm not very good at them.  I thought I had gotten better at them, but looking back at my marathon plan, they just switched from speed intervals to strength intervals and that's when I thought I was getting better at them.  Going back to speed intervals they suck just as bad as they did before and I suck at running them.

     

    Last week I did 12 X 400m with 400m recoveries and they weren't terrible, I started out too fast and ran the first 8 at an average pace of about 15 seconds faster than 5K pace and then the last 4 ended up blowing up to over my 10K pace.

     

    Then I had a great Tempo run last week with 4 miles at about 30 seconds over my goal 10K pace and my HR didn't get over what I think my LT is until the very end of the 4th mile.  I was feeling very confident about my 10K goal after that workout.

     

    This morning I was back to speed intervals with 6 X 800m with 400m recoveries.  I remembered not doing well on the 800's forever ago when I was doing them for my marathon training and they sure didn't get any better.  The plan called for 10K pace, but I was bubbling with confidence after the last Tempo run and decided to go at 5K pace.  The first 2 were tough, but I was getting it done.  The 3rd got really hard and I ended up 30 seconds over 5K pace.  I purposely decided to try to just run the 4th at HM pace, but even that was tough so I skipped the 5th interval and ran it easy and tried to go for it on the 6th interval and was running at 10K pace for the first 400m but then said screw it and ran easy the rest of the way home.

     

    I could come up with some excuses, humidity, didn't eat supper last night, etc., etc., but I think they are just excuses, I just didn't have it for some reason this morning.  Sure hope when race day rolls around I have a day like I did back last Thursday on my Tempo run and not a day like I had this morning.

     

    Am I missing anything on running 800's?  They sure seem to suck more than any of the other distances to me.  Of course I might be wishing for these 800's the next few weeks because they are calling for 1,000m and 1,200m intervals.  Should I start going slower on the recoveries if my HR isn't getting back down or do I need to just slow my intervals down some?

     

    Thanks in advance for any input.  Nathan

    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


    MoBramExam

      Slow the intervals down by starting at 10K-15K effort, not 5K.  Ease into running each a tick faster.  Run them on effort, not pace...humidty, not eating supper, etc. causes too many variables.  Keep the jog intervals honest, you do not want your HR to drop too much, a 10K is not a sprint.  Ditch the HR data until after you are done with the workout.  A 10K is about holding it together, not busting out fast 800s.  Focus on your form and efficiency.

       



        Agreed on the 10K pace, especially in retrospect.  I think it also would be really good for me to help me get a handle on what my goal 10K pace feels like, I think running a lot of miles at marathon pace on their marathon training plan really helped me out.

         

        On the 2nd interval I was rocking along and starting to feel like I was pushing it a little too hard and then my phone spouts off a 6:3X pace at the one minute mark.  That was probably not very good either.

         

        I need to change my thinking going into these intervals that it is better to run the first ones slow and then speed up slightly after I get the feel for it than to run the first ones too fast and be out of gas at the end.

        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

          6 x 800 @ 10k pace w/ 400 jog is not a hard workout, and really 6 x 800 @ 5k pace should be pretty manageable (though it will take concentration.)

           

          I have seen something with many athletes (and have fallen prey to it myself), and I think you fit the personality type, and this shows up on these sorts of intervals. The issue is concentration and confidence.

           

          Running a good interval workout, first and foremost, takes having the confidence in your coach, your own capacities, and the training plan that the workout is within your capabilities. You need to know and trust this and COMMIT to the workout. In every workout there will be doubts, but those of us who have done them for a long time know that we can just tune them out and live in the moment. We take the workout piece by piece and we CONCENTRATE on each interval as it arises. The doubts distract you, and since you are running a hard effort any distraction can cause you to fail.

           

          My first XC coach was a great coach, and he taught us how to concentrate on intervals and broke them up into chunks that we could handle. He would tell us if we were on the pace every 100m, calculating the splits for us. All we had to do was make the minute adjustments to pace, and really all we had to think ahead to was the next 100m. It was a great way to teach young kids with weak attention spans how to approach a long and difficult interval. You approach it 100m at a time.

           

          You can do this for yourself by taking an index card to the track and running with it. Write your 200m, 400m, 600m, and 800m split on the card so you don't have to remember it. Then forget everything else but coming through right on pace. Not fast, not slow, but right on. 200m at a time. When it gets hard, REFUSE to let that next 200m slow. You will refuse because you trust your coach or training plan, and you trust your capabilities.

           

          Confidence and concentration. These are the two most important psychological qualities in our sport.


          Feeling the growl again

            The way interval workouts work, you are really setting yourself up for failure and misery by starting out too fast.  Really, really focus on getting out at or a bit slower than target pace.  Also, knowing you are pretty far south, realize that there is a difference between target PACE and EFFORT.  If it's hot and humid and you are doing a workout in the afternoon, you can't expect your "10K pace" at the workout time to be the same as if you were running better conditions in the morning.  Also, don't confuse 10K pace with GOAL 10K pace.  You should focus your efforts on what you can do now, not what you are hoping you can do weeks down the line when the real race comes around.  Workouts should be at current 10K pace/effort.

            "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

             

              Agreed on the 10K pace, especially in retrospect.  I think it also would be really good for me to help me get a handle on what my goal 10K pace feels like, I think running a lot of miles at marathon pace on their marathon training plan really helped me out.

               

              On the 2nd interval I was rocking along and starting to feel like I was pushing it a little too hard and then my phone spouts off a 6:3X pace at the one minute mark.  That was probably not very good either.

               

              I need to change my thinking going into these intervals that it is better to run the first ones slow and then speed up slightly after I get the feel for it than to run the first ones too fast and be out of gas at the end.

               

              Lots of good input already. I will only echo the question of training, especially longish intervals, at goal pace.  Most training should be done at current ability, not goal ability. one exception might be short pick ups or striders.  Noes if on the last couple of reps you feel really good, it's okay tto run a little faster.

                While I agree that 800 m is likely the worst interval distance neither being fast hence bull through the workout or slower work up to the pace of longer intervals, I almost always hit my target at this distance at about my 5K pace. 6 X 800 at 10K pace should be easier, if we let the first and the second be a little slower than prescribed pace, and then the next two on pace, really concentrate on the 5th (thinking that this is the last one I need to focus on gets me through the interval easier) and the 6th will take care of itself.

                 

                The 400s invariably end up too fast (under my mile PR) and had to bail on a couple 1K-1200 repeats on 10K pace, but I know are the distances I need to work on as speed endurance seems to be one of my issue among others

                   

                  Lots of good input already. I will only echo the question of training, especially longish intervals, at goal pace.  Most training should be done at current ability, not goal ability. one exception might be short pick ups or striders.  Noes if on the last couple of reps you feel really good, it's okay tto run a little faster.

                   

                  My goal 10K pace is 7:15 and my last 10K was 7:34 so not way different, but I'm starting to realize that 15 or 20 seconds difference at these faster paces make a huge difference.  Like my 4 miles at Tempo last week averaging 7:42 pace where my HR never went beyond my LT and feeling so good about it.

                  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


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                    My goal 10K pace is 7:15 and my last 10K was 7:34 so not way different, but I'm starting to realize that 15 or 20 seconds difference at these faster paces make a huge difference.  Like my 4 miles at Tempo last week averaging 7:42 pace where my HR never went beyond my LT and feeling so good about it.

                     

                    Yup.  The difference in my 800m repeat times between when I was a 33min 10K runner and a 31min 10K runner was only 5-6 seconds per interval.  My last interval was typically only 4-5sec faster than the first one.

                    "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

                     

                       

                      My goal 10K pace is 7:15 and my last 10K was 7:34 so not way different, but I'm starting to realize that 15 or 20 seconds difference at these faster paces make a huge difference.  Like my 4 miles at Tempo last week averaging 7:42 pace where my HR never went beyond my LT and feeling so good about it.

                       

                      That's a difference of over 2 minutes for the actual 10K race, which is a very significant.

                       

                      Personally, one of the reasons why I like longer intervals (800m, 1K's, miles) is they keep you honest with your actual ability. It's relatively "easy" to cheat on shorter intervals which gives you the impression of a higher level of fitness than you really have.

                        Just a reaction to the thread title.  I think 1000s are the absolute worst.  They are 200m too long, just dragging out the suffering of what should have been half a mile.

                         

                        Now back to you guys and your more serious discussion.

                        - Joe

                        all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                          Went in and edited my splits for my intervals.  They were in .25 mile increments and I combined the warmup and cooldown, but left the 800's split so you can see how bad my paces were.  i.e. - first 800 was an average of a 7:01 pace, but it consisted of a 7:11 pace 400 and a 6:54 pace 400.  Same with interval 2 - a 6:36 paced 400 and a 7:32 paced 400, the average for that 800 split was 7:01, but it was wildly erratic in the execution.  That's where my HR spiked and not sure if I ever recovered the rest of the workout.

                           

                          <colgroup><col span="6" width="64" /> <col width="47" /> <col span="2" width="64" /> </colgroup>
                          Splits (GPS Interval)
                            Type
                          Distance 
                          Duration Total Duration Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
                          1 Manual 1.75 mi 16:48.8 16:48.8 09:36.4 140 147  Warmup
                          2 Manual 0.25 mi 01:47.5 18:36.3 7:11 162 173  1a - fast
                          2 Manual 0.25 mi 01:43.5 20:19.8 6:54 175 178  1b - fast
                          3 Manual 0.25 mi 02:29.8 22:49.6 10:00 160 178  recovery
                          4 Manual 0.25 mi 01:38.9 24:28.5 6:36 166 180  2a - fast
                          4 Manual 0.25 mi 01:53.0 26:21.5 7:32 178 180  2b - fast
                          5 Manual 0.25 mi 02:27.2 28:48.8 9:49 163 178  recovery
                          6 Manual 0.25 mi 01:48.2 30:36.9 7:13 169 177  3a - fast
                          6 Manual 0.25 mi 01:56.5 32:33.4 7:46 176 178  3b - fast
                          7 Manual 0.25 mi 02:27.5 35:00.9 9:51 161 175  recovery
                          8 Manual 0.25 mi 02:03.5 37:04.4 8:14 164 170  4a - HF
                          8 Manual 0.25 mi 02:00.7 39:05.1 8:03 172 175  4b - HF
                          9 Manual 0.25 mi 02:25.4 41:30.5 9:42 163 174  recovery
                          10 Manual 0.25 mi 02:26.8 43:57.3 9:48 158 161  5a - dud
                          10 Manual 0.25 mi 02:25.8 46:23.2 9:44 159 162  5b - dud
                          11 Manual 0.25 mi 02:27.4 48:50.5 9:50 161 164  recovery
                          12 Manual 0.25 mi 01:53.6 50:44.1 7:35 173 179  6a - fast
                          12 Manual 0.25 mi 02:27.6 53:11.7 9:51 168 178  6b - done
                          13 Manual 0.71 mi 06:57.3 00:09.0 09:47.7 161 164  cooldown

                           

                          I think it was a conglomeration of poor planning on trying to do this at a 7:00 pace to begin with, poor execution with the wildly erratic initial intervals, and mind games especially giving up that 5th interval completely.  I've been running strides and I think I started out on that 2nd interval more like I was running a stride rather than running an 800m interval.

                          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

                            Just a reaction to the thread title.  I think 1000s are the absolute worst.  They are 200m too long, just dragging out the suffering of what should have been half a mile.

                             

                             

                            No the worst are the 5 min intervals.  Just have no idea how much longer to go without a finish line. I run intervals with a group and waiting for the whistle is painful and there is no way to know the distance I've run, I can guess but not close enough without a Garmin.


                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              Just a reaction to the thread title.  I think 1000s are the absolute worst.  They are 200m too long, just dragging out the suffering of what should have been half a mile.

                               

                              Agreed.  I never know how to hand 1000s.

                               

                              Though, the 5min interval sounds ten times worse.  At least normally, if you run faster it is over quicker.  Sheesh.

                              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                              Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

                                Just a reaction to the thread title.  I think 1000s are the absolute worst.  They are 200m too long, just dragging out the suffering of what should have been half a mile.

                                 

                                Now back to you guys and your more serious discussion.

                                 

                                1Ks at CV pace (which is about 36 minute race pace) is a staple workout under Tinman.

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