Help critique my interval workout. (Read 855 times)

    Okay, as a relatively new runner, I don't have much confidence on my interval workouts.  It probably doesn't help that I don't run them on a track and generally run them by myself.

     

    Anyway, I'm following the Hanson marathon plan and they put their speed workouts early in the plan.  I'm not confident in the intervals so instead of starting out with the 12 X 400m with 400m recoveries in their plan, I decided I should try a 10 X 400m with 400m recoveries first.  My plan doesn't start until the first week of January so I'm really just preparing myself to start the plan right now.

     

    For my 3:50 goal marathon time they show a pace of 7:20 for me to run the 400m intervals so that's what I was shooting for.  I set up the workout on my phone with a 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cool down.  Instead of running on a track, I just ran back and forth on a 1 mile section of dirt/gravel road by my house.  I set my phone to give me the current split pace every minute so I could have some kind of idea how fast I was running.  This is about as good as I can get it with the interval settings because if I set it to give me audio cues every .25 miles the cue to start the next interval overrides the audio cue telling me what the pace is so I have no idea.  With it telling me my pace every minute I for sure get 1 audio cue giving me my pace on each interval and sometimes 2 audio cues. 

     

    Now for my actual workout.  It was a bit chilly out but not bad (39 degrees) with a side wind of 9 mph.  1 mile warmup was good, started hitting the intervals and they seemed pretty good.  Audio cues were working decent and I felt that I was running first few intervals too fast.  I was working on my form, head up, arms helping, etc. (not that I really know what good form is).  On a few of the intervals at the ends of the 1 mile stretch I would have to turn around after the audio cue told me to pick the pace up for a fast interval and I think those ended up being a little slower simply because I had to get going.  On the ones where I was already headed in the right direction when it told me to pick the pace up I think I did a little better.

     

    On interval 9 I messed up and set my phone to .25 KM instead of .25 miles on that interval so I stuck with the plan on it and cut it short.  Not going to say that it wasn't a nice little break to cut it short.  Interval 10 was up a tiny bit of an incline and I pushed it a little, but didn't go all out by any means, with the .25 KM split, I was off my normal spots so I was actually suprised when it told me the last interval was over, I was ready to keep going a bit.  I felt like I could have done a couple more intervals without much difficulty when it was all said and done.  Ran my 1 mile cool down back to the house and was ready to check my splits.  I thought I might have run some of them a little too fast, but not a lot.  I figured I had a few 7:05s in there and maybe some 7:10s, but nothing under that.  I was mostly just focused on keeping them all under 7:20 pace.

     

    I was suprised when I checked my splits.  Here they are from my Runkeeper App (this has the .25KM split on Interval 9).

     

    Intervals Pace (min/mi) Elevation (ft)
         
    1.00 mi (slow) 9:36 10
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:56 -2
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:24 -1
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:46 1
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:25 3
    0.25 mi (fast) 7:04 -3
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:43 -1
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:57 1
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:38 2
    0.25 mi (fast) 7:18 -2
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:51 -1
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:49 1
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:34 3
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:45 -3
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:54 -1
    0.25 mi (fast) 6:59 1
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:44 1
    0.16 mi (fast) 6:55 -1
    0.25 mi (slow) 9:34 0
    0.25 mi (fast) 7:02 2
    1.00 mi (slow) 9:42 -10
    1.00 mi (slow) 11:02 -1

     

    Here's the splits from my running ahead log with my HR info.  This works well until you get to that 9th interval where it was in KM instead of miles and after that the splits go funky.

     

    Splits (GPS Interval)
     TypeDistance Split settingsDurationTotal DurationPaceAvg HRMax HRNotes
    1 Manual 0.25 mi 2:18.44 2:18.44 9:14 130 147  
    2 Manual 0.25 mi 2:23.63 4:42.07 9:35 146 150  
    3 Manual 0.25 mi 2:24.5 7:06.57 9:38 146 150  
    4 Manual 0.25 mi 2:29.4 9:35.97 9:58 145 149  
    5 Manual 0.25 mi 1:43.88 11:19.85 6:56 161 172  
    6 Manual 0.25 mi 2:21.85 13:41.7 9:28 153 173  
    7 Manual 0.25 mi 1:41.18 15:22.88 6:45 163 176  
    8 Manual 0.25 mi 2:21.83 17:44.71 9:28 159 176  
    9 Manual 0.25 mi 1:46.04 19:30.75 7:05 166 178  
    10 Manual 0.25 mi 2:26.94 21:57.69 9:48 159 177  
    11 Manual 0.25 mi 1:43.65 23:41.34 6:55 168 180  
    12 Manual 0.25 mi 2:28.23 26:09.57 9:53 162 180  
    13 Manual 0.25 mi 1:46.32 27:55.89 7:06 168 176  
    14 Manual 0.25 mi 2:28.65 30:24.54 9:55 159 177  
    15 Manual 0.25 mi 1:41.74 32:06.28 6:47 171 180  
    16 Manual 0.25 mi 2:24.78 34:31.06 9:40 164 181  
    17 Manual 0.25 mi 1:40.39 36:11.45 6:42 172 183  
    18 Manual 0.25 mi 2:30.46 38:41.91 10:02 164 184  
    19 Manual 0.25 mi 1:43.32 40:25.23 6:54 173 184  
    20 Manual 0.25 mi 2:27.48 42:52.71 9:50 167 185  
    21 Manual 0.25 mi 2:01.45 44:54.16 8:06 168 177  
    22 Manual 0.25 mi 2:06.68 47:00.84 8:27 162 176  
    23 Manual 0.25 mi 2:01.78 49:02.62 8:08 178 184  
    24 Manual 0.25 mi 2:28.17 51:30.79 9:53 156 165  
    25 Manual 0.25 mi 2:25.11 53:55.9 9:41 153 156  
    26 Manual 0.25 mi 2:23.38 56:19.28 9:34 155 157  
    27 Manual 0.16 mi 1:34.72 57:54 9:52 154 156

     

    My HR got up to 185 which is 95% of my max HR (194), but that seems like about what it should on 400m intervals?  It was dropping back to 80% or so at the end of each recovery which seemed to have me ready for the next interval each time.

     

    The 400m recovery is a lot for just a 400m interval, but that's what the plan shows.

     

    Not sure what is up with the runkeeper app showing a 7:18 pace on one of the middle intervals and my Running Ahead log is showing the slowest interval at 7:06.  I guess a few seconds on 400m can make a big difference on the full mile pace.

     

    Oh well, I think this was a good interval workout.  I don't feel that I ran too fast, although I did run faster than the plan called for based on my goal race time.  I don't feel like I wore myself out to the point that I won't be able to run some easy miles tomorrow or anything like that.  I felt like I could have done a couple more intervals fairly easily if I needed to at the end as well.

     

    So I guess my question boils down to if this seems like it was a good interval workout or if I messed up and ran too fast.  Should I slow down on my future interval sessions in the plan or run them based on effort level and if they end up a little fast thats okay?

     

    Thanks in advance for any input.

     

    Nathan

    Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

      I think this was a good interval workout. 

       

      Seems like you answered your own question.

       

      Now, recover and repeat. 

       

      Easy.

      All about that bass

      jamezilla


      Follower of Forrest

        The interval set you are describing is a shortened version of Hanson's first intervals workout, correct?  Since you are tweaking it now, I would try to use the paces prescribed (or current 5k paces), only because this is the easiest of the interval sessions and they will just get harder.  You don't want to get 5 weeks out and start having to bail out on reps or sort out paces. 

        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

         

        A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


         

        Longboat


        Letting off steam

          Your planned pace for 400 intervals in the Hansons plan is correct, and they say your HR is likely in the 80-95% range (but can go up to 98%).  The 400 recovery is longer in the beginning of speed sessions. 

           

          You ran these ~25 seconds faster  than planned pace; it seems you were able to complete them without being exhausted, as you should.  Since your HR was in the recommended range, this may reflect doing these when you are less tired than usual (lower mileage than in the plan), continued improvement in your shorter distance paces, or simply that you're better at short distance than longer.  You may be closer to planned pace on the longer intervals coming, and/or in the middle of a higher mileage week.  Nothing to worry about unless you're struggling to  complete or are dead tired after or the next day.

           

          Carry on.

          Neil

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

          Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

          Base building time!


          And in the end...

            I'm more interested in how you chose a 3:50 marathon goal.  You ran a 1:55 half marathon early this year and are expecting that by May 2013 you'll be able to hold that pace for twice the distance.

             

            FWIW, Intervals are not going to be your best use of training time.  Get out and RUN MORE... not faster.

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

            The GITM is moot.

            Venomized


            Drink up moho's!!

              I struggled thinking what to set the interval pace off as well.  The fact that your last interval was almost the same pace as the first says you did it right.

                Okay, thanks for the quick replies.

                 

                I'm actually not as worried about the longer intervals coming up as I have been about these shorter ones. 12 X 400m just seemed like a ton, but the 400m recoveries really did make them not near as bad as I was expecting. You are right about them getting harder further in the plan, the big difference is that the recoveries stay pretty similar, but the fast portion of the intervals gets longer and longer. The 4 X 1200m with 400m recoveries will be tougher at a 7:20 pace for sure than these. It will be a lot easier for me to hit the pace though, because I will have longer to get into the groove of running that pace.  I just have a hard time hitting a pace on these short intervals.

                 

                I wasn't going into this interval set completely rested, I did have a 12 miler Sunday at goal race pace + 45 seconds and 6 miles easy last night just 12 hours before running this set this morning, although I did miss some workouts last week with the stomach bug so maybe my legs are fresher because of that.

                Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

                Venomized


                Drink up moho's!!

                  I'm more interested in how you chose a 3:50 marathon goal.  You ran a 1:55 half marathon early this year and are expecting that by May 2013 you'll be able to hold that pace for twice the distance.

                   

                  FWIW, Intervals are not going to be your best use of training time.  Get out and RUN MORE... not faster.

                   

                  Well that is part of the Hanson plan.  Each week you do a speed or strength running session, a tempo (which is really a marathon pace run), and a long run.  Typically the plan is 5 or 6 days a week as well.  The plan actually has a bit more total mileage than a Pfitz 18-55 plan, just structured differently.

                   

                  The intervals start with 400s and will eventually work up to 1600s if I remember correctly

                    You ran a 1:55 half marathon early this year and are expecting that by May 2013 you'll be able to hold that pace for twice the distance.

                     

                    Dont hold me to this, but I think new runners can improve dramatically. Making that kind of leap is not unheard of. 

                    All about that bass

                      I'm more interested in how you chose a 3:50 marathon goal.  You ran a 1:55 half marathon early this year and are expecting that by May 2013 you'll be able to hold that pace for twice the distance.

                       

                      FWIW, Intervals are not going to be your best use of training time.  Get out and RUN MORE... not faster.

                       

                      I chose the 3:50 goal because it falls between the equivalent race tables from my half marathon times and my 5K PR time set back in October.  I would question it more based on the slow 1:54 half marathon I ran just this November, but it was a warm, very windy day on a darn tough course so I'm writing that time off to just a bad day.  I really think the 3:50 is very doable unless the weather turns out bad or I get sick or injured or something. 

                       

                      I've taken chunks off of my times from previous races and am still getting faster and faster although I'm still plenty slow by most peoples standards.

                       

                      I'm actually pretty confident I can hit that 3:50 by May, I should have over 1,500 miles logged between my 1:55 half marathon on April 28th, 2012 and my goal marathon on May 5, 2013.  I should also be running it about 20 - 25 pounds lighter.  I would be very disappointed in my progress if I wasn't able to make that.

                       

                      As far as the intervals, I'm following the Hanson marathon plan and feel pretty good about it.  They have you do your speedwork early in the training cycle and a lot of Marathon Pace running throughout the cycle.  I should still get plenty of miles in.

                      Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27


                      Feeling the growl again

                         

                        For my 3:50 goal marathon time they show a pace of 7:20 for me to run the 400m intervals so that's what I was shooting for. 

                         

                        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

                        "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

                         

                          I'm struggling with that too, although you are supposed to use your current 5K or 10K time to set your interval pace.  But your Marathon pace Tempo runs and your long runs are based off your goal race time.

                           

                          I'm comparing my HR on my runs to targets based on Daniels tables to make sure the paces aren't too easy for me.  I actually posted questions on that in the Hanson Plan thread yesterday.  I'm thinking that as I get closer to the race, if my conditioning has improved so that my HR is running lower than expected, I will bump my paces and race goal up a little to keep me in line.

                           

                          Of course with a May 5th marathon date, the weather could end up being a big factor in whatever my real goal on race day ends up. 

                          Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

                             

                            Of course with a May 5th marathon date, the weather could end up being a big factor in whatever my real goal on race day ends up. 

                             

                            Tell me about it...They pulled the pin on the Green Bay Wi marathon in early may last year because it was 78 degs!

                            Longboat


                            Letting off steam

                              Spaniel, the plan does these speed intervals in the early stages and then switches over to strength sessions for longer distances at MP-10sec.   The OP's planned pace 400 pace is close to what his 5k time would suggest, but actual this time was faster than his 5k pace.  I don't think the planned pace is unreasonable -- the actuals are too fast but will prob slow when he needs 12 x 400 or 6 x 800 in a program mileage week.  

                               

                              The Hanson's plan does go off a goal pace, but it must be realistic.  In this case, it probably is. 

                              Neil

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

                              Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

                              Base building time!

                                Spaniel, the plan does these speed intervals in the early stages and then switches over to strength sessions for longer distances at MP-10sec.   The OP's planned pace 400 pace is close to what his 5k time would suggest, but actual this time was faster than his 5k pace.  I don't think the planned pace is unreasonable -- the actuals are too fast but will prob slow when he needs 12 x 400 or 6 x 800 in a program mileage week.  

                                 

                                The Hanson's plan does go off a goal pace, but it must be realistic.  In this case, it probably is. 

                                 

                                But part of the plan is learning how to hold the pace and not have to slow down to achieve them in the latter part of the workout. They would actually like to see less experienced runners to run the fast intervals at a pace closer to their 10k pace as most will do exactly like Nathan did, thats run them too fast.

                                 

                                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

                                 

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