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How to execute this run better next time? (Read 242 times)

Supersono99


    I am following a running wizard plan and was supposed to do an interval run tonight. Because I wasn't on a TM or a track, I chose to do the intervals by time instead of distance. My goal was to do 4 x 4 minute intervals with 4 minutes recovery in between. I didn't know what pace I could do, so I wore my HRM and had planned to just get my HR to around 180 during the intervals. As it turns out, I believe my HRM was not functioning properly and the readings make no sense so that was useless. I am new to running without walk breaks (only since March) so I am learning to run by feel and I am not very good at it yet. This workout said to stop the workout if unable to sustain the pace each interval. I could tell I was getting much slower by the third interval so I stopped the workout. My intervals of 4 minutes were at a pace of: 9:39, 9:46 and then 10:15 at which time I stopped the workout.

     

    How can I execute this workout properly in the future? Is it just a learning curve of trial and error for learning how fast is hard but not too hard so that I cannot continue? I'm really bummed that I wasn't able to execute this correctly after the rest of the plan has gone so well with so much improvement.

    run.87


      .

      “Over level or steep, over smooth or rough, over dry or wet…run, run: always run.” 

      run.123


        I think it just takes practice. Learning how to feel a pace is one of the more difficult aspects of running and something that even experienced runners struggle with at times.

         

        In my experience your first interval should feel pretty easy. You should be moving, but would be able to talk fairly easy in full sentences for the first 2/3 of the interval or so. This interval is all about patience!! Keep being patient throughout the first half of the workout and then you will have the strength to push the pace during the second half of the workout.

         

        If you really, really struggle with pushing the pace on that first interval you can run your warmup slower than you normally would and skip doing strides or do them very slowly. This will make your legs sluggish and your first interval will feel a little harder because you are still warming up. Just be careful not to go too quickly anyway or you might hurt yourself.

         

        I recommend that you do intervals by distance instead of time. If you do them by time you will be running faster AND covering more ground as your workout progresses. This is more difficult than simply running the same distance faster. This makes the workout much harder to execute well. If you don't have a track just bring a piece of sidewalk chalk or choose a landmark where you start and stop your first interval. Then run this same distance every interval.

         

        Have fun and enjoy the process! It looks like you are making a lot of progress Smile

          Not knowing what pace you could do seems the biggest issue here. You mentioned the TM, so, had you been on a TM would you have known what pace to do? How do the intervals you actually did compare with that? Too fast? Too slow? Consider where you actually are in your training right now, choose a pace for the intervals that seems to make sense, try it, see what happens, and adjust as necessary. Aim for a pace that's maybe just a teeny tiny bit over your head. Just a bit of a challenge. Achieve. Repeat.

          See evil. Hear evil. Speak evil. The monkeys they never talk about.

             I am new to running without walk breaks (only since March) so I am learning to run by feel and I am not very good at it yet. This workout said to stop the workout if unable to sustain the pace each interval. I could tell I was getting much slower by the third interval so I stopped the workout. My intervals of 4 minutes were at a pace of: 9:39, 9:46 and then 10:15 at which time I stopped the workout.

             

            How can I execute this workout properly in the future? Is it just a learning curve of trial and error for learning how fast is hard but not too hard so that I cannot continue? I'm really bummed that I wasn't able to execute this correctly after the rest of the plan has gone so well with so much improvement.

             

            I am interested in hearing answers to this question myself. I too started running in March and I haven't officially started running any intervals yet. I have been thinking about it, and I have been considering counting telephone poles, to keep track of distance. I don't know how well it will work?

             

            My input may be completely wrong but... Here goes. I am a martial art instructor, so running is my cross-training, (rather than the other way around). The philosophy at our school is to push yourself into exhaustion, then continue further. Our school is HUGE, and the building is very long, (it is in an old auction house), so we are able to make students do exercise up and down the length of the mat. Even with doing a simple sprint, we make students run back and forth, with very short breaks between. Most students are racing, (which we want), and by the fourth or fifth lap, everyone is really slowing. by 8-10, most students are still giving 100% effort but moving at little more than a jog.

             

            This is how I "visualize" interval training, so hopefully some experienced runners can give me an idea of how it should be done. I saw someone above mentioned "holding back" on the first half of the run to continue at a given pace on the second half? Is the purpose of intervals to build muscle or to train the body to move at a different pace?

              pschnaeffner, I am by no means as experienced as some others on this board, but to me intervals are all run at about the same pace. Hitting the right pace is much more important than speed or killing yourself doing the workout. I do (or try to do) intervals weekly (generally 800 meters) and the pace I use is a little faster than my 5k pace. If you care to look, you will see my interval times are generally within a few seconds of each other, subject to some exception. I have been told that the first few intervals should seem easy with increasing levels of difficulty nearing the end. Generally true except that the first one for me always sucks.

               

              To get back to the original question, as run.123 answered, it is trial and error to find the right interval pace but the next time you do that, I would target a 10:00 pace and try to nail the 4 intervals.  If you felt good on the last one, I might drop it to 9:50  or maybe even quicker the next week.

                A couple of thoughts...

                 

                there are a lot of good interval threads on this forum so I would search for some of those older threads and read the wisdom found in them

                 

                I think the general thoughts around here are that you should be able to maintain your interval pace throughout the whole workout, gradually slowing down each interval is not the purpose of the workout. So if you need to start slower so that you can complete the workout, that is preferrable to slowing down or cutting the workout short

                 

                Since you are using a Running Wizard plan you should have an interval "chart" so to speak on your plan. It will give you suggested paces for times/distance. You should be able to look at that chart and say...I want to run four minute intervals, and see the suggested pace for you, that is probably a good starting point for finding your correct pace.

                   

                  there are a lot of good interval threads on this forum so I would search for some of those older threads and read the wisdom found in them

                   

                   

                  The definitive RA interval information thread.

                    Let's not overthink this -- you didn't get it quite right the first time out, but this is perfectly normal for trying something new. You will do better next time.

                     

                    Next time, ditch the HRM completely, forget about pace (these things are causing undue anxiety), give yourself over entirely to the idea of running by feel. Start out easy, easier than you think you should. Finish the first one feeling like you barely worked. Same on the second. Then you will be fine for the third and fourth.

                     

                    If you err, make sure you err on the side of running too easy, rather than running too hard. It's much better to approach the right effort from the easy side than from the hard side! The idea is not to kill yourself on these or to ride the hairy edge, but just to learn how to run the workout.


                       

                      ...Most students are racing, (which we want), and by the fourth or fifth lap, everyone is really slowing. by 8-10, most students are still giving 100% effort but moving at little more than a jog.

                       

                      This is how I "visualize" interval training, so hopefully some experienced runners can give me an idea of how it should be done. I saw someone above mentioned "holding back" on the first half of the run to continue at a given pace on the second half? Is the purpose of intervals to build muscle or to train the body to move at a different pace?

                       

                      (From 8 years of training)

                       

                      if you approached distance interval training by trying to race every interval with 1-3 sessions per week (I'd only recommend 1 or 2), you'll burn out, and find yourself injured (assuming you run >4x a week on average).

                       

                      To answer you're other questions, yes, most interval training programs are designed so that you can complete all the intervals at around the same pace, which requires proper pacing (I'm not a fan of "holding back")  This is because distance training is training the body to run longer at different paces, which is generally a function of your body's ability to metabolize oxygen and run aerobically.  If you try and run your intervals all out, your leg muscles will get tired before your lungs do, and you won't exercise your aerobic system as effectively.

                       

                      MTA: If you're running 4 or less days a week, I'd probably only run one interval workout if that, and then 5-7 days, 1-2 workouts is probably all you want to put in.  But my HS and college teams both subscribed to 3 workouts/2 workouts and a race a week, which I felt was a bit much.  Also the nuances and synergy between different types of workouts (having "easy" workouts vs hard workouts, tempos vs intervals) can get complicated, and in my experience gets more important when you're trying to get 3 workouts in a week.

                      In Soviet Russia, Burger eats you!

                       

                        I am not sure 4 X 4 min intervals on 10-15 miles per week over the last 6 months may be a bit much, but I am not questioning Running Wizard, just want to make sure you are reading that plan right.

                          A couple more things:

                           

                          1) I would say that one mistake that is common in running intervals is that folks want to make them "hard." An interval workout need not be any harder than any other run. There is definitely a place for holding back in interval work -- in fact, I find myself holding back more often in interval work than even on easy runs. To me, good "speed training" (using this concept in the loosest way) is all about holding back, which is to say, it's about learning to run fast with less effort.

                           

                          2) [Yes, repeating myself.] Don't think about hitting a certain heart rate or pace or lactic threshold or metabolizing oxygen or anything like that. Simply run the first rep at a pace that makes you feel as though you are totally sure you could do it again 3 more times. Be conservative, especially in these early workouts. Keep that same attitude for the second rep, even if you feel like letting 'er rip. Then the third and fourth reps will take care of themselves.

                           

                          3) 4 x 4min w/4min recovery is not a hard workout. The OP can handle it at her mileage, if she does it right. It's just a way to learn to run reps and to begin to experiment with different efforts. Smile

                            surely the plan gave some additional information about effort. Intervals can be run at a variety of intensities. But 4 minute intervals sound more like 3K to 8K based efforts. Given the rest period was the same as the running time, I'd say it's closer to 3K or 5K race pace.

                             

                            So, the idea would be to think of a pace/speed you can reasonably run a race of that distance and do that. This is hard if you don't either know the distance or the pace you're running. For someone new to running and interval work, it's probably better to start out on a measured course so you have an idea what pace your're running.  Running intervals by feel is not easy.

                             

                            To do this w/out a measured course takes experience. What you can do is find a short loop and try to start/finish each interval in the same spot. That will give you a better idea how one rep compares with the others.

                              My guess is that you're not ready for speed work like this. Your volume is really low, and I suspect you don't have a real solid aerobic base, which means you're not in very good aerobic shape. Your aerobic speed is slow and seemingly plateaued, and the speed work isn't making it move in a positive direction. I suggest you work on building up your aerobic base first by slowly increasing the time you spend at an aerobic effort, then do some races (which for many amateurs is the only speed work that is needed). If you absolutely must do intervals, keep the hard parts very short and the rest period long, and no more than once a week. At least until you see your aerobic speed improving greatly.

                                Supersono:

                                 

                                I'm easing back into this...  I'm quite a bit behind with this message board replying...!  Trying to go one step at a time.

                                 

                                First of all, yes, some people may tell you that your weekly mileage is not enough to do intervals.  One of the things we did with Running Wizard is that you pick a race and train for it.  That's the underlying principles of the whole program.  Now we have started getting some inquiries from people who wants to just run...and we are trying to accommodate it as well...but not yet.  At any rate, in your case, I'm assuming your RACE is coming up in a few weeks.  So, one way or the other, you'll need to get your body ready for it.  It's easy for someone to say; "You're not ready for it," but then when?  2 months after THE race?  Well, that won't help.  So you do it now and you try to do it right so you won't get hurt.

                                 

                                Now, I've skimmed through some of the responses (not thoroughly as I should, mind you); and Jeff is right.  Intervals do not have to be "hard".  Most people think it is and try to make it hurt.  Yes, it hurts a tad; but doesn't have to kill you.  And I thought we had tried to actually make it fairly easy (in the past, most complaints...or inquiries...had been that it's too easy).  That said, however, I don't agree with Jeff when he said "4 X 4 minutes with 4 minutes recovery is not hard".  I think it's a damn hard workout especially for someone who's not used to that sort of training!!  In fact, I can't believe so many people love to try Yasso 800s for their speed training!!  That's 10 X 800m with half the distance recovery!!  That's a damn hard workout for people who are plodding along at 10-12 minutes mile pace!!  I think 8 X 2-minutes would have been better.  Personally, I probably would have given you 5 X 2-minutes...with EQUAL DISTANCE jog in between.  What's this fascination about having short recovery?  To me, a whole idea of doing interval training is to make myself feel good running fast!!  Why make it difficult?  Seriously, 4-minutes is a long time to keep pressure on yourself.  2-minutes is long enough.  And don't cut back the recovery--take equal distance.  You can probably do, what, a tad shorter than 400m in 2-minutes?  Maybe 350???  Whatever; It's about a block, isn't it?  Just run down a block fast (think of it like at the start of your 5k race); and jog back; run down fast; jog back...  Do it 5-8 times.  You can time them; but not to see how fast you're running.  But to MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT SLOWING DOWN STRUGGLING.  If your time starts to come down while pushing harder, time to stop.  Doesn't matter how many times you've done.  Pack it up and cool-down.

                                 

                                You're still doing the Beginner's plan.  Wait till you actually do a full cycle of Lydiard training with hill training before intervals.  Then intervals actually become more fun.  Keep it up; you'll get there.

                                 

                                I am following a running wizard plan and was supposed to do an interval run tonight. Because I wasn't on a TM or a track, I chose to do the intervals by time instead of distance. My goal was to do 4 x 4 minute intervals with 4 minutes recovery in between. I didn't know what pace I could do, so I wore my HRM and had planned to just get my HR to around 180 during the intervals. As it turns out, I believe my HRM was not functioning properly and the readings make no sense so that was useless. I am new to running without walk breaks (only since March) so I am learning to run by feel and I am not very good at it yet. This workout said to stop the workout if unable to sustain the pace each interval. I could tell I was getting much slower by the third interval so I stopped the workout. My intervals of 4 minutes were at a pace of: 9:39, 9:46 and then 10:15 at which time I stopped the workout.

                                 

                                How can I execute this workout properly in the future? Is it just a learning curve of trial and error for learning how fast is hard but not too hard so that I cannot continue? I'm really bummed that I wasn't able to execute this correctly after the rest of the plan has gone so well with so much improvement.

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