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Interval purposes (side topic from pg3 of "other than experience" thread) (Read 7449 times)

    That sound you just heard was the exploding heads of 328 noobies who were reading this with rapt attention right up until Bill Nye the Science Guy showed up to give a quick refresher on advance organic chem.
    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
    -----------------------------


    1983

      So how do you know when you have gone over the edge and gone too far, making the transition from high aerobic to anerobic?
      Favorite quote: Stop your crying you little girl! 2011: Mt Washington, Washington Trails, Peaks Island, Pikes Peak.
        So how do you know when you have gone over the edge and gone too far, making the transition from high aerobic to anerobic?
        I started thinking about the answer when I read the question and I thought, "when you reach LT," and then I thought, "well, how do I know that transition point?" and the answer seemed to be HR but I would think HR in an interval would be a poor measure (or would it?) since it might lag behind the effort. I can easily seeing myself running a #2 and not realizing it until several repeats in when I'm dying and my HR is through the roof. So now I'm wondering the same thing. It almost seems like you'd have to try it, look at your last couple repeats, tweak, and try it again the following week. Probably just about the time you get it right it would be time to move the distance up. I'm really curious if there's an "easy" answer to this...my guess is no.
        2008 Goals Don't attack the guy that passes me like I'm standing still when I think I'm running fast...I can't catch him anyway and I'd just look silly
          So how do you know when you have gone over the edge and gone too far, making the transition from high aerobic to anerobic?
          When you have to slow down the reps or take longer recoveries.

          Runners run.


          The Greatest of All Time

            What Mikey said wrote.
            all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be

            Obesity is a disease. Yes, a disease where nothing tastes bad...except salads.
              Except for type 1 intervals in spaniel's great post, I think it's good to start with recoveries equal in duration to the hard part, and shrink the recovery times as you get better. (i.e. if you do 6x800m in 3:00 each, start with a 3-minute recovery). Spaniel also makes a good point in that it's usually better to reduce recovery times as you advance, rather than pile on more reps.
              Good point, I've always heard this as a general starting rule as well...


              I've got a fever...

                So how do you know when you have gone over the edge and gone too far, making the transition from high aerobic to anerobic?
                When you have to slow down the reps or take longer recoveries.
                I just wanted to highlight this response because of its awesomeness.

                On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.


                straw man

                  A similar summary of the different kinds of intervals and their purposes: http://www.powerbar.com/NutritionResource/TrainingTips/Tips.aspx?id=4E9C13D6-58C4-424C-B76B-E2E9CAC30413 or: http://tinyurl.com/6z9jag So what spaniel has not talked about is why we do various wacky workouts like ladders and pyramids. And why do they seem to have so many different recoveries? (jog N meters, rest N seconds, etc.) Some of the workouts done by the group I run with just have me shaking my head. e.g. 1600 at THRESHOLD pace (1:00 rest) 800 at INTERVAL pace (2:30 rest) 400 at REPEAT pace (400 m jog rest) 200 at REPEAT pace (200 m jog rest) 400 at REPEAT pace (400 m jog rest) 600 at INTERVAL pace (2:00 rest) 800 at INTERVAL pace (2:00 rest) WTF? It makes me long for a simple, random fartlek. Run hard, run easy, repeat...

                  He who has the best time wins. Jerry


                  Hawt and sexy

                    Thanks Andy. This is why I am glad you stayed here wiff me. You know stuff, and you can articulate it rather well.

                    I'm touching your pants.

                    obsessor


                      Going off-topic in the other thread, so I'm bringning it here. I was relating the concept of using relatively short recoveries between intervals when trying to achieve high-end aerobic development. The questions were asked why, what I was trying to acheive, etc etc. So here it goes. There are three basic types of intervals, each with a purpose: 1) 200-400m intervals with long recoveries: The purpose of this workout is to develop raw speed, working on strength, turnover, and fast-twitch muscle coordination. To achieve this, it is important to run each interval as fast as possible. Long recoveries are used to make sure you can run each interval near maximal pace. By definition, these intervals are limited to a max of 400m in length as you can't sustain speed longer than this. If you are prepping for a 800m or 1500/1600m race, you may do 600-800m in this workout though you will likely no longer be at maximal speed, but doing more or a race simulation (ie running 800m at 1500m race pace). These workouts are actually not very fatiguing, because if you accumulate residual fatigue between intervals you can't sustain the speed required in the workout. Of the three types, this will have the fewest number of intervals in a set. 2) 400m-1600m intervals with medium recoveries The purpose of this workout is to go into anaerobic debt on each interval and thereby stimulat building up your anaerobic capacity. This can also help somewhat with strength and speed tolerance. Moderate recoveries (say, 3+min for a 400m etc) are used to allow time to clear the lactic acid from your system and get HR back near baseline in order to be able to repeat the effort in the next interval. Comparing a 400m under this strategy to a 400m under #1 above, the time will be slower. This workout will actually feel much harder on you that #1 above, because you are working your anaerobic system so hard. 3) 400m-3000m intervals with short recoveries The purpose of this workout is to give your body an extended period of time at the very upper limits of your aerobic zone. This is probably also the best way to develop speed tolerance for 5K-10K paced races. This is the only one of the three types where your recovery will be shorter than your intervals. For example, I run 800m intervals in 2:22-2:30 avg depending on conditioning but only jog recover 90sec. Sets will also be longer than the other two types. (I do 8-10X800 or 6-8X1000 typically). The short recoveries bring you back just enough to be able to go out and do the next interval just as fast, or slightly faster than, the previous one (if you lose the ability to hit your target in the middle of the set, start slower the next time!). Using this strategy, you spend the whole workout at a very high aerobic capacity, with each interval inching you closer and closer to anaerobic. Due to the constant demand, this is probably the most demanding of the types. Say you run a 5K in 16:00. While races are always good for development, you will rely heavily on the anaerobic component in the end stages of the race so you expose your body to high-end aerobic effort less than that 17:00. However, say you do 8X800 in 2:30 avg with 90sec recoveries. That workout will take you 32 minutes to complete, and the only time you tap anaerobic is if you try to blow out the last interval fast. You've just gotten yourself nearly twice the amount of time at sustained high-end aerobic effort! Think what that does for your development and the ability to hold high-end aerobic paces in your next race. The bulk of my speed workouts are #3. I will use #2 as a sharpening tool 2-3 times going into a key race under 10K. The only time I have used #1 post-college was when I was picked to run an 800m leg at the USATF Indoor Championships on a distance medley relay team. It only took 3 weeks of doing two #1 workouts per week to find speed I hadn't known I had since high school. #1 gives up its gains in just a few weeks. #2 takes a bit longer. I've successfully continued to gain by #3 for up to 4 months. But they should be ideally applied in the reverse order (#3 followed by #2 then #1 time-wise). When using #3, I suggest those newer to intervals start out at 2 miles of total intervals and work their way up. A well-conditioned and relatively quick runner should be able to get in 4 miles of these intervals in a session (not counting recoveries). When I was peaking out I could get 5 miles of intervals in a workout but I would not recommend that unless you are winning races and runnin 90+ mpw. I have experimented with longer intervals, all the way up to 3200m. 3X3200m with 5min recovery is a great workout but the pace is getting too slow to consider it in any of the groupings above. The two last interval workouts I ran before my 10K PR were 4X2000m then 3X3000m workouts at 10K goal pace. I always dreamed of running 3X5000m with 7min recovery in 16:00 or faster but it never worked out.
                      1. And, to add, I know a fellow who could run 20x400 @ 60 sec. Really. He had speed. And on 100 rec. jog. Not kidding. Described the workout as "dull." Ran a good 800 to mile, but lacked endurance. Found out that a certain local olympian was running 800m to 2000m repeats, on longer, but faster recoveries. Tried that plan. Struggled with 2:20 for 800's on less than 800m jogging rec. Saw the problem right away. Worked on it. Ran 800m repeats, got down to 2:15 to 2:16 range, on 200m rec. jogs, and took his marathon from 2:26 to 2:14(and change.) Took about 3 years of periodized specific work on this weakness. 10k time came way down in the same period, too. KNow your weakness, and train to it. If you are thinking of knocking 1/2 hour off a marathon, this post may not be applicable.
                        .
                        How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.


                        Prince of Fatness

                          I have never really bothered with intervals, mainly because I didn't know where to start. This writeup will definitely help with that. I think this may be the ticket to getting my 5K under 20 minutes. If not this year, next. I pasted this into a document so I have a copy local ...... Thanks spaniel.

                          Semi-retired.

                            When you have to slow down the reps or take longer recoveries.
                            All right, stupid and overly broad question for you then: does that mean that by definition the proper interval pace for the distance (and the appropriate recovery time) should be the fastest you can go (and the shortest recoveries you can take) while still maintaining the same speed and recovery times? -------- And as long as you folks are dispensing the wisdom, how about some more discussion specifically on the recoveries. A little bit of experience (with some help from McMillan) has given me a pretty solid idea of what paces are appropriate for intervals from 200m to 1600m. I know what's too hard too maintain and what's too easy to run. But choosing appropriate time (and pace) for recoveries is a little baffling. Part of why Spaniel's post here resonated with me is that I think I tend to make exactly the mistake he describes. So what is the most effective recovery? Jogging or walking? Does it matter? Should the recovery be the shortest possible that will still permit you to complete the next interval at the appropriate pace and complete the rest of the sets?
                            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                            -----------------------------


                            Fat butt on couch

                              All right, stupid and overly broad question for you then: does that mean that by definition the proper interval pace for the distance (and the appropriate recovery time) should be the fastest you can go (and the shortest recoveries you can take) while still maintaining the same speed and recovery times? -------- And as long as you folks are dispensing the wisdom, how about some more discussion specifically on the recoveries. A little bit of experience (with some help from McMillan) has given me a pretty solid idea of what paces are appropriate for intervals from 200m to 1600m. I know what's too hard too maintain and what's too easy to run. But choosing appropriate time (and pace) for recoveries is a little baffling. Part of why Spaniel's post here resonated with me is that I think I tend to make exactly the mistake he describes. So what is the most effective recovery? Jogging or walking? Does it matter? Should the recovery be the shortest possible that will still permit you to complete the next interval at the appropriate pace and complete the rest of the sets?
                              First, Mikey's reply of having to slow down or rest longer was what I would have said only much more concise. How do you know when you are over the edge? Experience. You try the workout once, and two repeats from the end you can't hold it any more. Too fast. Next time you start slower. I always try to do it so my first one or two are a couple seconds slower than I want to average, and the last one a few seconds faster. That way if I'm having a bad day I still do the workout right, and if I'm having a good day I know it by the middle of the workout and can speed up. On recoveries, I just do a nice slow "sprinter's jog" -- just fast enough to keep moving. Pace has zero importance. On the indoor track we'd get in 200m in 90sec and be right there for the start of the next 800m. Walking would be ok too, just don't stand there, keep the blood flowing. On your last questions, I give a vague "yes". I'm not sure how you determine the EXACT recovery, I arrived at what I do by experience. I started with longer recoveries, realized I got better gains when I shortened them. Tried even shorter, and I had to slow down too much. Tried breaking the intervals into set with a longer recovery in the middle, and realized I was just breaking a good workout into two less valuable ones. Now I seem to think it is "just right".

                              "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

                               


                              Fat butt on couch

                                So what spaniel has not talked about is why we do various wacky workouts like ladders and pyramids. And why do they seem to have so many different recoveries? (jog N meters, rest N seconds, etc.) Some of the workouts done by the group I run with just have me shaking my head. e.g. 1600 at THRESHOLD pace (1:00 rest) 800 at INTERVAL pace (2:30 rest) 400 at REPEAT pace (400 m jog rest) 200 at REPEAT pace (200 m jog rest) 400 at REPEAT pace (400 m jog rest) 600 at INTERVAL pace (2:00 rest) 800 at INTERVAL pace (2:00 rest) WTF? It makes me long for a simple, random fartlek. Run hard, run easy, repeat...
                                This is a whole other can of worms. I will not claim to know the one and true answer, and only give my opinions. (For that matter I won't claim my previous post to be the one and only truth either, but a hell of a lot of experience from numerous people went into it). When I am truly interested in maxing out gains from intervals, I go with my #3 strategy. Once in awhile we would do other, more random things like ladders and stuff, but I was never sure quite what the strategy was behind them other than variety. I'll share a couple of my favorites... From the track -- 4X(400-800-400), 3min between sets, 1min between repeats. The 800 was run as fast as I normally run 800s in an 8X800 workout, and the 1st 400 of the set at the same pace. So you go into the last interval of each set, the 400, already in oxygen debt. We'd blow that one out 3-5 sec faster than the one opening the set, so that was definitely putting some anaerobic work at the end of each set. However, the long 3min recovery between sets took you well back into aerobic. The next set, the pace of each interval was REQUIRED to be at least one second faster than the corresponding interval from the previous set. So if you got crazy, the last set HURT. We'd often close the workout with 61-63sec for the last 400m. I viewed this workout as fulfulling a similar purpose to the standard 8X800 but with a little bit more play into raw speed and anaerobic tolerance. From the road, courtesy of a former Olympian - 10minHARD/5minEASY/8minHARD/4minEASY/6minHARD/3minEASY/4minHARD/2minEASY/2minHARD HARD pace is faster than 4-mile tempo pace. The interesting part is EASY is not really easy, but a solid moderate effort. For example, when I was in shape to run marathons around 5:35-5:40 pace the HARD pace in this workout was 5:00-5:10 and the EASY pace 5:55-6:05. This is a challenging workout, as the very first 10min is a good effort and after the 8min stretch you are already pretty tired but still have half the workout to go. Only the diminishing time-at-effort saves you, and by the end that 2minHARD feels like it takes 10min! Edited to add: The main purpose of this workout is essentially speed tolerance -- the ability to hold a very challenging pace for extended time. After this workout, everything a few days later just seems easier... Honestly I think most of these types of workouts are simply to add variety and fun, they all serve the same general purposes and I'm not sure you could prove one is better than the other. But when you are busting your butt on a weekly basis with them, it sure is nice to have some variety.

                                "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

                                 

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