Running Log Tip #1 - Intervals (Read 6689 times)

eric :)

    I was talking to my friends about their use of the running log, and I discovered that some of them were keeping their time splits in the notes section. There is a better way of keeping that data, and I hope that it will help you too. One of the most complicated page on RunningAHEAD.com is the run entry page. It is complicated both in terms of the amount of data that you can enter, and how it handles and presents that data. Some of the forms on the page are initially minimized so that a new user will not feel overwhelmed by the size of the page. One of these minimized forms is the Intervals form. Much of the complexity on the run entry page can be attributed to it. Still, it should be an integral part of any running log. The Intervals form is located below the Run Info form. You click on the expand button to the right to maximize it. To enter intervals data, you will first need to give this set of intervals a name. You can either select a previous name from the drop down list, or type in a new one. Some of the names I give to the interval sets include "7x600m" and "mile splits". In the near future, I will add the ability to search by interval set names to the search form, so that you can search for specific intervals. Let me skip the Auto Sum for now, and talk about how to enter interval data. An interval is whatever you want it to be. It can be a 400 meter sprint, or a 15 minute walk, or standing around for half an hour. An interval can be one of three types: "Interval", "Recovery", "Rest". It is up to you to categorize your run into these three types. For me, in a 10x400 meters interval workout, each 400 meters will be of the type interval. If I walk between each interval, that will be a rest, and if I jog, that will be a recovery. You will need to specify a distance, a distance unit, and the time. These three fields are required. If you use a heart rate monitor (HRM) during your workout, you can enter that data with your interval. You can also enter some notes about that particular interval as well. When you are done, click the Add button to the right. Remember that you still have to click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your data! If you want to use your interval distances and times as your run distance and time, you can use the Auto Sum feature to do the math for you. Select the different interval types that you want to sum, and the distance and elapsed time fields in the run info form will be filled out for you. If you have heart rate info for your intervals, that information will also be entered automatically in the health form as well. One note on the average heart rate, the calculated value is a weighted average of the intervals' average heart rate. Now that we know how to use the Intervals form, what can we use it for other than interval workouts? When I go on my training runs, I record my time splits at certain land marks. When I go on my long runs with my club on an out and back course, we usually stop at the turn around point. I would enter the distance and time going out as an interval, then the time we stand around as a rest, followed by another interval for the return. I would then Auto Sum the two intervals and use that as my total distance and time for the run. Another great use for the Intervals form is to record your mile splits at races. I record all my mile splits and refer back to them when I run the same race the next year. It reminds me of where the hills are on the course so that I can anticipate them. If I run the same race multiple times, I can compare how I did on a mile by mile basis. It is a good tool for monitoring my progress. That's the Intervals form in a nut shell. I hope I explained it clearly. If you never used it, would you start? And if you use it, is it useful? What needs improvement? eric Smile
      Eric: I started using it a few runs ago--not for every run, of course, but selected ones. It's a great tool--plan on using it more in the future. Since Garmin gives you your splits (however you want to define them), it's pretty easy to copy the data over. Thanks again for the work you've put into this site.
      My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
        Confused I can't seem to figure out how to use the auto sum. I've put in my interval distance and the time - but it changed my total to just the one interval distance. Also, typically I warmup a mile and warm down a mile - how do I put that in? Thanks, Walt
        eric :)

          Walt, The auto sum will fill in your run's distance and time by summing up the distances and times from the intervals. If you only have one interval, then the distance and time for the run will be the same as just that interval. Auto sum simplies the math of summing up interval data. You can change your total distance and time to whatever you want. As for the warmup and cool down, you have two options. You can record them as separate entries runs, or you can include them in the intervals form. For the second option, you would add an interval for your warmup, another for your interval, followed by the cool down. I prefer separate entries myself because it breaks down each workout to its simplest components. Hope this helps! eric Smile

          dork.major dork.

            Why does the intervals drop down menu not show up with my other sports like biking or erging? Is there a way to set it so that it does? Thanks!

            Reaching 1,243 in 2008 -- one day, one week, one mile at a time.


              Wow - I wish I had read this sooner! I've been tracking my splits in the notes section. I had used the intervals feature for track workouts, but never even thought to use them to track my pace for the miles of my long runs. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to try this out after this weekend's long run. Smile

                Wow. All this time I didn't even realize that feature was there. Blush



                  Here's a suggestion: I think it would be handy if, when you pulled up a previously used intervals workout, it would automatically give you entry fields of interval/recovery/rest that you used the last time. For example, let's say I run a 5x600m repeat workout a few times. Each time I run it, I will want to enter: Recovery (for warmup) Interval Recovery Interval Recovery Interval Recovery Interval Recovery Interval Recovery Recovery (for cooldown) As it is, I have to manually add each row and select its type. If I do the same workout several times, I will always have that pattern, and it would nice if it came up automatically. Alternatively, some way to automate the entry of that "pattern" would help. For example, it would be nice if I could somehow say I want 10 400m intervals with a 200m recovery after each, and the log would then automatically give me the entry lines I need for that.

                    I'm a new runner just starting out with the Couch to 5K program. Because I'm not running on a marked track/course, I'm going by time, not by distance, for my intervals. I can easily map out and determine the total run distance, but I don't really keep track of where on the route I stop and start each individual interval. As I read this thread, there wouldn't really be any good way for me to use this log feature to track the intervals without guesstimating the distance. Is that correct? Or am I missing something?
                    eric :)

                      werdnam: I'm planning to add workout templates, which should be what you're looking for. danea: the next version of the log wouldn't be as restrictive. Wait, let me check... Yup. The next version requires you to enter either a distance or duration but not both. For now, you can guestimate or skip it. eric :-)

                        Hey Eric, thanks for the intervals option. I looked through several running logs and only yours has this function. The only thing - please add COPY button, to let people not to enter every single interval manually. Like you said earlier about 10x400 intervals - I suggest in this case, after entering first 400m interval, you just copy it nine more times and change time in each of the intervals (sometimes, as you know, time is same so even less work).

                        Feeling the growl again

                          Honestly, I was on this site for over a year before I started using the log specifically because I got wrapped around the complexity of entering interval workouts.  Once I decided to start putting the details in the notes section, life became a lot simpler and I've found the log to be more efficient than what I did before RA.


                          I'm not sure how one would make the interval feature simple enough for me to want to use it.  There are so many variations of these workouts...and creating templates to reuse is cumbersome.  Perhaps I am a simpleton as I sort of use a skeleton of the log features.  

                          "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 am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills



                          Consistently Slow

                            If you set your garmin on interval workouts(training center) it will fill automatically.

                            Run until the trail runs out.

                             SCHEDULE 2016--

                             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

                            unsolicited chatter


                            Feeling the growl again

                              If you set your garmin on interval workouts(training center) it will fill automatically.


                              Who wears a Garmin on interval workouts?  Wink

                              "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 am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills



                                Before I got my new Garmin and started to use the upload feature, I would sometimes enter my intervals in the note field.  I run in the mornings and I usually did this on a day when I was rushed for time and didn't have time to go through all the steps to enter them manually.  Most of the time, I would go back and enter it but I'm sure there are some instances where I didn't bother.  So, something similar to what werdnam is suggesting - where the number of repetitions would autofill - would have been helpful to me back in the day.