Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fun With Interval Training

Running high-intensity intervals on Tuesday tickled me: it was a butt-kicking workout and I had good, hard-sweating time with it. Generally, I enjoy running for the challenge of overcoming something I spent most of my life firmly believing my big butt would never let me do.

Here I am now on a plan to run half marathon (to run it well) and enjoying my training. Hee hee.

And today that plan had me run the following 6 miles

To steal some Web content, Runner’s World describes gentle pickups (in case you had as much a clue as I did—a.k.a. none) as:

“Walking, then slowly increase your leg turnover on a flat stretch for 100 meters—up to the point where you start to breathe hard. Hold it there for 10 to 20 meters, then gradually slow down. Walk to full recovery before you start the next one.” –RW

This break down of six miles was far more intense than Tuesday’s workout. Of course it started with twice the miles and ended with some real speed, so it wasn’t unexpected. And I jogged home with about thrice the sweat and a smile.

According to the training plan, the aerobic intervals and gentle pickups “improve your stamina, leg speed, running efficiency, and […] make your normal pace feel more comfortable.”

Results obviously require repetition and training, but I can feel my stride improving just after a couple days. I’m sure it’s 50 percent mental. But again, I had been running flat-fronted for so long that these faster intervals are finally letting me stretch my legs (without leading to dangerous speed while building distance). Plus, they make my runs interesting again!

I do have to admit, however, that I was a tad rundown at the outset: I returned to my power vinyasa yoga session during lunch today. The one that checks my hubris. But as I’ve previously mentioned, it leaves me with the type of soreness that makes me feel more powerful than pained, and maybe just a little bit tired.

One of these days I will complete the 90-minute workout (I think I’m up to 45 minutes), and I will be the Yoga Master. Or I’ll just settle for a gold star.


Jim said...

That's a great article in Runner's World, G. Very helpful stuff. Got me thinking how I might want to tweak my training plan a bit.

miss petite america said...

i just noticed, is that a "g is for gangster" shirt you have on during the run poriton of your first tri???