I Do Like The Interval..........between hard efforts
On Monday morning I woke late at 0630 hrs and decided to lie-in and take a rest - after all I needed to lower my mileage this week if I am to compete in the 15 miler next Sunday. As the day wore on I decided that if I was to get any mileage in this week it would be better at the start so that I could rest up a little towards the weekend. Therefore I headed to the park after work and did 8.15 miles at a relatively easy pace around the level gravel paths and grass pitches. I covered the distance in 01:04:19 (07:53 pace @ 128HR)... certainly looks like I have recovered from the weekend long run.
This evening I decided to start my first interval session intending to cover 5 or 6 x 800m at the track at about 3.00 minute/800m. Since I can only run in lane 3 (832m) this equates to about 3:08 per 2 laps, the half lap splits being - 0:47 - 1:34 - 2:21 & 3:08. I intended to run an easy lap in the outer lanes between the hard efforts in a time less than 3:08 (the general rule being that the recovery should not last as long as the hard effort so as to maximise the amount of time in each hard effort spent in the anaerobic zone)
I started with a 1 mile warmup and stretching and launched into the first 800m. I forgot to check the 200m split and as I completed the first lap 1:26 showed on my watch - "too fast better ease up a little or i'll bomb the later 800's". I eased up a little and completed the first 800 in 3:02. There was a headwind on the home straight that did not help. I jogged the next lap in the 5th or 6th lane at about 08:30 pace in 2:27 and launched into the next 800 and repeated for a total of 6 hard efforts as follows:-
1. 03:02 (avg 159HR, Max 160HR) - 1 lap recovery in 02:27
2. 03:03 (avg 162HR, Max 168HR) - 1 lap recovery in 02:28
3. 03:04 (avg 163HR, Max 170HR) - 1 lap recovery in 02:31
4. 03:02 (avg 165HR, Max 173HR) - 1 lap recovery in 02:37
5. 03:06 (avg 164HR, Max 173HR) - 1 lap recovery in 02:33
6. 03:04 (avg 165HR, Max 172HR) - 1.6 Miles recovery @ 08:43 pace.
For the last hard effort I was pulled along by another group of runners going at about the same pace but over a longer distance. Certainly checking the 200, 400 and 600m splits helped keep me on time. A bigger effort was required on the home straight against the breeze but at least it finished with a break...until the next hard effort. I thought about doing another repeat but decided against it - i was beginning to feel the build up of lactic acid in my calves and opted for a cooldown instead. While my heart rate at the end of each recovery lap was surprisingly consistent (134 to 136bpm) I progressively felt that I may not be ready for hard effort ahead. But as I got into each repeat the effort felt comfortably hard but not exhausting. I might increase to 1000's next week and 1200's the week after - max recommended interval is about 5 minutes.
I covered 7.05 miles in all (07:35 pace @ 145 HR)
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.