Speed question?

When doing the fast bits of interval training should I be using absolute maximum effort or should I tone it down to 90%/95%? I'm concerned that by using 100% effort I am putting myself at a higher risk of injury and almost certainly struggling to complete the run as planned. But am I going to get the benefits of interval work if I tone it down a bit?

[Amusing moment from this morning's run: an old woman smirked at me as I ran past her as if I was being chased by the police!]

7 Replies

  • You should run intervals at near race pace. A helpful calculator here: runnersworld.co.uk/general/...

  • Brilliant. Thanks.

  • If you feel that you don't want to go flat out then don't. Slamming your legs is hard on them. Or find some softer trail perhaps

    It is early days for you after all. There is no hurry to speed up, so you don't have to knock yourself out. It can really take the fun out of it. Injury is a real possibility. I'd be more inclined (with hindsight) to progress slowly and build up my body before doing fast intervals.

  • I did a few intervals this morning and definitely didn't push too hard as I didn't want to cause myself a mischief, was a bit icy too and I had visions of catastrophic slippage! :D

    As MW has said, there is no rush for speed, much better to try and build up slowly if you can!

  • I'm praying it won't be icy first thing tomorrow morning... really want to do my long run!

  • I would say that it depends on how long the "efforts" are.

    On the treadmill, I currently limit myself to doing my (current) maximum speed of 16.0 km/h (I know) for a maximum of 1 min. That gets my heart rate to *beyond* maximum but only for a 20 seconds or so.

    I also do efforts at

    - 14.5 km/h for 3 mins (probably around 98% of Max HR)

    - 12.5 km/h for 5 mins (around 94-95%).

    Hope that's of some help.


  • Take everyone's advice... However one thing I have learnt is that the 10% rule applies to speed too... I have seen so many get injured from ramping up their speed far too quickly.... When I do the 30,20,10 I go absolutely full belt for the 10 seconds as that is the aim of the intervals...

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