Increasing distance but intervals suck!

Poor old hubby's not been feeling so great this past week so we only had one trip out to the Estuary. Not sure if it was because he wasn't feeling so good and I wanted to get him home again asap or if it was just a good run but that was my 2nd fastest run ever (avg pace 6.12), only being beaten by the one I did with a very strong tailwind (avg pace 6.09). But in spite of the fact that he's not felt great he keeps encouraging me to go out and make him feel proud so I've had a couple of early morning runs while he tries for a lie in.

Tried for an interval run next but I was absolutely rubbish! Felt slow and sluggish running and didn't improve after the walking sessions either. Hey ho! Slowest run for a while and I don't think that's how they're supposed to work?? Didn't enjoy the amount of traffic on the roads either. All hail to you runners who run in cities and towns. I would find that really hard all the time!

Set off a bit earlier this morning and that made for much nicer running. Managed to beat the rush of buses this time! Nice big circuit from Menai Bridge, round Llanfair PG (yup the one with the longest name!) and back home. 6.71k in just under 44 mins (avg pace 6.32) so was happy with that today.

Any tips on running intervals?


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30 Replies

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  • great run hilbean :D stick with the intervals they do work , I have only just started to very slow jog the recovery bits after walking them ,time to push myself a bit more ... I did a 5k and a bit last night and ran up and down a hill 3 times as well ( Will call it a baby hill ) certainly knew i had done that

    Your average pace is good to , all my longer runs have been 6.50 - 7.00

  • Thanks! Hard to know what's good and what isn't really. Just like competing against myself :D I definitely prefer the non-stop running though. I did 10 min run 2 min walk for the intervals. I don't have a specific plan just making it up as I go along (apart from the 10% bit). Does that sound reasonable or would varying the times on the intervals help? Well done on the hill work! I really have to tackle that at some point too. I have varying gradients on most routes but they tend to be long slow ascents rather than real hills. I think if I had those to contend with my times would drop dramatically! :D

  • i think it is good to mix up and do what you want, keeps it interesting :D i am not following any set plan either :D there are quite a few articles online about intervals etc but as long as you are happy with yourself stick with it :D

    I am trying to push myself a little more now but still bearing in mind not to over do it , a difficult balancing act though

  • I think I have seen so many plans I may well have confused myself by taking bits and pieces out of all of them lol! Well, I have the weekend to check things out again and see if I can get some semblance of sense into my head :D

  • Those "intervals" are more like "tempo repeats" or what JD and McMillan call "cruise intervals" --- Tempo repeats are longer runs 5-10 minutes with short intervals in between, but they are only done at maybe slightly slower than 5K pace. "proper" intervals" are much shorter runs - 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes long - with much longer interval rests in between - but are done at faster than 5K pace.

    I 'd be prepared to wager that you attempted to run too fast during your 10 minute "intervals"

    The thing I like about jack Daniels training - and McMillans training plans - is that they give you specific paces to do the various workouts, long/easy runs, tempo runs, speed intervals, ext , all depending on your latest 5K time.

  • Ah, that's interesting and entirely probable! I need to check that out then. I'm not really in any rush just basically wanted to aim for sub 30min 5k and extend the longer runs ultimately to 10k as I quite enjoy just cruising along. Didn't realise there was a difference between tempo repeats and intervals, so presumably the benefits of both are different too.

    I also have that air of a new graduate... maybe a bit too enthusiastsic? ;)

  • Think I might try the same intervals Rob.. trying to also cut out the walking bits. I know for sure that I can walk quicker than a very slow jog but perhaps need to ignore that! :-)

  • it is all a learning curve Andy :D Sounds daft but I am very happy with myself for running at a much slower pace for the recoveries . better than my original 1 speed fits everything lol

  • When I look at my runs (Garmin data) there is a definite upwards ramp of my pace... never seem to be able to keep the same pace... but will try later this eve when I go out.

  • not sure what the weather is like down there today, it has been a sunny but cold day here ,no more snow etc so far :D stay upright and have a good run Andy :D

  • I couldn't agree more. Intervals suck !!! I'm currently sticking with them because everyone tells me that they'll be good for my inner soul. I'm trying to get an intervals session in every 3rd run. I'm using the Intervals podcast (warmup, 5 minute run, then 6 sets of one minute fast pace followed by 1 minute slow pace).

    The only tip I can offer is that I promise myself that I can have a glass of my special malt (whisky) the following evening if, and only if, I do it properly and don't cheat.

  • very nice incentive Adam :D is that one the c25k+ podcasts? sounds interesting , I was looking at one on my runkeeper to try just to see how i got on

  • It's one of the 3 C25K+ podcasts. If I remember correctly the initial 5 minute run is set to 150bpm followed by 1 minute fast at 165bpm then 1 minute slow at 150bpm. This has the advantage too that it's nice and short as the whole run is over in 17 minutes (excluding the warm up and cool down). it means I can fit an interval run in on occasions where I otherwise don't have enough time. I have to say though, that the last 12 minutes of the run are brutal. I think it may be doing me some good (but I've yet to be totally convinced...)

  • Thanks Adam , think it must be the speed podcast :D will try it next time or as an extra one week :D

  • Maybe I'll give that a try next time. I was aiming on 3 runs a week, 1x5k ish, 1x interval (about 5k again or 30 mins) followed by the longer run (increasing distance by 10% each week).

    Hmmm... and the idea of a nice treat might be a good incentive for the intervals. I'm fine with the other two runs!

  • I thought intervals were horrible and totally buggered my legs. I'm sticking to slow long runs for now ...

  • Oh, now that's thrown a spanner into the works useit :) You've now made me question all over again whether I really need to do intervals lol :D

  • Hi Hilly, sorry to hear Derek isn't feeling so good, hope it's a temporary thing. As for you, you seem to be doing two things at once - increasing your distance and increasing your speed! I've just been increasing distance, but sacrificing speed. Anyway, well done to you! Maybe you're inspired by your beautiful surroundings! Keep it up, Hilly, I'm sure you're making him proud of you!

  • Thanks John. Hopefully so. We think it's still the chemo after effects. He still gets very tired and we were told that it might take 6 months for the feeling to come back in his feet properly so perhaps we have been expecting too much too soon.

    I'm beginning to think that your approach might be a better one. Perhaps I should just do a gentle 5k rather than push it and take another look at what I need to do for the intervals.

  • I'm a total fan of "Speed" I'm sure I've bored the pants off everyone here rattling on about it...yes it's hard, but it IS short, and has really helped my pace

  • Er, isn't that illegal, Curly? :)

  • SSh, don't tell... I need something to get me going...

  • Haha :D

  • No, please don't stop rattling on about it. People like me need this! I think indecisive is my middle name! So the more I learn the easier it is to decide where I want to be!

  • Tell us more about your intervals - what kind of intervals were they - time of running/walking, etc - and how many repeats??? Maybe you are trying too much??

  • Hi Bazza.

    Last week I did 15 min run 1 min walk 15 min run but that was because I hadn't really made up my mind whether to do an interval run or not so I don't really think that counts.

    This week was a conscious decision :) 10 min run, 2 min walk x 3

    I just think I'm just struggling to know what balance to do. Your earlier comment re tempo repeats vs intervals was interesting.

  • That sounds like a great long run this morning :-) the intervals sound challenging!

    Hope your hubby feels better soon so he can get back out in the fresh (very fresh!) air with you. Xxx

  • Thanks :) The interval session is under review at the moment!

    Hopefully we'll get out for a walk this afternoon and I'm sure he will be dressed up like Nanook of the North :D

  • I have an interval timer on my phone. I do 5 minutes warm up jog then 10 repeats of 1 minute running as fast as possible followed by 1 minute slow recovery jog then five minute cool down jog. I try and do it once a week. I find it really fun :D reminds me of first few weeks of C25K gasping for breath during the fast minutes!

  • Might give that a go on my next attempt. Thanks :)

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