How can 8min run be harder than 20 min run?

Completed Week 6 run 1 last night, after the high of successfully completing the 20min run at the end of week 5, which I had been dreading.

So, W6R1, 8 minute run maximum section....easy after a 20 min run? Well, no! I somehow felt I struggled more in my 8 min run than in the 20 minute run last week! How strange.

I have noticed throughout all the programme so far, how much different factors effect whether you have a 'good' or 'bad' run. Running in torrential rain...difficult to get out the door, but exhilarating and refreshing once you are out. Running in the heat....hard and exhausting, much more difficult to control breathing. Running with PMS, heavy legs. Running after PMS (sorry if TMI) great for cramps, feel much better for having a run. Etcetera.

Am still going pretty slowly, but feel I am making progress with my fitness, and perhaps more importantly, feeling a slow shift from the constant negative inner monologue to one with glimmers of hope, feelings of positivity and moments of pride in myself.


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8 Replies

  • How lovely to look for the positive, even after a tough run- well done. I think the 20 minute run is great for finding rhythm and then the 8 minute one breaks it up again. However, week 6 is one many people find tough so you're not alone. The first two runs are important, though, because even the walking intervals are going to build your stamina for the 25 minutes runs coming up. Keep at it- you'll get there. :)

  • This is so lovely to read for a newbie like me. And the PMS absolutely not TMI. I was wondering that myself (but was too scared to ask!) and you've answered for me! Keep going!

  • Welcome to intervals!! Once you have the stamina to run thirty minutes, slipping into intervals is the best way to keep your body on its toes. Your body like all living things adjusts to the environment and the pressures put on it. Doing intervals stops your body from settling into a routine. I have heard it said that running one minute on one minute off intervals ten times has a far bigger impact on fitness and calorie burn than just doing a flat run for the same twenty minutes.

  • I found the 8 minute run to be difficult as well. Conversely, today's 25 minute run passed by really quickly for me!

  • I felt exactly the same as you when I did W6,R1 last Friday. I couldn't understand how it could be so tough after I'd run for 20 minutes previously. I felt really disappointed and physically and mentally exhausted, to be honest. W6,R2 was just as tough and I started to lose faith in my ability to do this. Then, with the support, encouragement and wise words of people on here, I took an extra day off before I tackled W6,R3 yesterday. What a difference! For the first time I can say that I genuinely enjoyed the run, rather that just enjoying being able to stop! I think that once we do that first continuous 20 minutes, our bodies work harder than they ever have before, and consequently take longer to recover. I guess that's why week 6 takes us back to intervals for a couple of runs. My advice, if you found your last run exhausting, is to give yourself an extra days rest before tackling the next one. You may still find the interval tough, but you will surprise yourself when you come to do 25 minutes, if you've given your body enough time to recover in between runs. Best of luck! :)

  • I think week 6 run1 is harder because your muscles haven't quite got over week5 run3!

    Once I finished week 9 I actually couldn't bring myself to do intervals again; it was too tough to stop and start.

  • Strange isn't it, but so many of us found that, not long to go before no more intervals and I can tell you it's great ;-)

  • Thanks everyone. So nice to log back in tonight and find 7 nice comments waiting for me!

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