Interval training outside

Finally, after years of trying, I've managed my first proper interval session outside. I have no problem with intervals on a treadmill, but I can never manage to speed up much outside. I've tried 4 x 4 intervals, and would never manage to finish the first interval. For once, I succeeded. It wasn't the most impressive - just 1 minute of fast running and 2 minutes of slow running x 10, but I'm finally on my way. So it looks like the key to outside intervals for me is just to take it easy, then build up to longer intervals.

How about the rest of you? Are you able to run outside intervals, and do you have any tips?

9 Replies

  • I have only ever run outside. I can't ever imagine doing anything else ☺

  • I run around our local cricket pitch when doing intervals. Less distracting than worrying about cars or people getting in the way.

  • When you live in Norway, some treadmill training is generally mandatory. I don't mind running in the snow, but I don't like running in cold rain.

  • I think your intervals are just fine. Sometimes I do exactly that, sometimes 1 min fast, 1 min slow, or sometimes 2 and 2. And between 5-8 repeats usually, with easy running to start and finish.

  • its just practice really...... gradually build up the interval time...... start at 30 secs then 45 and so on until you get comfortable and are able to push those barriers further

  • An interesting post for me, so I thank you. I'm preparing myself for the Brighton HM and Full Marathon next Feb & April and have just started doing some intervals. I have been doing 3 mins at a good pace, and 90 secs brisk walking (or catching my breath pace). I had no idea whether this was a good idea but it seemed to work for me. Best of luck

  • I used to do them very often in the past. I would usually run for about 15-30 minutes, have a good stretching (not much more the 5 minutes, especially if it is cold) and do some skips and back kick (say 3 and 3) before. Once my body is ready for a bit of speed I would do what you have done (1 minute faster, 1 minute slower for 10 times or so).

    Another option is (if you have distances marked or a track close to you) to run faster distances, depending on what you are preparing.

    If you are looking for a PB on a 10k I would warm up (10-15 minutes) and then run 6 or 8X1000 mt. at the speed you want in the race, recovering jogging for 200 or 400 meters. Not easy the first time, but it improves your times.

    The last half marathon I was preparing I have done 2X 1200mt, recovery 600 jog, 2X 800 meters, recovery 400 jog, 4X 400 meters, recovery 200 jog and 4x 200 meters recovery 100 jog. in a progression (1200 at the half marathon desired pace, pick up the pace on the others...)

    There are plenty of other options, I will post next time I do something similar (probably not before autumn) depending on your programs and whether you have a track/signed course or not...

    happy running :)

  • My best tip is to enjoy it... its just about pushing yourself and I try and do it on a straight stretch of road and somewhere with no trip hazards!!

  • Thanks, all! I managed another session last week, and it went well. I have two relatively flat sections that I've used, but being Norway, of course there's an incline - on both of them it lasts for the first half hour. At least the second half is slightly easier.

    There's only one track anywhere near me, and I think it's in use most of the time. Norwegian philosophy is to get out and use nature. That isn't as easy when you haven't grown up here, and aren't used to running in the forest.

    But I'm getting there, and hopefully I'll start improving my speed now that I've finally found an interval that works.

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