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While growing up, my dad always referenced drops in pig performance to corn planter’s disease (i.e. time spent in tractor as opposed to the detail work that the pigs need.) Well, to an extent I personally suffered from that this past week, also. My hours and miles of training really plummeted this week, as I realized that getting 20 acres planted each hour was a priority over that hour of training. Also, my shoes wore out, and I didn’t have the spare pair ready to go.

Fortunately, corn planting landed on a “recovery” week, in which my body should strengthen itself through a lower level of training. I also eliminated some easy runs, so I just ran on Tuesday (1K intervals) and Thursday (3.5 mile tempo run). I also should have run a 10K race on Saturday, but couldn’t find a really local one and didn’t trust the shoes I was using, so opted for a 10 mile bike ride with Lori instead. Planting of corn wrapped up Friday afternoon, so some pressure is off.

As I mentioned, my shoes wore out last week. After the interval workout, my Achilles felt a little tweaky during the cooldown 1.5 miles. These shoes have about 450 miles on them, which is about how long my running shoes last. I had ordered a pair of Newton Sir Isaac S shoes to replace these near the end of March, but evidently I decided on a very popular type of shoes, since they have been on back order since. With a tender Achilles on my mind, I quickly ordered a pair of Brooks Switch (direct replacements of Brooks Vapor I was running in) and went back to the field. I tried another retired pair of shoes on the tempo run, and while there was no pain during the workout, I felt runner’s knee during the cooldown. Those shoes are staying retired for sure!

To end on positive notes, though, I must mention that the corn planted, much earlier than we have ever done. I don’t feel it was too early, though, because it coincides with our asparagus production. Also, while time will tell for sure, I don’t think too many pig-related things were neglected. I was even able to wash a finishing room and fill it Friday and Saturday, so Monday’s weaning will also be on time. The next three weeks will be peak effort and mileage weeks, so some days will be pretty busy.

Success is a peace of mind that is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.- John Wooden

For the most part, my workouts are to help keep me fit vs. preparing for a competition. I like to have a routine where I’m working out about every other day. This week I was out of town for a few days and wasn’t able to work out. I’m not sure if it’s more mental or physical, but I usually feel a little guilty not keeping my routine. It’s as if I’m afraid all the progress I’ve made will disappear.

My first night back home I jumped on the treadmill and did 20 minutes of intervals. For me, that’s running fast for 2 minutes and then walking at a good speed for 2 minutes and then repeating the sequence. It felt good to stretch my legs and challenge my muscles. Over the weekend I did a 2 mile run on the treadmill at about the same pace or a little faster than I had previously done.

Whatever the routine, it’s important to get regular exercise. I can see it’s important for my kids too. If they go through a stretch where they haven’t exercised and have sat around quite a bit, they seem out of sorts and a little edgy. For our family, exercise needs to be part of our routine to keep both our body and mind in shape.

For many, the word quarters indicates a drinking game. For runners, it means a challenging workout that is meant to increase speed. But what business does a marathoner have trying to increase speed? Isn’t the goal just to be able to run 26.2 miles and finish the race?

The addition of speed workouts to the training program adds a very important anaerobic workout to the routine. You run fast, then recover, then run fast again. Leg turnover increases, and so does stride strength. Obviously the ability to recover and do another quality repeat is important. The speed workouts I most dread doing are hill repeats, but I actually enjoy the quarter repeats. Using the Garmin 205 watch, I do these on the open road where the rest of my training occurs, so there are some hills involved.

On Wed I did an 8 x 1/4 mi repeat.The recorded times were:

  • 1:33
  • 1:39
  • 1:30
  • 1:28
  • 1:29
  • 1:27
  • 1:24
  • 1:21

The first 4 averaged 6:10 pace, and the last 4 averaged 5:41. The 2:00 recovery period between each interval is there to enable me to spend more total time running at high intensity before I was too tired. The other benefit of intervals is that it improves resistance to muscular acidosis, a major contributor to fatigue in all-out running efforts.

I feel that I’m faster – will know more after Sunday’s 5K time trial.

“It’s not what you say or hope, wish or intend, but only what you DO that counts. Your choices tell unerringly who you are.”– Brian Tracy