Jess' first interval session

by - Friday, May 09, 2008

Last night I did my first ever interval workout at the track. I have to give some props to my friend Josh (no blog to link too) for setting me up with the workout.

Josh is another runner who was on his high school track and cross country teams and still runs a bunch in college. But now he's laid up with a broken leg and it's going to be a little while until he can get back to running. In the meantime he's taken to helping me out with my training.

I'm pretty grateful for the help because I didn't know the first thing about doing a track workout. I mean I know the basics. Run a mile warm up, stretch, do some intervals, mile cool down, stretch. I also knew that a mile on the track is four laps. But that was about the extent of my track knowledge.

So Josh and I fiddled with my times and he suggested I try 6-8X600 on a 2:50 to 3 minute interval and recover for 200 meters in 90 seconds.

Here's how things went. I did six of the intervals and finished the first five in the three minutes. The last one I think took me a little longer. My problem was the recovery. Josh suggested I walk the last 200 meters so my legs wouldn't burn out too bad, but I couldn't walk it in 90 seconds. So instead I walked it in 2-2:30 minutes.

I also skipped the mile cool down because I wanted to get home in time for the soccer game. My D.C. United was playing the Chicago Fire on ESPN2. Both United and the Fire are home to a few Maryland soccer alums (see here, here and here) so I was pretty pumped. (Unfortunately DCU lost 2-0. I'll chalk it up to seriously uninspired play and a ton of injuries, including one of my favorite players.

Shame on me for skipping the cool down, but I stretched really well.

My legs felt dead during repeats five and six. It's been a really long time since I pushed myself in my running. Usually I just go out for a run and if I go faster than normal so be it. I've never really made an attempt to work at it. But I think it's something I'm going to try to fit in once a week or so.

Josh's suggestion for next week was to try 8X400 in two minutes, but I forget how much rest he suggested. I'll have to double check that.

4 miles total in intervals, total time somewhere around 45 minutes

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  1. Anonymous1:10 PM

    I did intervals on Tuesday and my hamstrings are STILL sore. Does this happen to you? I wonder if maybe I'm just pushing too hard.

  2. Good job on the intervals!

  3. I really am going to try intervals sometime...LOL!

  4. If you take your race times and plug it into the McMillan calculator, it will give you some ideas on what your interval times should be. Have you looked at the FIRST training programs as well? They have some good stuff on interval workouts...

  5. I agree with Wes about using McMillan calculator to figure out your intervals.

    I've been doing intervals 1x week (on a treadmill) and I think it is partly responsible for my increased speed this season.

  6. Nice job with the intervals! As long as you stretched, I think it's okay you skipped your cool-down! :)

  7. I applaud anyone with the dedication to do intervals on the track. Personally, I am a fan of the open road, but then I'm slow enough not to really care how fast I am going. (: