O Log - Interval Training

[03-Mar-04] 

    I started interval training today. This is my first change in training routine in a very long time. I'm very hesitant to make changes, but speed is certainly one of my areas for improvement. My speculation is, that even if it doesn't help, it won't hurt.

    I decided on a pattern of 5 minutes warm up, 4 min hard, one min easy, repeat 8x, 5 min cool down. I'll do this once a week. I did 4 reps today, and will work up to the 8, one week at a time.

    It is hard to tell if I'm doing it right. I'm not sure I was running any harder than my normal training runs, after the initial 15 second burst. Without an HRM, I suppose it will be hard for me to tell. One thing I noticed is that everything annoyed me, and I kept looking at my watch hoping the 4 minutes was up. These are signs I was pushing myself, I guess. When I first started training a few years ago, and it was really hard, one thing I remember was being annoyed at every little thing.

    At some point in your sports life, I think, it becomes about the training, not the racing. This occurred with me sometime in the past couple of years. I realised even most races were part of the training, and the training itself was the sport, and was fun in and of itself, and something to look forward to. I'm lucky, tho, in that I get to train in a beautiful park. Racing, of course is still more fun, but to be successful, I don't think training can be viewed as a chore, but as a race in and of itself of some sort.

    The unfortunate thing about the interval training was that it was totally unenjoyable. Running around a track in a suburban construction zone with a beautiful park half a mile away. The thing I found annoying was the track was crowded, unlike the solitude of running over Mt. Misery. It was crowded with walkers walking on the very inside of the track were the runners had smoothed it out. The middle of track was all lumpy and the inside part was a hot commodity. Why would people walk 'round a runners track when they could walk in a beautiful park half a mile away? I was also annoyed by headwinds. I'm never annoyed by headwinds on a normal run in the park. My normal run consists of a brutal prevailing headwind on an uphill section at the end. I always thought that was good. Today's felt like a pain in the @$$. It could just be a case of being used to something -- OTOH I believe there is something innately soothing about running cross country thru grasslands.

    Well, we'll give it a few months, and see how it goes. Its not replacing a run in the park, but a high impact aerobics session. I'm not sure if that is a good deal or not.

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