Intervals: Day 2

Full disclosure: I’m not a very fast runner. At all. I ran my first marathon last December in 4:47:22. I had been aiming for a sub 4:30:00 finish, but unfortunately, fatigue got the better of me. I’ve been attempting to increase my speed in the off-season. Everyone has told me to focus on interval workouts to increase speed and anaerobic threshold. Thus far, it’s been going fairly well. I’ve decreased my best 5k time to 21:57 down from around 25:00. Today demanded another interval workout around Stillwater’s finest water hole, Boomer Lake.

Boomer Lake

It’s my first week training with new running shoes (insert shameless plug for Brooks Trance 12 here) and they faired extremely well throughout the duration of the run. I upgraded from a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS that I’m ashamed to say had close to 800 miles on them. The Trance supposedly have the same support structure that made the Adrenaline a best seller, but with more cushion in the forefoot. I was nervous about deviating from what had worked so well, but after today’s run, I’m sold.

Brooks Trance 12

I had used them on three previous runs this week, but not to this extent. Let me explain: I’m helping my fiancee train for her first half marathon, which I’ll be running with her in late April. She and I run four days a week, targeting her race pace which is about 10:30/mile. On my interval days I’m trying to keep my average pace below 7:30/mile with the sprints below 7:00/mile (preferably below 6:45/mile, but after eight repeats I tend to slack a bit). So as I was saying, today was the true test for me. All in all, I couldn’t be happier. If you’re in the market for a good pair of running shoes and your prone to under pronation, it’s a safe bet.

As far as the run goes, it was my fastest 5k to date. I’ll try not to bore with too many details, but I will post my splits and a graph or two. Below is a map of the run with my intervals and mile markers showing. I’m doing a standard interval workout with a 5 minute warm up, 1 minute fast, 1 minute steady, repeated 8 times, followed up with a 5 minute cool down period. I opted to write it out for any readers who may find the shorter notation confusing (as I still do).

Map 2/15/12

As you can see, it’s a fairly good 5k route, without much elevation change at all. Ideally (in the graph below), you’d want most of your peaks to top out around the same pace. With the exception of my first and third intervals I was fairly pleased. I’m finding that I’m recovering from the sprints much quicker than I was just three weeks ago (although there’s still a time or two that I feel my side tighten up).

Graph 2/15/13

For anyone who’s interested, all of my splits are listed below.

Splits 2/15/13

I debated for a while on whether or not to post specifics of my workouts, but decided that if I was to help anyone wishing to train for an endurance event, my successes (and the inevitable failures) should be made clear. Transparency is my main goal. What I’d ask anyone who continues to read my posts to keep in mind is that I am no elite athlete. I don’t train forty hours a week. I go to school full time, work part time, fly early in the mornings and on weekends, and attempt to scatter some meaningful time with The Fiancee and our Golden Retriever, Brinkley. I’m a normal guy, trying to accomplish something abnormal. Not in an attempt to win, but to finish.

In the future, I’d like to post some product reviews. I’ve got my eye on the Garmin 910XT, but that’s still a few months off since my Ironman training hasn’t officially started yet. Currently, I run with my aforementioned Brooks Trance 12’s, my iPhone 5 with Runmeter, and a random assortment of running clothes that I’ve either inherited from my dad (who also runs) or procured through other means. On longer runs (usually 8 miles plus) I run with a Fairfax Camelbak, which I love. As my arsenal of equipment grows, I hope to post updates and make suggestions on what to buy and what I’ve found useful. My intention for this blog is to create an environment that encourages beginners, but also attracts avid runners/cyclists/swimmers and their expertise. I’ve found that I’ve learned the most through my interactions with more experienced athletes and hope to foster that same relationship here. That said, if you have any suggestions either for me or beginning runners, feel free to comment share your thoughts.

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