Thursday, February 11, 2010

Intervals Suck

Ever since running intervals in high school cross country practice I have never forgotten how much they suck. So much so that I have spent the last two years unsuccessfully trying to will myself onto a track for an interval workout. The solution? Enlisting a few friends for motivation. I wrote down the workout on a piece of paper and handed it to them in the car during our ride over to the track. There were no complaints, so we busted it out and went home feeling fantastic! They joked that they hated me for making them do intervals. But they stanked up my car on the way home. So we're even. Bunch of stank hater lovers.

Here's the workout:
  • 1 mile: sprinting the straightaways, jogging the turns
  • Two 800-meter sprints
  • Two 400-meter sprints
  • Two 200-meter sprints
  • 10 pushups or 20 situps between each sprint
  • 2-minutes rest between each sprint (we may have cheated a little)
I made up this workout with three things in mind. First, make it challenging but not grueling. Second, have lots of variety to keep it interesting, Third, put the most difficult segments at the beginning, so as people finish those difficult segments they are motivated by the idea that everything will be "easier" going forward.

I'm convinced that peer pressure is the only way to run intervals. And what a great workout! Intervals are how you get FASTER, in the same way that heavy weights and few reps gets you buffed in the gym. You can run 10-milers all day long, and while these runs will help you run far, they aren't the most efficient use of your time if you're trying to cut down your average mile pace.

High intensity + shorter duration = huge increases in performance. Try it. There's a reason it hurts so good.

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