Tag Archives: interval training

A Great Pyramid Workout

It felt good to get back into the gym today!  I was inspired by a blog post I came across. I saw this great pyramid workout on Trim Down, Tighten Up.   The graphic really gets the point across so I’m borrowing it to show you here.

30-minute-pyramid-run I gave it a try on the treadmill tonight.  Wow it was tough!

The paces were good for me, as I train at about a 9 min/mile pace,  but if this doesn’t work for you, I would recommend doing the 3 minute set at a your tempo pace or about 1 minute per mile faster than your training pace.

Another modification I might suggest is after the pinnacle of 1 min at 8 mph, go back to the beginning run 5 min at 6 mph and work back up.  This allows for a bit of recovery time between sets.






Fun with Interval Training

I’m beginning to like interval training on the treadmill, go figure!

My latest workout was:

6 minute warm up at a 10.5 min per mile pace (about 1.5 min/mile slower than my training pace).  I was only planning on warming up for 5 minutes, but since I was just about at 1/2 a mile, I went another minute to make it an even half mile.

Intervals:  I intended to do 4 sets of the following:

  • 1 min at an 8 minute per mile pace (7.5 mph)
  • 1 min recovery at 9 min/mile (6.6 mph)
  • 1 min at 7 1/2 min/mile (8 mph)
  • 1 min at 9.5 min/mile (6.3)

I say intended because in the second set, I forgot the first recovery minute so I ended up doing:

  • 1 min at an 8 minute per mile pace (7.5 mph)
  • 1 min at 7 1/2 min/mile (8 mph)
  • 2 mins at 9.5 min/mile (6.3)

I then followed that up with another 4 minutes following set 1 and then another of set 2.  A total of 16 minutes of speed work, followed by 3 minutes to cool down.

It is amazing how quickly the time goes by on the treadmill when you play little games with yourself!  When you only focus on getting through one minute at a time, rather than a 20 minute chunk of time, the time goes much faster and the workout is much more enjoyable.  Hmmm, I think there is a life lesson in here too!




My Running Goals for 2013

Now that winter is here and  it is cold and messy outside, I typically stop running.  Last year, I didn’t run from December until late March, and as you can imagine it was hard to start back up.  I felt like I was starting over (something you really don’t want to do!)  Luckily, after some initial difficulties, I was able to get back into running shape and ended up running strong all season.

However, this year, one of my goals is to improve my 5K and 10K times over the last two years.  In 1998, at my peak, my best 5K time was 21:41 (6:58 pace).    Since I’ve started running again (about 3 years ago), my best time has been 25:52 (8:19 pace).   This year, I am shooting for beating 24 minutes or 7:44 pace.

Also in 1998, my best 10K time was 46 minutes, (7:24 pace).  My most recent Market Square 10kbest has been 53:01 (8:32 pace)  For this year, I have set a 10K goal of under 50 minutes, or an 8 minute per mile pace.

I think these goals are reasonable…Tough, but doable.

Here is my plan:

I have done minimal speed work over the past few years (2-3 track workouts each year and the occasional race).  This year I plan on regularly going to the track.  Even if it is hot or rainy, or if I’d rather be doing something else!  And I plan on running at least a little during the winter.

Since I really find it hard to run on a treadmill due to boredom, I have decided to use my treadmill running to do some speed work.  So far this month, I have done three sessions of interval training.  The interval workouts keep my mind occupied and so they aren’t as tedious as simply running on the treadmill.  This is my most recent workout :

  • 5 minute warm up at a 9:30 pace (treadmill mph setting 6.3) 
  • 10 minutes of the following intervals (for a total of 7 speed intervals)
    • 30 sec at 7:30 pace (8 mph)
    • 60 sec at 9 minute pace (6.6)
  • 5 minutes cool down at 9:30 pace

I have all sorts of “fun” interval patterns to try, I’ll keep you posted

Also, if you are like me and prefer to use minutes per mile pace rather than mph, here is a handy conversion guide from HillRunner.com

Interval Training

 One of the “benefits” of being in a running club is the weekly track workout.  Tonight was track night.

This year I have gone to 100% more workouts than I did last year.  This isn’t saying too much as last year I only  went once!

Tonight’s workout was “mystery intervals”  What that meant was that rather than knowing ahead of time the length of each interval that we were going to run, we found out right before each interval.

Our first interval was a 400 followed by a 400 light jog.  As we finished the 400 “rest”, the coach called out our next interval — 1200 (3 laps around the track), followed by a 400 rest lap.  After that, an 800 interval/400 rest, another 800 interval/400 rest, and lastly a 400 interval, a 400 rest and DONE!

The workout was tough but I managed to pace myself and I felt good.  I think my mostly plant-based diet and yoga practice is having a positive impact on my running!



Interval Training

Day three on the abs workout, quite a bit harder! After my “200 sit ups” training, I decided to try some interval training on the treadmill. Not only did I get a great workout, but the time went MUCH faster as I played with the speed every 30 seconds or so. But, let me confess, I am tired now!

This is what I did — First, I warmed up for about 3 minutes on 4.5-5 mph. Then I ran at a moderate pace (6mph or 10 min/mile pace) for 2 minutes. I used 6.5 as my baseline and ran for 30 seconds. Then I went up to 7 for 30 sec, down to 6.5 for 30, down to 6 for 30; then back up — 6.5 for 30 sec, 7 for 30, etc. Up and down for a total of 20 minutes. Phew, exhausting, I finished the last 5 minutes on 6 to recover, and ended with 5 minutes of light jogging then walking to cool down. I’m going to incorporate interval training in my routine once a week.

If you want to give it a try, use a comfortable pace as your baseline, it doesn’t matter what it is. If you walk on the treadmill, try 3 and go up to 3.5 and down to 2.5. No matter where you start, this sort of training will improve your pace and conditioning. A word to the wise, after an interval training day, take a day of rest or go easy on the cardio. Remember, muscles need time to recover in order to get stronger.

An Alternative to the Gym

The crazy wind storm of Friday night left me without power (or heat) so I escaped to a friend’s house. It was warm and well lit, but not accessible to my gym, so what about my workout?

Never fear, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to work out. There is always the ability to go for a long walk, but the weather is snowy and it looks cold so a walk is going to have to wait. Instead I did a fairly complete total body workout using good old fashioned body weight.

I started with my four sets of sit-ups from my 200 sit-ups program. The sit-ups worked my abs and core. Next I did four sets of modified push-ups — that would be on my knees rather than my toes. Push ups are a great all around exercise working the chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles. Even the upper back (lats) get a bit of a workout. I followed these up with lunges and squats. Lunges and squats are all you need for your lower body, working quads, hamstrings, glutes and a bit of the calves. I ended my workout with a lot of stretching; something, I have to admit, that often gets neglected. If I wanted to add some cardio, I could have added jump-roping or even jumping jacks. Instead, I’m looking forward to that walk later today.