Runner Confessions: Intervals

My name is CBloss and I have a confession to make.

I hate intervals.

I feel so much better now that I’ve said that. Let me back it up a little bit.

I have this friend. She’s very fast. She’s also a triathlete. She’s a tiny thing that gives the boys a run for their money–including her boyfriend. She’s a really good friend of mine. I’ve known her for about 6 years now. I saw her start her first tri. I’ve seen her finish many other races. She finishes strong. She always makes it look unbelievably simple. I’m completely proud of how far she’s come. She’s earned it. She eats, breathes, sleeps training. If that makes any sense.

For years, she’s been telling me to add in certain workouts into my running. For years, I have ignored her. For years I only did what runners call junk miles. For years, I haven’t really PR’ed. It’s been three years I think. To be fair, I haven’t been doing the training I once was. My boyfriend isn’t active nor are the people I work with. Which really doesn’t motivate me.

This year, I tried something different. I’ve taken up strength training and finally getting some muscle. I started hill training (without a watch). I have done stair workouts. When I signed up for a half that took place in the middle of the summer, I was expecting results. I was pretty nervous and thought I could do it.

Boy was I wrong.

As I mentioned before, we’ve had a pretty hot summer. It’s been bad. You would think though, that a race that started at 6:30 in the morning, it would have been fine.

Again, I was wrong.

You would also think that the race director would provide more aid stations.

Again, I was wrong.

I did PR for that race by like a minute for this race, but I was pretty crushed. I wanted to knock off another 8 minutes. I was on course for that until mile 9 and then the heat hit me like a rock.

Later on, I was talking to my fast friend. She told me what I did wrong. I wasn’t doing speed intervals. Hills aren’t going to help you with speed. Speed intervals will.

I’m not the strongest of runners (obviously) — I just do it a lot, but I’m not very good at challenging myself. I hated intervals because they hurt. However, I’m more tired of being slow. Soooo I’ve picked them up. One day of intervals. One day of hills. Trying to add bike workout in there somewhere. She also said I wasn’t timing myself so I didn’t know if I was getting better or not. It is motivation if I time myself so I can see how much faster I’ve gotten.

I hate it when she’s right.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve seen my speed increase on interval days. I don’t feel it on long distance days, but it’s been so freakin’ hot that it’s hard to push.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • 5 minute of warmups at a decent speed.
  • 1 minute pushing /2 minutes rest.

I try to do this for 5 intervals. I might not be as good at keeping it to just 2 minute rests, but good god I am sprinting. It hurts. A lot. I hate it every time too. Give me a hill workout and I’m good. I just can’t get into intervals. I have seen progress, but it just freakin’ hurts!!

Anyone have any tips on how to get over intervals? I’ll keep you guys posted on any progress updates!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *