Intervals

In order to run faster you have to practice running faster. Logic. I’ve done a couple of marathons and many more half marathons, so I’m pretty confident about overcoming fatigue. Long runs train you to get past that fatigue, but speed work helps you with a lot more – particularly form.

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In the past I have found intervals and sprints much easier to do on a treadmill, although there is a lot of chat about how it makes it more difficult to find your ideal pace when running outside, the need to set the incline to 1-2% to recreate wind resistance, generally how it’s a bit of a cop-out, etc. The treadmill does have to be set up well for me to enjoy this kind of training – my current gym has the cardio machines all lined up facing a mirror, which isn’t ideal. Previous gyms where you could see out of the window, or at least face towards other people, is more entertaining.

I got obsessed with this specific treadmill last year when I trained at Sweat Union, because you could see all around the gym

I have developed a few intervals and hill sprint sessions to use with Frontrunners, so I need to make use of them myself. For this training cycle I am making an effort to do more outdoor interval training. I do feel a bit stupid doing these on my own but I see a lot of people posting their plans and splits on Instagram, & there are a selection of decent inclines & straight bits of road near my house that I could certainly make use of. I have run on an actual athletics track precisely once, when I was doing my coaching assessment last year, & whilst I can see the benefit of having a measured distance and a nice springy track, the one nearest to me is always really busy. My Garmin has a lap function & can have training plans loaded onto it, so that will be a help with outdoor intervals.

I will aim for my Tuesday runs to be intervals/hills and my Thursday or Saturday runs to be tempo runs, depending on how I’m feeling. This Tuesday’s 3 miler should have been repeats of a 400m steady incline near my house, but I had to treadmill it this week. 6x400m was enough for a tired day, and I’ll work up to more repeats of that distance. I’ve also seen some interesting pyramid-style interval sessions being done by marathon runners, which I’ve saved for reference…

As the evenings get lighter, there are a lot more options, of course, & I can explore further afield. Kelvingrove Park is always a favourite, as it has a good selection of different gradients.

Yes, even this one. Pic courtesy of Manchester Frontrunners

For now, I’ll work up to more treadmill repeats & probably dig out some stats from a few years back to see if I can beat them now. I hope I can.

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