Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interval training - Just lost my virginity

I've never really tried interval training. Speed has never been a priority for me other than I've constantly improved it little by little simply by running 'normally'. Another thing is that I've found it extremely complex actually I still do but yesterday I decided to read up on the subject and give it a go.

SO many variables and people saying different things. I'm the binary type that likes stuff that are black or white, I'm not really fund of fuzzy gray stuff. These are the steps as I've understood them (

Step 1 (option 1) - Find the zones in your heart rate reserve. My resting heart rate is 37 bpm and my max is 185 bpm. Which converts into these zones:

Step 1 (option 2) - Find your VDOT value and let that be your guide finding the correct pace for the training you want to do. For this I've used my 5 k @ 23:22 as a source for the VDOT:

Step 2 - Decide what you want to do with your training. Do you want to go for VO2max training or AT training.

Step 3 - How far do you want to run / how many repetitions do you want to make. Here you also need to take into consideration that you shouldn't be running more that 8% of your weekly distance as part of VO2max training.

Step 4 - Estimate how long your resting repetitions should be. It needs to be long enough for your heart rate to drop to 60% of your heart rate reserve. As a guideline the length of your resting repetitions should be between 50-90% of your working repetitions.

Step 5 (optional) - Program your GPS watch to aid you with the training. My Garmin 310XT didn't have the heart rate zone based interval training option that I had hoped for but instead let me choose between distance or time based repetitions.

A little confused? I know I was.

Anyway, I decided to aim for 4 repetitions of 4 minutes running at a pace of 4:33 with 3 minutes resting between each repetition.

So today I dressed up and went for a fairly flat path around a local lake. First some warming up and then hitting the 'lap' button to start the repetitions. The path was more crowded that I'd thought it would be and I had to evade both other runners but also 'normal' people out for a Sunday walk. I quickly realized though that the 4:33 pace wasn't fast enough for the zone 5 training I had hopped for so I ignored the pace limit and focused on keeping a pace that keep to borderline to zone 5 instead. The Garmin 310XT have a display field specifically for this so it was easy to monitor. I welcomed the first resting repetition but realized that I wasn't sure if I was meant to stop, walk or just slow down. I decided for some slow running and just reached the 60% limit when it was time to start running fast again. A few repetitions later I was done.

The result for my first interval training
Next time I'll add one more repetition and aim for a slightly higher heart rate but overall it went smoothly and I had no problems of any kind with the arm, knee or anything else for that matter.

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