Nothing that I’ve ever done before compares with interval training. The speed with which I adjust to the on the edge intensity is surprising each year.
The warmer months is the only time I usually do intervals as it’s running outdoors for me. This can also be done in the pool, bike, gym equipment. I’ve read it’s not something you keep doing year round, plus the body needs a break from these, so once/week over 2-4 months is it for me.
For instance last summer/fall I took to Fallen Leaf Lake Rd where a mile, half, and quarter mile are marked off. It’s a slight up or downhill (1-2% grade, very slight) depending on the direction. I may start by running a decent mile uphill, jog back down, do a half, a couple quarters all in the uphill direction. First couple times out are not fast. In fact last summer when I started, I hadn’t been over 10 miles per week (MPW), and I ran a few hard repeat miles at around 8:30 gasping, yes I was out of shape!
However, here’s the power of intervals and how your body adjusts: after some uphill speed work, I started downhill training. My mile time was still slow, but I was also in the process of raising my base MPW to the 15-20 MPW range. This is a must to improve your intervals. Suddenly my mile time was in the 7:00 range and I was doing half mile repeats (3-4 per session), in the 3:15 range!
After a few weeks my half mile repeats were in the 2:50-3:00 range and my quarter mile repeats (3-4) were in the 1:20 range, my last interval session of the year had these in the 1:14-1:18 range… that’s a low 5 minute per mile pace. So I was able to run a 6:20 mile with very low base miles! If I were to up my MPW into the 30 mile range, these times would have been even better!
There are some additional workouts I’ve pointed out in previous blogs that even enhance you further. This year I plan on incorporating a lot into this plan to peak at a much higher level which I will blog about. Bottom line… during the times when I’m interval training, my body is at it’s best overall fitness. Remember, Peak 8 Fitness (quick twitch – white muscle fiber) is a sprint session and is probably the best workout a person can do for overall health, interval training (fast twitch – red muscle fiber) is different and will max out your fitness level as you improve each week!
The challenge with the Dipsea Race (early June) is it’s a ultra hilly trail race and 7 miles, also, interestingly, it’s the 2nd oldest race in the US! Name the oldest! The Dipsea has a lot of uphill and downhill stairs! Hundreds. So the plan will be to start upping my MPW now, peaking around 30 MPW, start intervals about April (8 weeks before race), uphill run once/week, train on the stairmaster (stairs not pedals) and in the 20 story casino stairwell (each week), mountain biking once per week up to Angora Lake, underwater blowouts two per week in May.
Want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans! So God’s Will this is what I’m going for.
Add eating good, Ximo, nutritional supplements, protein shakes, good water, juicing, low carbs (all this will be discussed in future blogs), but your body is like a bank account, you can’t keep taking without replenishing, breakdowns, illness will occur. Dr Mercola goes over about a dozen habits we all need to practice daily (another blog). Till then, God Bless,