Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Intervals: Take One

So I attempted an interval run last night. The plan was to run 4 sets of 800 m at 10K pace (4:54) with 400 m rests.

My run got off to an ugly start when I inadvertently plunged into a mud put in my still-under-construction-neighbourhood and found myself 2 inches deep in gunk. I was SO close to turning around and heading home, but I toughened up, kicked off as much mud as I could (which of course ended up all over my legs) and continued.

I had planned a 2K warm-up which would lead me to the only one-kilometre stretch of level ground in my entire town (I am only slightly exaggerating) where I could start my intervals. Unfortunately, I way under-estimated the distance and the warm-up turned out to be closer to 3K. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing except it was one of those runs that I just wanted to be done with. It was late, it was humid, and my shoes were covered in mud.

Anyway, I was finally ready to start my sets and took off.

Problem 1: I can't figure out how to use the interval program properly on my Garmin (I can set up the intervals so it beeps every X metres, but it won't show my my pace on the screen) so I had to keep a constant eye on my distance and keep track of the intervals. This is harder than you might think.

Problem 2: It was late and therefor dark. I couldn't see the tiny numbers on my Garmin without hitting the light button (is there a way to make it stay on?) so not only was I constantly checking my watch, but I had to turn on the light every time. May seem minor, but it was a pretty serious inconvenience last night, when I was already frustrated by the issues above.

Problem 3: I apparently have a very difficult time maintaining a steady pace. I'd be running along pretty close to goal pace, only to glance back at my watch 30 seconds later and discover that I was running at 4:30! I'd slow it down a bit, look down at my watch and the next thing I know I'm running at 5:15. I found it virtually impossible to hold my target pace.

So there you have it: my list of excuses why my first interval run essentially sucked. Taking the above factors into account, I did the best I could under the circumstances. In the end, I ran 5K with two sets of (almost) 800 m. I think I'll try the treadmill next time.

Quick run-down of this week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 5K w/ modified intervals :p
Wednesday: 11K
Thursday: ball
Friday: 8K tempo (6K at 5:11-5:20)
Saturday: 4K
Sunday: 21K


Lily on the Road said...

Some runs just go like that! Glad you staid with it. Good Job!

What style of Garmin do you have...
maybe you just need to play around with it more and no unfortunately, the light does not stay on...

Marlene said...

it's a Forerunner 205. Hubby did some reading today and figured out how to work the interval program. Yay!

Guess I'll just have to run before dark. :)

Janice (Monkey) said...

Hey Marlene - can you share how you programmed the Garmin for intervals? I am still trying to figure mine out. When I went for my LSD last weekend (a mere 8K compared to you!) it only started giving me pace warnings after I had FINISHED my 8K and was walking the rest of the way home!

Marci said...

Hi Marlene,
Intervals can be tough. Have you tried a high school track? I was told its better to have a sure flat surface to avoid risking injury. I have a 205 as well and notice the jump as you do - maybe try for a time vs a pace for your 800. Great work!

Marlene said...

Janice - I have the pertinent pages from the manual in PDF...I'll PM you on WB for your email.

Marci - thanks for the tip! I like the idea of going for time instead. Definitely going to try it. I know of a few tracks to use too...

anners said...

Yup, I definitely find it tough to do intervals by monitoring my pace on the Garmin. I don't do any fancy programming on my Garmin...I just hit lap and for example, aim to do my 400m interval in 2 min. If I'm not on a track, I run hard for 2 min and see how close to 400m I ran. I don't know, maybe that is even more confusing...haha :)