Monday, April 5, 2010

The Half Doozy & Interval Training

Everytime I run down to the lakes by my house I pass Tao Foods, a Natural Foods store and Organic Cafe. I can see the counter where they make all the food and AMAZING smoothies. I love running past in the summer when their door is open and the organic smells come wafting out... oh look, the door's open... 

After my run I popped in and picked up a salad they make called the Half Doozy (smaller than the Doozy). 
They have a happy hour, so this is on special and exactly what I was craving after my run!! I was planning on doing 5 miles..... 

What a TREAT! Guac, hummus, rice, beans, 
tomatoes, sprouts, onions and fresh GREEENS! 

I did 2 miles of High Intensity Intervals, running at about 80% for 400 meters and then an easy jog for 400 meters to get my heart rate down. Interval training is a great way to increase speed and endurance in your race. 

Depending on the length of the race you are training for, you can either do High Intensity Intervals or Low Intensity Intervals, which are longer intervals  in preparation for a longer race.   I will be changing my intervals this coming week to mile repeats.

Here are some Interval tips: 
  • Work your way up gradually: Start out with 400 meters at a pace where it is challenging to carry a conversation, then after those get easier, bump up the intensity to 80 %
  • Keep your pace consistent with each interval, Pick a time to run the interval in and aim for that
  • Make sure your fast is faster than normal and your slow is slow enough to get your heart rate back down to normal
  • You can gauge by your HR OR by when your breathing slows
  • Jog during the slow periods. This active recovery is less of a shock to the cardiovascular system & will keep your HR higher than a passive recovery (stopping all together) which is better for your endurance
How Many?
  • For shorter races you can run 2-3 miles of interval work. If your race is longer than a 10k 4-6 miles of intervals and longer intervals are key (mile or 2 mile repeats at a fast pace)
  • Up your reps and distance when you feel that the shorter intervals are too easy or if your training for a different & longer distance.

Your aim is to get faster with each run and to lessen the recovery time needed between each. The more efficient you are using oxygen the faster you recover. The faster you recover, the stronger and better equipped your heart and cardiovascular system is at doing it's job. Eventually you will need a short rest period and find yourself catching your breath more easily! 

Since Minneapolis was in the 70's I ending up running five miles after the intervals, not three! Cheers to more milage! 

Do you guys do interval training? Do you notice a difference in your speed and endurance? 

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