The end of the streak

All good things must come to an end and like Denise’s dramatic end to her relationship with her smelly old shoes, I have parted ways with my streak of good quality runs.  I kind of saw it coming when I planned out the week’s workouts last night.  Today was one of those weird, hard to remember interval sessions that looks easy, but always proves to kick my butt.  The Daniels plan was initially based on time at I pace, but I converted his times to distance at I pace, hoping to thwart off poor performance.  The plan was for 6 sets of the following:

0.31 miles at I pace with 0.1 mile jog recovery

0.16 miles at I pace with 0.05 mile jog recovery

0.08 miles at I pace with 0.05 mile jog recovery

On the surface, it all seems so simple.  These distances are at I pace.  Heck, that’s basically my planned 5K race pace.  I regularly slay 1200 m intervals at I pace and the most I have to run here is 550 m?  No problem!

Ahhh, but there is a problem and that’s the lack of recovery time.  When I’m running 400 m intervals with 400 m recoveries, I spend the first 100 m catching my breath from the interval.  The next 200 m involves jogging along easily as my heart rate comes down.  The final 100 m allows me to mentally prepare myself for the next interval.  In the case of the 0.1 mile jogs, I’ve barely caught my breath before the next interval starts.  In the case of the 0.05 mile jogs, there’s not even time to do that.

I understand the purpose of the workout is to kind of simulate a race without the mental stress of maintaining the pace for a long period of time.  The problem for me I think is that there’s not enough time to fall into a rhythm and the recoveries are too short to actually recover anything useful for the next interval.  I almost think it’d be easier to run the whole thing at I pace without the recoveries…almost.

My I pace is now 6:24 min/mile and I did alright.  I took a 1 minute walk break after 3 sets and another walk break after the 4th.  I managed to get the 5th and 6th in without a walk break, so at least I have that.  Including warm up and cool down, the workout was 6.5 miles at an average pace of 7:44 min/mile.


  1. …hope i didn’t jinx you. i wasn’t really complaining about your streak of awesomeness. but, there are gonna be some less than great runs.

    i think the .05 recovery would have done me in too. that’s about how far i run when i’m slamming on the breaks after an interval! 🙂 maybe it would have been easier mentally to go by time? i can’t figure out what .05 would have meant time wise, 30 seconds? they do say that varied rest between intervals is good for you, and you shouldn’t always get full/near-full time to recover, so hopefully this crazy workout will pay off in the sub-20 department.

  2. That’s an interesting/fast workout right there! Like you, I’m used to, at least, the 400 jog inbetween.

    Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you faster, at least that’s what we hope for, right?

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