Until recently, the last time I ran intervals was during track and field practice in high school. I’ve read plenty of articles about interval runs and there are some great folks on Twitter to learn from whose focus is interval training. The last few weeks of my triathlon training plan have included threshold interval work-outs. According to the plan this means to run for three minutes at 5K pace followed by a three minute jog. The first session I repeated this three times and the next three sessions I was to repeat four times. Each interval session begins and ends with a little over a one mile jog which happens to be the distance from my house to the local track, quiet convenient!
The first round of intervals were eye-opening. Even though I’d been preparing my body for speed with strides and tempo runs, attempting to maintain what I thought to be my 5K pace for three minutes was much more challenging than I thought it would be. I’m sure that part of the problem is that I still don’t know my actual 5K pace. My goal pace is 8-minute miles but I have not measured that on the track. I measure my 5K pace by my form, the length of my stride, the little extra push from my arms, and my breathing. I’m so familiar with my 9-minute pace that I feel like I can tell when I’ve pushed past that to something faster and that is what I consider my 5K pace. Continue reading