Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Intervals killed the treadmill star (or is it, Treadmill killed the interval star?)

Sr. Treadmill, NO te quiero a ti. 

On deck today: 6 x 800m in 3:33 with a 90 second rest interval. It was cold and snowy(!) here in Seattle today so I opted to run the intervals on the Y treadmill after work. I tend to do better with my tough workouts in the morning on a completely empty stomach but I was up early working, instead.

Before heading to the gym, I tried some FRS energy for the first time. The taste was ok, no worse than other strange energy sources we runners intentionally ingest. I don't know if they contributed to my stomach issues later during my workout (probably not) but I would be willing to try again to test them under better conditions.

So what happened to the treadmill intervals? I felt like hell. I was overheated and my stomach was cranky but whatever. Excuses. I felt rough but apparently the treadmill felt worse.
  • 1.5 mile warm-up @ about 10:00 pace (including 3 min barefoot running)
  • 800 m intervals:
    • 3:31 (1:39 RI) Tough but do-able. Jogged the RI.
    • 3:37 (1:32 RI) Hmm. Not getting into a groove like normal. Jogged the RI.
    • 3:43 (1:57 RI) This one was tough, I was clearly struggling. Talking to myself about how I was half-way through, I could finish it. Walked the RI.
    • 3:40 (1:44 RI) Suck. This. Hopped off the treadmill and paced the room during the RI, talking myself down. It's only two laps around the track. I CAN do two more, dammit.
    • 3:35 (2:34 RI) OMG that sucked but at least my time was better. My HRM is beeping, hit a max HR of 195 (91% of max). Holy sheet! I'm talking to myself out loud at this point, just one more interval. What are you looking at? 
    • 3:12! Fast? No. The treadmill DIED on me. Black screen. No motion. Nada. I had 0.1 mi to go, to completely finish the workout and I was shut down. Pity on the part of the machine? 
  • I jumped over the treadmill next to me and finished with a mile cool-down at about 10:15 pace.
  • Stumbled down the stairs to the locker room for a cold shower.
This workout kicked my ass. I made target pace only once and my rest intervals just got longer as the workout progressed.

How do you all manage these treadmill speed workouts? I think they're MORE difficult than running outside. I had thought that running the intervals on the treadmill would make it easier because I wouldn't have to listen to my body as much to FEEL the pace, I would just have to push a button to get my pace on track.  

I was so very wrong. It was still difficult because this pace was KILLER. Plus, it takes a lot more math and coordination to hit my watch split button, speed and stop button, and watch the miles and time on the machine to figure out when to start/stop the interval and RI...ack! It was actually kind of stressful coordinating all that stuff.

I'm hoping I can complete next week's track workout feeling empowered and accomplished at the end, instead of sick like tonight. I will definitely prefer to run the next interval workout on the track.
I want my love for intervals returns or else this Furman FIRST program is going to be torture.


  1. Congrats on slaying the dragon! Yep 6x800 is no picnic. But in my experience, even if you're not quite hitting your desired pace, your body is still making massive speed gains. I think you came close enough. Nice job!

  2. Alma, you know I'm with you on this one after my run yesterday! LOL. After thinking about it more through the evening, I'm crediting the
    • lack on food/energy (trying to count/cut calories to lose weight),
    • weak legs from the previous day (when I was suppose to just XT and did a lot more than that!),
    • while I'm used to these intervals on the treadmill, I had to do them at home yesterday rather than the gym. Sick kids kept interrupting me, and my focus was definitely not there.
    Next week will be better for us!! Although after workouts like that, I swear this program better produce results!! LOL.

  3. Good for you for slugging through a tough run. I always find it tricky when I change my running time and as for speed on the treadmill... UG! I always naturally run faster outside, so it makes sense that trying to run the same pace speed intervals inside on the treadmill would be super sucky.

  4. That's a killer workout! I'm sweating and breathing hard just reading it..

    I guess you showed that mill who was boss...

  5. WOW! That sounds like it was tough!

    We start doing speed work in March and I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or not.

    Isn't it THE BEST feeling when it's over, though??!! The pain almost seems worth it then ;-)
    I love the high afterwards!

  6. At least you made it through and killed the beast on the last one!
    It sounds like it was just a bad day. I bet your next one will be better. Plus, that's just a hard workout!

  7. I do time intervals at specific MPH. That way I get to watch the clock, and see how LONG I can go at each speed. It's a mental game, and that's the best way I know how to play.

  8. I agree! The TM is tough--you can't slow down or you fall off! You did great and I'm with you--hoping that dispite the pain, my body is learning to get faster. Nice work!

  9. I never did speed intervals on the track, I always run them on the treadmill. I thought it would be easier on the treadmill because you can select the pace and stick to it.
    Good job on finishing the intervals even though you felt so sick. I'm sure next time, it will be much better!