Today I decided to practice some run/walk intervals. I am doing the "Run/Walk a Marathon" training program from Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, but the early weeks (and really all of the weekday runs through the whole program) are within my ability to run them completely. So my plan was to just run and run and run until later on in training when I needed to start intervals. However, I've been reading a lot on the ROTE boards lately about intervals and also about marathon preparation. Over and over, the common theme has been to get through your training without injury, even if that means being slightly under-trained.
It got me thinking! I am somewhat injury prone, as you may have been able to tell from reading my blog for any length of time. And I have not one, but two, marathons that I'm training for - within 6 days of each other! I really need to be careful if I'm going to make it through these events and have fun doing so! But I've always assumed intervals were reserved for folks who could not make it the full distance yet. I mean, I ran intervals with my friend Abbey at the Princess this year because she wasn't able to run the entire distance yet. That's what intervals are for, right? Even worse, I have felt like it would be a failure or a sign of weakness for me to walk these shorter runs. Oh, vanity is a bad thing, isn't it??
So today, I decided to try some intervals. And I was surprised that it wasn't really all that bad. I did a 5/1 interval because that's the only one I have programmed into my watch, from back when we went to Princess. It was very successful, and I actually ended up being a few seconds per mile faster than last week when I was running nonstop at a guarded pace. But the difference in my legs and fatigue level were amazing!! It was close to 80 degrees and unbearable humidity when I ran this morning, but I ended the workout feeling like I had a lot of energy left! This is a good thing!
I think I will play around with some intervals a few times a week just to see which one I like the best. My BFF and I are going to have to figure out a good long run interval that we can manage together - it's harder for her because she's a much faster runner than I am. Already her slowing down to meet my pace is an "interval" for her! LOL But that's part of what this training is about... trying out things to see what works the best!