Treadmill Intervals

>> Saturday, December 29, 2012

I wanted a quick, hard speed workout yesterday, but we got some snow recently, so the footing outdoors was not conducive to "speed work." (I think running hard on slippery surfaces tends to make my perennially injured heel hurt more.) So I hit the treadmill for 3 x 1 mile repeats with 2:00 jogging/walking rest between.

I did a little math ahead of time. I know that 10.0 mph = 6:00 / mile, but I wanted to know what speed to set the treadmill to.

- 10.5 mph = 5:43 / mile
- 11.0 mph = 5:27 / mile

I did a 1.5 mile warm up between 7.5 and 8.0 mph. At 1.48 miles, I cranked up the speed so I could hit my watch and start at 1.5 miles and be up to speed. (It takes less than 2 seconds to get up to speed from a complete stop on the track, but a treadmill speeds up SLOW slowly, that I figured it was best to get up to speed and THEN start the interval.)

It was GREAT to be able to set a speed and know e-x-a-c-t-l-y what pace I was running, but it was HORRIBLE to see the hundredths of a mile s-l-o-w-l-y go by.

I started at 10.5 mph and bumped it up for 10.7 with 1-2 minutes left. I learned what I always thought was the case: I slow up in the 3rd quarter of mile intervals. I did NOT slow the treadmill, but it was just after the 0.5 mile mark that I WANTED to (even though I was able to speed up at the end).

2:51, 2:50 = 5:41.

I started my 2nd interval much like the first: I got up to speed and hit my watch when I saw the treadmill click over to 2.72 miles (then I ran until 3.72.) I tarted at 10.6 mph, bumped it up to 10.8 around 0.3 - 0.4 left. I think I hit 10.9 for a bit.

2:49, 2:48 = 5:37.

I started my 3rd interval running at 10.7 mph, and I bumped it up around 0.5 to 10.9 (5:30 pace). I was hashed.

2:47, 2:46 = 5:33.

I snapped a photo during my 1 mile cool-down:

It's hard to tell, but my shirt is completely sweated through.

I counted my foot-strikes once during my warm-up and once during my 2nd interval. Nearly 2 years ago when I met with a PT about my heel, she showed me I was running around 165 foot-strikes / minute, with 180 being ideal. I've been working on "faster feet" ever since, and it's been helping my heel. I was at 176 during my warm-up, and I was at 181 during my interval! My PT noticed 2 years ago that I didn't heel-strike as much and my form was better the faster I went. (Which made sense to Pharmie and I because I always seemed to hurt something when I'd go on a slower, longer run with her.)

Here I am on the crapper post-workout trying to force a smile:

Oh hi there "vein of approval!"
And I'm still completely sweated through.

I never feel so good / dead as I do after just 22 minutes of intervals. Love it.


SteveQ 12:09 PM, December 30, 2012  

Did you have the treadmill inclined a bit? Most people feel 2% incline on a 'mill is the same as flat ground outdoors.

Steve Stenzel 2:06 PM, December 30, 2012  

Nope, I left it flat. I've heard that about the 2% incline too - something about that incline matching the resistance from the wind you'd normally be feeling. I'm still a little afraid to crank up the incline because of my heel.

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