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First Threshold Interval Session this Year!

Today I'm running 1 mile threshold intervals.  Have done some tempo work thrown in here and there but now that I am planning a 15k for April and thinking of running a 1/2 marathon in May I want to do more of this work.  I  really have not done any focused running at anaerobic threshold and the best way to start training in that lactate threshold zone is to do some intervals at 6-12 minutes so I am focusing on a mile at under 8 minutes and repeating 3 times over a 6.5 mile run.
Yesterday i did speed intervals on the treadmill so really this should be an easy day but I want to push myself a bit this week because next week is going to be less volume overall.  
I awoke, (2 morning clients cancelled), had 2oz of Cleanse fo life, got dressed, had 2 isadelights and went out to about 30 degrees and light snow flurries.  I headed to the track for my warm up to check out the conditions there for future reference.  It is completely snow covered and will probably remain that way all winter.  Bummer!!  Rescued a pit bull that got away from its owner somehow and was wandering around in traffic.  They guy was a runner.  After about 2 mile warm up needed the bathroom so stopped back home.  
Now ready for my workout.  Feel good, really good.  Roads are fairly clear, some snow and ice in areas but not enough to prevent a fast pace, just have to take it a little slow in places.  I'm on Kent heading toward the navy yeads for my first 1 minute interval and did 7:47 at 177 av hr/185 max followed by 2 minute jog.  It felt good, moderately hard and feel I can complete 2 more at same pace.  2nd 1 mile was a little against the wind and had some turns to deal with but held a 7:41 pace and HR 183 av/187 max, turned around and took a 4 minute jog recovery.  Getting hot now and feeling my legs getting heavy.  3rd 1 minute interal didn't feel as good form wise but ran 7:53 at HR 182 average and 187 max.  
Comparing this to the workoug yesterday which was 5 minute harder intervals on the treadmill I have to say this felt better, easier and was the same pace or faster although my average HR was a little higher.  As i mentioned in yesterdays report I felt the wamer inside conditions were holding me back a bit.  I feel really good about the pace for my first attempt at threshold intervals although eventually I would like to be doing my threshold work at a 7:30 or better pace.  Also I should be able to work up to 185bpm and sustain that for longer.  I also counted strides for both the treadmill adn the outdoor work today and was running consistently at 95-100 steps per minute.  Finished the workout with about 3/4 mile easy jog and stretching.

Dual Speed Work Session

Although I don't have a thoroughly planned triathlon program in place I felt it was time to start writing about what I am doing for training.  From October through December I wasn't training.  yes I was running, some swimming, very little cycling and plenty of weight training but no specific purpose.  It was nice to have some unstructured workouts for awhile but now I'm ready to take action so I have a great tri season this year.  My plan is to focus on Olympic distance races, 4-6 throughout the season, and throw in some road races, 10k to half marathon distance.

Yesterday, Sunday, was my long run for the week and really today should be an easy day but was feeling up for this, and I had the time bloked off in the AM so I went for it.  I woke up, had 4oz of Cleanse for Life and filled my water bottle up with Want More Energy and went to the gm in my building.  My upperbody workout is focusing on upperbody stabilization work and I did a circuit of 7 exercises and repeated 3 times.  Hamstrings feel a little tight today, but otherwise everything is good.

Immediately following I set up my indoor trainer in my office.  I've been riding on my terrace but today it feels like below 0 here on the waterfront.  Heat is off in the office and temp is at 54 so that is manageable.  My bike workouts have consisted of alternating weeks of speed and force for 1 day of the week and another day as either recovery endurance or muscular endurance.  Today it is Speed, and i'm using workout SS4 from my book.  Easy warm up spinning 95 plus rpm followed by 6x3 min at 95rpm in aero position and 3 min rest in climbing position in z1-2 at least 95rpm.  I have a pretty good play list going here and my cadence really does coincide with the music.  Hardest part of the workout was keeping the cadence up and I was supposed to work in HR Z3 but for most part was at top of Z2.  I was holding myself back a little but also know i'm running out of glycogen stores which is why i have not eaten.  Goal here is also to burn some fat!  Total workout time was 51 minutes and I did not do a proper cool down because i'm going into a run after this.

I really don't like treadmill workouts but at least intervals keep me more engaged than steady state or tempo workouts.  About 20 min after the bike ride i was on the treadmill in my gym.  I had hoped to get to the track, but it really is bitter out.  I have more water with want more energy and I had a honey stinger gell (about 120 calories) 10 min before the run.  Warmed up 10 minutes really easy jog and then prepared for this new interval workout.  Goal is 4x5 min at 20-30 sec slower than 5k pace.  I'm not going to worry so much about what pace i choose, but to choose a pace and stick to it.  I'm finding these treadmills are not calliberated properly anyway so will basically go by RPE and HR.  I was at 7:52 pcace for all 4 intervals and the 4th one was really hard.  For the rest interval I slowed to walk until HR got down to about 123 then jog for total of about 3 minutes before repeating again.  Feel the recovery period was sufficient.  Because it is so warm in here (at least to me it is) I feel my RPE was higher than it would have been with same workout outdoors.  My HR for the intervals ranged from Av of 174 to max of 195.  I feel if i was doing this on a track I could have worked faster.  Either way, next time I want to jog for the rest interval and try this outside.

The fact is I did really well on very little fuel over 3.5 hours.  This was my first brick (even though there was 20 minutes between) and my legs felt really fresh on the treadmill.  Will do this again, and will also try to do the run in the AM and bike in the PM and see how that goes.


Most everyone I know wants to look and feel younger.  While obviously you cannot stop the aging process, regular aerobic exercise can decrease your biological age by 10 years or more.  My extensive endurance training over the last 8 years has led to a decrease in my biological age to 18, and my chronological age is 41. Interval training is an effective way to exercise at a high enough intensity to significantly increase oxygen demands and ultimately slow aging.  Interval training is defined as short bursts of going all out followed by brief periods of active recovery.  Interval training allows you to exercise briefly at a high intensity in order to force the body to adapt in ways that slow aging.

The best way to interval train is to keep it simple by changing only one variable at a time.  For example, increase the resistance on the elliptical trainer and maintain the speed, or increase the incline on a treadmill and maintain the speed.  It makes no difference to your body which variables change, all that matters is that the muscles work harder, oxygen demand increases and the heart rate goes up thereby aging slows.

Here are some variables to consider when creating your interval workouts:

Speed. Increasing speed is an obvious way to boost intensity, however, speed can cause injury and should be used to increase exercise intensity only if you are conditioned and free from musculoskeletal injuries.

Incline. Adding incline is an alternative way to increase intensity on most cardiovascular equipment.  A change in incline changes the mechanics of movement by recruiting additional muscles or increasing output, both of which increase how hard the heat works and maximal oxygen consumption.

Resistance. The greater the resistance, the harder the muscles work to move the bones.  This variable can be adjusted by increasing resistance on cardiovascular machines or by incorporating added weight.

Relationship to gravity.  One of the most effective ways to train is to use body weight against gravity.  For instance you can incorporate jump push-ups or jump squats into a workout.

Impact. Impact is most commonly associated with sustained, high-impact activities like jogging, but plyometrics (explosive movements such as hopping and jumping) are effective for adding impact moves in a non-sustained manner.  By including a plyometrics component to your workout you can increase the intensity of almost any exercise, but plyometrics calls for the same care that is needed when adding speed to an exercise.

Alternating lower with upper. A simple way to increase intensity and then recover is to alternate a lower-body exercise like a lunge with an upper-body exercise like a dumbbell chest press.  This strategy is particularly effective if you are out of shape.  The lower-body exercise in creases the heart rate, while the upper-body exercise allows for a brief recovery.

Call me during the month of July for a free 30-minute telephone consultation and get started on an interval training program today.