Do you use intervals when you work out?
Whenever I’ve begun a running regimine, something I’m taking a break from due to an injury and pregnancy due (doctor’s orders…), I use interval training as a great way to get back in shape and increase my stamina. What I wasn’t expecting was to read the article “Interval Training Makes You Efficient At Work” at Business Insider. Evidently intervals aren’t just good for your body – whether you’re starting out or you’ve been running for a while, but they’re also good for your mind.
You can bet that when I begin running again I’ll start out interval training, especially as I build up to 5k races again once baby is here (did I mention I want a jogging stroller?) Intervals consist of 30-60 seconds of running combined with an equal amount of walking.
The gist of the article by Tony Schwartz is that we can apply the same sort of strategy to our workday. Work hard in shorter bursts followed by short bursts of relaxation. Before you laugh and say that it sounds like a good way to justify playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook between meetings, it appears that the research supports this hunch just as it shows that interval training is much more effective in sports training.
What do you think? Do you use intervals when working out? Do you use intervals when working? I have been known to “Speed Date” my tasks when I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 5 minutes (and how many small tasks can be knocked off your to-do list in 5-minutes or less!). I know that once baby comes, I’ll be out there pounding the pavement again!
My ribbon and I!
When you start running again after a long break, it’s important to ease back into it. Otherwise, you could end up with muscle cramps – or worse – a knee or ankle injury. Instead, you’ve got to start out slow and build up slowly and steadily over a period of several weeks.
As you may be able to guess, I jumped right in. My calves and ankles were very unhappy with me – both because of jumping right in and because of lingering effects of a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic medication. It reminded me of how important it is to build up. But I’m determined! I love running as a sport, and I’m looking forward to beating my old times.
It was excellent to get a ribbon after having a long break, but after my run today, I’m aware that I’ll need to build slowly in order to avoid a running injury. I tend to like the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K programs – but Runners’ World and Spark People also have good 5k training programs to get you re-started on a routine. It’s really helpful to have a variety of programs to work with so that you can start exactly where you’re at when your feet hit the pavement.
If it’s been a while since you’ve run, what do you do to get yourself started again? Is there a program that you follow or do you do hit the pavement and let your body dictate the training program?
Theme Song: “Run Baby Run” by Sheryl Crow
So, today is National Running Day. I’m not currently able to run, and I won’t be until I get clearance from a doctor that it’s okay to start up again. I miss it. Running is such a freeing experience. Not only does it help my health and my moods and me to feel active, but it also allows me time to think about what’s going on in the world around me. Since I haven’t been able to run, it’s been rough. I miss running! Some days I feel like my feet may run on their own and leave the rest of my body behind. I run because it became part of my life. I’m hoping that later this year I’ll be able to participate in a 5K or two! I run because I like being outside and feeling the air around me. I run because it’s a lot of fun, and a lot of my friends are runners.
Why do you run?
So, on Thanksgiving, I participated in the Run For Food fundraiser to help the local shelter – The Jesus Center. It was my second 5K, and overall, I’m pleased with my results. I came in under 40 minutes at 39.11.3. Not bad for someone who was coughing up a lung last week. Here are the statistics from that race:
- I came in 25th out of 36 people in my age group. The fastest run time was 19.22.6 and the slowest run time was 18.104.22.168. The mean time was 36.31 minutes, the median was 34.12, and there was no mode.
- My average mileage was 12.61 minutes per mile. I ran the first and third miles in their entirety, though I did walk most of the second mile.
- Out of all the women who participated, I placed 325th out of 399 runners. The mean time was 33.20, the median was 30:51, and the mode was 26:45.
- Overall, I placed 664th out of 791 timed racers. The mean overall time was 31.20, the median overall time was 29.04, and the mode was 23.52.
This is pretty good – I’m pleased with the fact that I met my goal of coming in under 4o and running at least one mile without slowing to a walk. I think I did a decent job of pacing myself. My next goal will be to bring my time down to 35 minutes.
Memorial to the oldest annual running race in Europe. Prague-Běchovice, Czech Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Theme Song: Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
So on Independence day, I ran my first 5K race. I didn’t do too bad. I’d met two of the goals I’d had going into it – to finish the race and to have a race time under 45 minutes.
- I placed at 183 out of 216 people who finished the race. The fastest score was just over 17 minutes, the slowest was 55 minutes.
- I placed 30th out of 33 women in my age group.
- My time was 42:14 and I averaged 13:36 minute miles. That was with walking for between 1/3 and 1/2 of each mile.
- The average speed of all runners in the race was 30:46 for the median time, 22:12 for the mode time, and 32:30 for the mean.
- The average speed for runners in my sex/age class was 32:18 median and 33:16 mean (no mode).
That’s not too bad for someone who was running a first race and who only had been seriously training for 3 weeks prior to the race – and hadn’t run for a week prior to the race due to weather.
I’ll be signing up for another 5k soon and training some more. I’d like to improve my time by at least 3 minutes.
So recently, I was asked “Ronda, is this some sort of Forrest Gump thing? I mean, all the running.”
I took this question to mean – why are you so into running?
There are many things that contributed to my taking up running. Here are some of them:
- All you need to participate in running as a sport and fitness activity is a decent pair of running shoes. There’s no gym subscription, no special equipment, no trainer or coach necessary. This makes it an economical choice when it comes to cardio.
- Running builds bone density.
- I’ve always wanted to be a runner.
- I have many good friends who are runners. They’re awesome people who inspire me.
- I wanted to conquer a challenge. I’ve always struggled with running, so I want to improve that skill.
- I walk around 15 miles a week on average. I wanted to take that to a new level.
I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment completing a running workout gives me. So, yeah, in that sense, maybe it is a Forrest Gump thing…You never know, you may catch me running cross-country one day.