Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sprint Intervals

Four weeks ago I started a training program for a half marathon (The Colfax Half Marathon).  I don't really know what possessed me to want to do a half marathon.  Before I got the bug to do it the longest I had run was a 10K.  Also, I am not really a very talented runner.  I like to run but I always say "I run" not "I'm a runner."  To me the term "I am a runner" brings to mind someone much faster than me, you know like the skinny girls that constantly pass me on the running trail.  But, I love a challenge and so I decided that I was going to go for it.  I signed up, paid my money, and started looking for a training plan.

To me all training plans seemed to be basically the same with slight modifications.  After looking I finally just downloaded one and decided that it would be the one I would stick to.  Not because it seemed like the best, more just because I was sick of looking at training plans.  This training plan (like all the others) included doing sprint intervals.  Hmmm.  I had never done those.  Since I came into running later in life I never had any proper training.  I just put on some shoes, hit the track, and slowly started building mileage.  I have always been a slow and steady kind of girl.  So these "sprint intervals" totally freaked me out, especially because I now run mostly on the treadmill at the gym. . .oh and I am really, really uncoordinated.  Images of me flying off the treadmill started coming to mind.  Do I really need to do those??  So of course I scoured the internet to see if there was anyway I could get out of these.  Surely someone would say that doing intervals was totally unnecessary and dangerous!  But alas, everyone was in love with intervals.  They are apparently the miracle exercise.  I was promised to run faster and lose more weight.  Yee-haw!  So I thought I would throw them in and just pray to God that I did not humiliate myself on the treadmill.

Trying something new is always scary no matter how old you are.  Give my son a new food and he is freaked!  Give me a new exercise and same thing. I looked at sprint intervals as a way to improve my running (fingers crossed), lose some more weight (double fingers crossed), and model trying new things for my children.  Well, it has been 4 weeks now and I have yet to fall off the treadmill!!  I don't know if it really is a "miracle exercise" but I have gotten faster and it helped kick me out of my plateau.  So I would definitely recommend sprint intervals to all those slow and steady fans out there.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my slow steady runs but mixing it up a bit has helped me improve my times.

Today's Training:
Swim- 25 minutes (would have been longer but the gym daycare got me because Emerson had a poopy diaper.  Plus the over 60's crowd was circling the pools waiting for water aerobics to start)
Sprint Intervals- 2 miles alternating 1 minute walking and 2 minutes @ 7.3 mph (and yes that is sprinting for me!)

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