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Timed Intervals = A Lesson in Impatience

2013 March 5
by Jess

If you read Monday’s post, then you know I threw in a few timed tempo intervals into my long run (thanks, Lora!). The intervals we ran were for time and the workout looked like this:

  • Run 8 miles at a comfortable pace
  • Run 10 minutes at goal marathon pace; run 2 minutes at easy pace 4x
  • Run remaining miles at a comfortable pace until reaching 16 miles.

Somehow I ended up running 17.5 miles, not sixteen. I should note I don’t ever over run my assigned long run miles as it’s all I can do to run the ones I have on my schedule. But that’s not the point of today’s ramblings.

"Time goes by so slowly" Madonna ;)

“Time goes by so slowly” Madonna ;)

Today I’m talking a little bit about my impatience.

I’m rather patient at work, but when it comes to myself and my running, it’s a word I’m not familiar with. It’s probably why long runs are my least favorite type of running workout.

I know it’s not rocket science, but on Saturday I learned that if you run faster than you should be running while doing a timed interval there are no prizes. In fact there’s only pain because running faster doesn’t make the time go by any faster.

I’m generally good at slowing down on my long runs, but I always, always push the pace on my speed and tempo runs. Why?

Well, I like running fast (or fast for me). I want to get faster. I love pushing my limits and embracing the physical challenge that running fast brings.

If I’m also being honest with myself I run faster so that the pain doesn’t have to last quite so long, because I’m impatient to get through that interval, and because I’m eager to complete the workout so I can gloat in my post-run endorphin bliss sooner rather than later.

Perhaps, I should do more timed intervals so I’m forced to run at tempo pace during tempo runs instead of running at my 1600m repeat pace.

What about you, do you push the pace during interval workouts beyond your targeted paces or effort levels? Have you tried timed intervals instead of distance based intervals?

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. March 5, 2013

    I’ve been doing intervals and tempo runs with my teammates, which has worked out really well. If one of us tries to go out too fast or push the pace, then the others dial back the speedster. Plus, when the workout gets tough and painful, we hold each other accountable; we won’t let each other fall off and drop behind.

  2. March 6, 2013

    I think I get impatient any time I try to run slow – if I’m running a set amount of miles, I just want to run it. Slow and easy are hard!!!
    And, I have those same shoes – love them!!

  3. March 6, 2013

    Man, I read this post yesterday before doing my first 800s of this training cycle. I was so tempted to really go for it in the first interval but held back — which was a good thing, because I was so beat by the end I know I wouldn’t have been able to do all of them if I had started off too fast.

  4. March 6, 2013

    I’m totally guilty of pushing my pace so I can finish up the workout. This post is a good reminder to sloooow doooown. Thanks!

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