This morning I had planned on running intervals at the track, but the weather had other plans. Seriously, every time I go to do intervals, it’s raining! It was only a gentle drizzle but it was really windy, so I headed to the treadmill for this workout. Intervals are tough enough; I really didn’t feel like running them in the wind!
The goal of this workout is to teach your legs to turnover quickly and increase your capacity to handle discomfort. This workout shouldn’t feel easy, especially on the last 2-3 repeats! And, and extra perk? Intervals are super effective at burning fat. I swear my stomach is flatter within hours of an interval workout. That may be all in my head, but studies do show that interval training burns fat, particularly around the belly, and keeps your metabolism boosted for hours after your workout. I like ’em because they’ve been a key aspect to my training that’s help me improve my speed. But I’ll take the fat burning and metabolism boost too!
400s are one loop around the track or 0.25 miles. Since I did this on the treadmill, I added a 1.5 incline to the entire workout. Here’s how mine went.
1 mile warm-up – 8:15 pace
Repeat 1 – 6:22 pace
Repeat 2 – 6:18 pace
Repeat 3 – 6:13 pace
Repeat 4 – 6:08 pace
Repeat 5 – 6:03 pace
Repeat 6 – 5:58 pace
Repeat 7 – 5:53 pace
Repeat 8 – 5:48 pace
1.25 mile cool down – 8:20 pace
Between each repeat, I jogged for a quarter of a mile at an 8:30 pace, so it ended up being 2-3 minutes.
Seriously, the last two repeats were SO hard for me. But I focused on dropping my shoulders, breathing smoothly (as best I could) and looking straight ahead, not at the numbers on the treadmill. I was beat by the end but also felt awesome for making it through such a hard effort. Putting my legs up the wall at the end felt soooo good. 🙂
And like I always say, you can do this at your own level. Just start the intervals 20 seconds faster than your 5K pace (my last 5K was a 6:43 pace), and then increase the speed on each one. If you are new to interval training, ease into it. You can decrease the number of intervals. Or decrease the speed you run them at. Or you don’t have to increase your speed on each one.
Happy running! Let me know if you give this a try.
How do you get through a tough workout? Repeating a mantra? Relaxing your body? Share your tips!