Kelly the Culinarian: Running Interval Question

Monday, January 20, 2014

Running Interval Question

I accidentally matched my shoes today
Running has been HARD lately. My 14-mile run yesterday had me doubting my sanity. I bundled up, but layers don't do much when it's windy. I even said to my training partners "I'm not sure if I'm man enough for this run" as 22-mile-per-hour winds whipped into my face. It wasn't pretty, and now my face really hurts. I can't decide if I'm sunburned or windburned, but it hurts nonetheless.

This morning's workout included intervals in my run per the FIRST training program. It was very specific: four quarter-mile segments with 1:30 minute rest in between, then 2:30 rest and repeat the program.  It was tough! My legs are tired and the sweating made my face hurt more.  Here's the big question:

What's more important in running intervals: speed versus distance?

I can't always complete every interval. So is it better to slow down in order to get in the distance, or keep the speed and just go for as long as I can? Sage runners out there, please bestow your wisdom!

PS - I entered a contest for bloggers from ZOOMA. Would you mind voting for me? If I win, I get to give away a trip to Napa, so we all win.


Runaway Bridal Planner said...

Distance is far more important than speed if your training for a distance race.
Plus, speed work is risky in the winter if it is cold out, it just increases the chance for injury.
If it were me, I'd just concentrate on getting the distance in, worry about speed when conditions are better:)

Katie Foster said...

It's best to maintain speed for each interval, so that the last is just as fast as the first. I would find a pace that you can maintain... But just barely ;)

Kim said...

The speed is more important. You should finish feeling like you could do one more interval, but no more. Unless your speed is too fast, of course! But you're basing it on your 10k time, right? Hopefully you'll get to a point soon where speed and interval amount align just right!

Erin said...

Kim's right. You should finish feeling like you could do one more...but then don't do it. When I was doing speedwork with a coach she would tell us a range, like, do 6 to 8 400s. Then we could stop when we'd done as many as we could at our goal pace.

Maggie W said...

I agree with Kim, you want to finish any workout (speedwork or long run) feeling like you can go a little further (but don't, because you don't want to wear yourself out). So if you're unable to complete it, you're going too fast. Do you have a heart rate strap? I usually run by heart rate instead of pace when I'm getting back into speed intervals or tempos. Otherwise, check the McMillian pace calculator for suggested paces.