Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One of those days...

Today was just one of those days. Despite the fact that I knew it would be snowing outside, it was (relatively) easy to get out of bed, but I was sore from total body conditioning on Tuesday and just had a feeling it was going to be one of those days where I wouldn't go very fast. On a speed interval day. Grrreat! (Note the sarcasm.)

It was darker than this when I went outside to head to the gym (no outdoor running today, but I usually treadmill it up during the week), but this was what I found outside my door this morning on my way to work:
Quite a sight, eh? Unfortunately, nothing could motivate my legs to move any faster on the treadmill this morning - not even the blizzard I knew would be waiting for me post-gym!

My training plan called for a five-mile speed interval run with a one-mile warm-up, and alternating between one mile at 8:52 pace and half-mile jogs, followed by a one-mile cooldown. Since I was feeling a bit sluggish, I decided to change it up, alternating between a half-mile at 8:52 pace (about 6.8 mph on the treadmill) and a quarter-mile jog (I warmed up, cooled down and did my jogs at 5.5 mph. I tried to do it at 5.8 mph and it was just too quick for me today!).

Since one of my goals during this training is to get outside my comfort zone (more on that in a future post) and push myself a little harder, I figured it was probably a good thing that my legs weren't in the mood to move very fast. It would be a challenge, and it was a challenge I was up for!

The great thing about speed intervals is that they make the time go by really quickly on the treadmill. I had my usual CNN's American Morning on the treadmill's TV, which always does a great job of (a) passing the time and (b) informing me on what's happening in the world, but there's something about varying the speed that helps the time go by even faster. Slow as my legs felt, those 50 minutes flew by and before I knew it I was on my way home!

If you're looking for a way to spice up your workouts, try doing intervals. Not only will they help you pass the time, but they'll help improve your speed, too. For the higher speed, try a pace that's a little bit uncomfortable for you but one that you can sustain for about a half-mile. This is something that I'll be working on a lot during my training for both the half-marathon and the Chicago marathon so you'll be reading more about it!

I know that we all have those days where we feel sluggish and slow (even my superfast marathon-running boss said he's been feeling a bit sluggish lately!), but by showing up at the gym and pushing through that feeling, we might be surprised by what we can accomplish. I know I certainly was today!


  1. Lots of studies have shown that doing proper interval training for shorter periods has similar benefits to longer workouts.

    Some more on interval training:

  2. Thanks Tom! I've read articles in the past that were about this...very interesting!

  3. Thanks for the motivation. I have these days too, and have to push myself to get started. But (usually) once I get going, I feel a lot better. As they say, 90% of life is just showing up every day...