So you just started a new training cycle after a nice little run-hiatus. Or you’re coming back from injury. Or you’ve been resisting “complicating” your stable-but-stale run routine with workouts that aren’t “go run xx miles/around the park/till you feel like stopping.” Whatever your situation, it’s about time to throw some speedwork in the mix, don’t you think?
Running fast is undeniably the best way to run faster (hills a very close second), and isn’t that what we’re all here on the internet reading running blogs to do? Get faster, get motivated, buy things you didn’t know you wanted but OMG NEED now?
I’ve proclaimed my love for the track, but it’s not always realistic to get there. 1) you might not have access to one 2) you might have access to one but it might be closed/dark/occupied/suck 3) going alone kind of sucks 4) trying to kill meter repeats at the start of a training cycle without a base is asking for i-word trouble. Don’t be dumb and get hurt, no matter how many times I scream my love for 800s on twitter. Start slow(ish).
Since I’m all flabby and out-of-shape but pressed for time to get in PR form before Carlsbad, I had to make a smart decision on Week One’s speed day. I needed something that would kick my ass, but not knock me so hard on it I’m toasted for the rest of the week.
Enter: 10x 60s on/off
Also enter for brain assistance: Garmin Workout Function
Now before we get into the how-tos and dirty deets, here’s why I love this workout:
It’s impossible to number crunch.
I said on Monday that staying out of the comparison trap would be key to this round of training. One of the most number-dangerous workouts? Speed intervals. Everything is calculated to the second and measured to the meter/.001 mile it’s hard not to fall victim.
With 60s on/off the only assignment is to run hard, then recover. No prescribed paces or formulas calculating what you should be able to run – just honest effort. If you’re breathing heavy at the end of hard, and just barely catching your breath after easy, you’re doing it right.
Sure I could check all those average paces and criticize post-run, but none of that is reported during. If I do set a goal next time I do this workout, it will be to simply try and get further than the 2.5 miles I ran for the 10x 60s portion this time. Partial Type-A’ing allowed.
And my final selling point: you don’t need any fancy gear and can do it anywhere! Em and I did this workout with an old Timex on the trail in Eugene when we couldn’t sneak onto Hayward for the scheduled track sesh. Was a fine substitute, I say.
Buuuuut, I might as well show you how to muddle up the simplicity and load it onto your GPS watch just to nullify that perk.
I showed you once upon a time how to use the Garmin Workout Function (I have the 405) for 800m repeats, but thought it time for a refresher and a better pictorial. So here you go, for :60s Intervals!
(your in-run prompts. beeps at end of each interval are loud and clear. tap bezel to switch to standard pace/dist screen)<— not recommended since this workout is anti-#s
Now that you got all the way through that, I should also tell you that you can log on to Garmin Connect and build workouts there a bit easier that’ll sync to your watch. Plan—>Workouts—>Send to Device. Will be loaded in Training—>Workouts—>Advanced.
Take this workout with you through your entire training cycle. Add reps as your endurance improves and make the “hard” efforts harder as you get faster. Or slow down the hard and speed up the recovery for a more tempo-like workout. Whatever your little legs desire (/need /yourplansays)