Posts Tagged ‘intervals’


Hard work. Determination. Haven’t been my calling cards(at least not preferred – would much rather think things through and execute), but this week was all about it. Doing … in spite of …


Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest


Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Fighting still with the bench press. Moving up on other major lifts.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

*Positive. Struggled with this one before the trip to California. Fast last two reps.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Easy work.

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

*”The Miracle” (read below)

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Overdid it slightly on the squats and deadlifts with too much weight. Good work though.

Saturday: 8x800m w/90 sec rest

*Not a great day. Not sure if it was the weights or being in the morning. Will try eating breakfast first next week.


“The Miracle”: Thursday’s Run

Setting: 3 hours sleep. Long day at work. Mostly with me being irritable. Did not alter nutrition to include more carbs to fuel the workout. Got to the gym late after a long conversation with my Grandmother after work. One more nasty protein shake and 1-mile warmup at 6:15 pace to begin a workout that I haven’t completed at this speed this year. 8x400m  (456m to be exact) @ 4:40-ish mile pace with 3 minute rest.

I hated Rep 1. I was sure I was going to quit after Rep 2. But despite not feeling well, I kept running. Hard. By rep 5, I could see that people on my indoor track in the gym were noticing. What’s this guy’s problem? Maybe that’s just me talking. All I can remember is looking up at the white gym lights in the ceiling and gasping for air after every rep. A good rep, when the split read 1:20 or 1:21 on my watch, usually meant relief. The times were so important, on the last four reps. Any failure – 1:23 or above – probably would have broken my spirit.

When I’m that tired, there’s no strategizing. No working on this form or that step or whatever. Just going…almost unconsciously. To top it off, I closed with another 6:15-mile as a cool down. Probably the best workout that I’ve had in the last two years, given the circumstances. Just hope that it pays off soon.


Emphasis from Last Week: Sleep, Protein

Sleep was an up and down thing…no pun intended. Struggled for most of the week, see the note on “The Miracle” above. But pulled it together later.

Protein and nutrition worked to an extent. The good news is that my diet was executed to plan. I ate the SAME THING from Monday to Saturday. 1800 calories. Same meals. Same time. Same water consumption. Same protein shakes before and after the workout. A little disappointed that after Wednesday that the scale really didn’t reflect my effort. There were moments when I was staring at a bag of chips, or sitting next to the phone thinking, “Call that pizza guy.” But I didn’t do it. The question: “How much do you want it?” seemed to be enough to move me along. As long as I was able to provide an affirmative answer. Plus, the more moments I had where I sacrificed, the less I wanted those moments to be in vain.

That said, if I don’t see some improvement this coming week, I’ll have to adjust my food plan again. One more week.


Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 less weight)

Thursday: 8×400 w/ 2 min rest

Friday: (5×15 even less weight)

Saturday: 8×800 w/ 1 min rest


*Trying. So hard. At everything. Willing to keep making adjustments, but just once, I want to see the effort pay off.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 8.48.06 AM


See you next Sunday!


Tough week running, but I’m happy to have survived. Same old stuff in the gym, keeping up with the weights and intervals pattern. Boring, but effective. I think.

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Always a good day.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Back up to a respectable number on the bench. Handled squats, rows and deadlifts with ease.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

*Hard work. Not really picking up speed, but matched last week’s speed only with 2 min less rest.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Cut weight by 50% and lifted well.

Thursday: 8x400m w/2 min rest

*Proud of this one. I didn’t even want to run.

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Ah, soreness there you are.

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min rest

*Miracle. Wanted to quit after four. Hamstrings were sore, but powered through it.



Improving involves a lot of high-effort work with low-immediate return. No gratification most of the time. My plan this Spring is no different than the ones before in that regard. What’s new is that the focus will be on gaining strength, losing unnecessary weight and improving speed endurance. In short, weights, portion control and intervals. Still, progress comes so slow, and it’s disheartening. To drop a pound in a week, it takes 7 days, 21 meals, on-point, with few mistakes outside of those meals. To gain speed-endurance, it takes getting to the track and completing an interval workout either faster, longer or with less rest than before.  To get stronger, it takes lifting a slightly heavier weight every week. Progress from week to week can be measured in seconds and pounds – with numbers less than five – most of the time. It’s hard to be patient with that kind of progress, especially when the mistakes (pizza nights, missing workouts) sets me that far back. Efficiency helps, but until someone comes up with a way that eating McDonald’s and sitting in bed makes people into four-minute milers, it’s going to take some discomfort and waiting.

Such a long way to goooo…


Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/2 min rest

Wednesday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Thursday: Fitness Blender

Friday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Saturday: Fitness Blender

*Welp…traveling to California this week, so I’m going to have to be creative.Using YouTube videos of a husband and wife duo for the cardio days. Tried one when I got snowed in earlier this year. Surprisingly difficult. I couldn’t keep pace. Eager to try it again. On weights days, I’ll probably just hit 5 sets to failure on the pushups, sit-ups and squats, and call it a day. Not perfect. Maybe not even the best I could do. But it’s what’s going to happen.

See you next Sunday!


Day 50 – The Chase

Posted: December 19, 2012 in The Chase
Tags: , , ,

Intervals: 6×800 in 2:45-2:55 w/0:40 rest

Weather: 43 degrees, cloudy

That was hard. I wanted to quit after the 3rd repetition because I was falling behind pace. Decided that finishing the workout behind pace was still better than quitting. Turns out it wasn’t that slow. Average 2:52 for the 6 reps. The goal race pace will be a @ 2:50 per 800m without any breaks in between of course. One more of these speed sessions to go and then it’s time to think about a race. It’s probably been time to think about a race, to be honest.

A mistake I think that I have made this fall was never training faster than race pace. These goal pace sessions are my speedwork. They always feel like I’m running as fast as I can go. I’ll make an adjustment after January. Think I have an idea. Otherwise, good run. Great effort. And on with the rest of the day.

Projected 5K: 18:07 (5:50/mile)

Day 43 – The Chase

Posted: December 12, 2012 in The Chase
Tags: , , ,

Intervals: 6×800 in 2:45-2:55 w/1:00 rest

Weather: 33 degrees, clear, dark

An adventure. But I made it. More relieved than excited. Long day today. Administered an exam in the morning. Took an exam in the evening. Studied all day in between. The only time to do the speedwork was at night. So…off I went.

First 800 went fast in 2:43. Didn’t really feel hard. Something’s changed. I credit the sprints that I started to do this week.  I’d like to thank Nate Pennington at for the suggestion. Backed it down to 2:54 and 2:48 before the trouble began.

Lesson #2 of the week: Don’t eat junk food before running. I filled up with Sweet Tarts chewables today while studying for my exam. Compulsively eating. To feel better about it, I told myself that the sugar would just be fuel for the run. Wrong. First, I took a little water before reps 3 and 4. After about 10 steps, my stomach felt like it wanted to fold in half. It’s always moments like those where you recall what you ate before. Had to focus on my back-kick from then on. Trying to keep a smooth, even stride and not looking at the watch. Closed out in 2:48, 2:54 and 2:56. Averaged 2:51 overall.

Not bad, but I’d like another crack at this workout (a) in the morning and (b) after I’ve eaten something more wholesome. Only two more of these speed sessions to go…need to make them count.

Projected 5K: 18:17 (5:53/mile)

Day 29 – The Chase

Posted: November 28, 2012 in The Chase
Tags: , , ,

Intervals: 5×800 in 2:45-2:55 w/1:20 rest

Weather: 31 degrees, clear, dark

Haha. Around 7:00 p.m. I was telling myself that I was tired and I needed to take a break. At the very least do the speedwork tomorrow. Around 10:30, I’m outside warming up. Great feeling. Slow start in 3:01. I got a little cocky, thinking that I was ready to relax and jog a 2:50. Really disheartening to see that I was 10 seconds behind pace. Put together a 2:47, 2:49, 2:47 and 2:41 to finish the workout. Averaged 2:49. Great feeling. Two weeks until the next speed session.

Projected 5K: 18:39 (6:00/mile)

Day 22 – The Chase

Posted: November 21, 2012 in The Chase
Tags: , , ,

Intervals: 5×800 in 2:45-2:55 w/1:40 rest

Weather: 55 degrees, clear, dark

Gettin’ it. That felt easy. Averaged 2:49 for the reps. All between 2:47 and 2:52. There were a couple times in that sequence where I thought that I could just go ahead and run the 5:40-mile straight through without the breaks. Definitely starting to close in on the 17:37 goal now. Just four more of these speed sessions to go.

The mind plays tricks on you sometimes. Once again, I spent the day telling myself how hard today’s run was going to be since I put so much effort into last week. And once again, it just wasn’t that difficult. Helped to have warmer weather outside as well. Got to wear shorts instead of cold weather gear. Already looking forward to next week.

Projected 5K: 18:51 (6:04/mile)

Day 15 – The Chase

Posted: November 14, 2012 in The Chase
Tags: , , ,

Intervals: 5×800 in 2:45-2:55 w/2:00 rest

Weather: 40 degrees, partly cloudy

Woohoo! All I kept hearing from myself last night and this morning was how tired I was and how poorly today’s run was going to go if I tried it. Hadn’t run speedwork in a couple weeks. Also, this time I added one repetition and cut the rest by 0:20. All that practice running tall on those easy runs paid off. Didn’t start running flat-footed until the end of the last 800. Reps were all between 2:48 and 2:53. Great day. Now to recover properly until next week’s run.

Projected 5K: 19:01 (6:07/mile)