Half Marathon Training: Embracing Intervals

There’s this funny moment in the Plyometrics workout of P90X (see my review here) where Tony Horton is leading the group in air-born Heisman moves and he says “STOP…and then GO.” It always gives me the giggles, because it’s such a weird thing to say in the middle of a workout.

photo source: fitbomb.com

But this week, I started embracing intervals during my runs, and I found “Stop…and then go” to be a great mantra!

For those of you who may be catching up, I have committed to run the Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon in Clearwater, Florida in April. (My announcement post here.) It’s my third half marathon, but my first in more than a year…and I’m also hoping it’s the first I complete injury-free and smiling ear to ear.

A quick update on my training plan so far, 2 1/2 weeks in:

Picture 1

As you can tell from my notes, I have started using run/walk intervals — and I’m actually getting a decent average pace! I know many of you have tried the Galloway method, and I’m loosely following his suggestions. So far, I’m seeing two major benefits:

  • The intervals help break up the run so I’m not emotionally drained at the end
  • Because I get a short break, I’m running at a much faster pace during the run portion

This week, I slacked off a bit and did intervals of 4:1 and 5:1, but I’ll be extending that to 6:1 and up starting this weekend.

I’m also using RunTracker, a really cool iPhone app that offers coaching and audio cues through my runs, plus the ability to select different playlists. The app is free through January, so if you have a smartphone, I recommend checking it out!

What mantras do you use when working out? What pushes you to keep going when you’re ready to stop?

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  1. says

    I do 2:1 intervals for LONG distance runs and love it. It’s improved my time and I feel MUCH better after the runs. One of my running mantra’s is simply Believe. I wrote it on my shoes when I ran my first marathon.

    Good luck with your training.

    Winks & Smiles,

  2. says

    Congratulations on making the decision to do the Iron Woman Half! That is awesome!

    What keeps me going is knowing what good I am doing for my body, mind and soul not to mention how confident and happy it makes me.

  3. says

    Since I’ve been adding a lot more speed work into my schedule, my runs have been getting difficult. Whenever I want to give up, I say to myself “If running was easy, more people would do it. You are strong!”

    I can’t wait for IronGirl! 😀

  4. Christy says

    I have been using Runkeeper for awhile and my favorite features are the map and the interval workouts. I did 4/1 run/walk last summer and set a PR at the Army 10-Miler in October. The intervals helped me get back into running after bed rest & a baby.I think that knowing that my running segment is limited helps me mentally power through. Good luck with your training!

  5. says

    thanks for mentioning all of these great iphone apps! i have an iphone, but i don’t really get new apps unless someone tells me about a good one. i got instagram a couple days ago after you mentioned it & now i’m trying runkeeper.

    i don’t really have any mantras for running – but i like doing intervals to keep things interesting!

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