I am not sure what took me so long to make the connection! Interval pace is ran at your predicted 5k pace....all except Jack Daniels.
This week I had a moment where the dim light bulb, also known as "my brain", lit up-- it was a little "Aha" moment with running.
I have been having some trouble with interval paces in my marathon training. My goal with Daniels' Vdot training is to hit these intervals at exactly the right interval pace- which he lists as 6:10 for my most recent races.
Anyhow, I have been coming up slow in most of my intervals. This is really nothing new since I have started training using Vdot, though. The intensity is tough!
A quick comparison of Intervals across some of the famous coaches
- I pace with Daniels is precise, "most people should shoot for 98% - 100% of HRmax, (95-100% Vo2 max) rather than always demanding a 100% value". Also, there is an absolute cap of no more than 10K in I pace/week. Interval recoveries are to be easy aerobic, and equal to, (or lesser than), the time spent running at I pace. Intervals are to be 5 minutes or less, and 3-5 minutes is optimal. Using Daniels Vdot calculator: 1:29:30 half= 19:30 5k (6:17 pace) ...actual suggested I pace for training= 6:10
- Between McMillan's calculator and Vdot: Vdot it is faster. McMillan provides a window for training at I pace. My "window" would be 6:04-6:18. Using the McMillan calculator 1:29:30 half= 19:22 5k (6:14 pace) .
- Pete Pfitzinger (Advanced Marathoning) is reported to be a student of Daniels (Noakes Lore of Running), and incorporates his VO2max sessions as 3-5k pace workouts, or between 95-100% of your max heart rate. One of his plans states "Careful readers will notice that none of the VO2 max sessions calls for repeats longer than 1600 meters. The optimal duration for VO2 max intervals is two to six minutes; only elite runners will cover more than 1600 meters in a 6-minute interval.". I am kind of glad he doesn't have his own calculator. The other two are confusing enough!
I decided to take a look at my interval pace heart rate - just for kicks.
Using a heart rate max based on the highest number I have recorded in racing/training, my max heart rate is around 172 (5k race and feeling near death).
|Click to enlarge- I am hitting around 94% sometimes. Nice water break after about 53 minutes. :)|
What has helped me (mentally) deal with the under performance in training is knowing/remembering a few things:
- I pace has always been HARD for me to hit, but in the last 5k I did (one of 2 in the last 3 years!), I out performed the calculator and I had been training at a lower intensity than I am now.
- The recovery times are short for these intervals--equal to or less than the TIME I spend running them. Before I had my Garmin, I ran all my intervals on the road (still do, by necessity) and did them all as 1600's (around 6 minutes each). I afforded myself 1600M recovery running, which set me up to go faster in my intervals (longer rest), but took a greater toll on my body. It gave me great confidence until my injury period!
- Since all this interval work is done on the road, there certainly could be some variables factoring in with my GPS readings: not totally flat, hair-pin turn involved in a 1200M interval, or trees in the way.
- Racing times matter more than training times. Faster training does not always equal faster racing.
- I am DONE with all interval paced training for at least 12 weeks. If I do any I paced running, it will be in an impromptu 5k.
Bonus random non-related info: I found out that the Eugene Marathon will have ladies Nike fitted shirts in small and medium- green. It's the little things. :)
From readers, I would love to know:
Do you use your heart rate monitor?
Do you like intervals? What is a typical interval session like for you?
Do you have a preferred method of establishing max heart rate?