Last week I did one of my favorite workouts: Cruise intervals!
For the first few years I ran, I had no idea what they were. I saw something on the McMillan calculator about cruise intervals and wondered what they were, but I didn't figure it out until I read this training book. (There is a 3rd edition out now, which I plan to purchase since my original copy is getting ragged.)
It's all quite simple, really.
Cruise intervals are designed to take a tempo workout and break it up into manageable pieces.There is no reason you can't take a tempo workout and alter it to make it mentally or physically more manageable. In the end a 4 mile steady tempo, and a 4 mile tempo broken into pieces with tiny breaks, will both have your heart and legs working hard for 4 miles!
Here's the secret: Break any tempo up into 5, 10, 15 minute segments and allow 1-2 minutes of easy running in between. Keep your heart rate in the tempo zone while you are tempo running, and don't let it drop into your easy heart rate zone during the rests, but keep running (not walking) at an easy pace.
If you feel you need to walk during the 1-2 minutes, you are probably running your tempo pace too hard.
Tip: 20:00 to 30:00 is a good length of time to spend at Cruise Interval / tempo/ threshold pace for a workout.
Here is an example of the workout done as mile repeats.
This is simple to do using a GPS watch set to "autolap".
If your watch is set to lap every mile (or kilometer), it will beep to stop the cruise interval. You then can press "lap" after the 1-2:00 rests, and start running tempo pace until it beeps again (on it's own if it's programmed) . Then you are automatically in your recovery pace until you start the next 1 mile lap.
Remember: It is important to run this in the correct zone, whether you run it by pace or by heart rate. The idea is NOT to kill yourself. Refrain from trying to run these as all-out efforts, which increases the likelihood of injury, and misses the purpose of increasing your lactate threshold. This ► is my favorite calculator for determining your correct workout pace.
Recent events that put a smile on my face:
An extra special run with a genuinely beautiful soul. (Forest Park~ Portland, OR)
My three musketeers on a family weekend to OMSI.
Two extra-cheesy pizza eaters :D
I've been away from my blog for too long and now I have a billion things to post on and a shoe review I can't wait to write! But running is going well, so this is a problem I can live with ;D
What puts a smile on your face lately?
Have you ever tried Cruise Intervals?
What's your favorite speed workout?