Interval Training

I went to the gym tonight and pushed myself too hard on the treadmill. Currently following the RW half marathon schedule I was down for 6x 800m at 5k pace. I had to give up after 4 intervals. Previously I've been able to do the speed sessions alright.
Question is - if I'm struggling should I:
a. decrease the speed
b. increase the rest periods
c. shorten the work periods

or some combination of above?



  • a)What did you do yesterday?
    b)on the last rep were you totally burned out or just struggling?
    c)Had you eaten normally
    d)Did you experience any muscle or joint pain?
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    It depends on what you're trying to achieve!

    What interval did you have between reps?

    When was the last time you did this session?
  • if you've previously done this session OK, look at your recent schedule & ask yourself whether the sessions you did in preceding days were perhaps too heavy.

    I was in the same position myself last night with one of my standard "long interval" outings - was much more difficult than it should have been, given how fast I ran.
    In hindsight I underestimated the effect of recently attempting to bump up my weekly mileage.
  • In response to above:

    a)What did you do yesterday?
    Nuffin, but did do 12 miles on Sunday for only the second time.
    b)on the last rep were you totally burned out or just struggling?
    c)Had you eaten normally
    I never eat before going to the gym (not since lunchtime) not been a problem before
    d)Did you experience any muscle or joint pain? No

    I was resting for 1 minute and working for roughly 4 minutes.

    The intervals change from week to wek accroding to the RW programme but last time I did the 5k one it was outdoors.
    What I'm trying to do is just get a bit faster! But I do seem to have trouble when I use the 5k paces for anything over 400m intervals. I'm following the 1:55 half marathon pace. Which I can do for 10k but much more difficult at 5k pace.


  • Stinky - if it's any compensation the same thing happened to me towards the end of the RW half marathon programme. I was following the sub 01:50 pace, and early on in the programme I could do the intervals at the correct speed quite easily. In the last few weeks I just couldn't get anywhere near the speed I had at the beginning, let alone what I should have been doing according to the schedule. Maybe these training programmes just aren't always suitable for everyone, for whatever reason?

  • ST,

    Although the RW schedules are of great use they are not set in stone.You may need to adapt them slightly to suit your current pace.

    The 5k pace indicated may not be YOUR 5k pace.Most runners will tend towards speed or endurance very few will land bang in the middle.

    The point of the speed-work is to adapt your body to a pace above that of your goal race pace,which in turn should make running at race pace easier.

    It is important that you manage to complete each session,as not making the desired number of reps can be a great de-motivator.You must also stick to the recoveries as this is a key element in any speed workout.It is therfore a case of deciding what speed to aim for.

    You have stated that 10k pace is no problem and 5k pace is too fast.Why not try something in between remembering that you need to complete all the reps.

    During the session you should feel that on the last rep you could(if required)have run slightly faster.The reps should never be flat out.If you feel burned out you have proberbly been going too fast.

    Also if you perform the first four or five reps at this slightly slower pace you may feel that you can complete the session at 5k speed.If so go for it.

    I have found that before speed-work I need to be confident that I will complete the session.I find that it is when the negative demons get into my head that things start to go pear shaped.

  • Just a quick point about the 6x800m at 5k pace workout.

    During this you will be running a total distance of 3 miles which is just under 5k.

    Within this you will have a total of 5 minutes rest.

    If (taking the amount of rest into consideration)you cannot complete the workout then it is logical to assume that you are running too fast and not at your 5k pace.
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