Intervals for marathon training?

Is it just me or do intervals make others dehydrated and headachy too?  In a good way.   They make me feel like I am getting a different kind of workout.  A hard one.  A good one.

My thinking about intervals for marathon training has changed.  When I first started training for marathons (3 years ago) I didn’t think there was a place for them.  It seemed crazy to me that running a few 600m intervals could help in a 26.2 MILE race.  They seemed to take too much out of me and not be of much benefit, IMO.  So I didn’t do them.  Now I feel differently.  I know they are supposed to help with the whole VO2 max thing, but my rationale for why I think they are helpful is much simpler than that.  They help me because they are crazy fast.  So then when I’m running my marathon pace, it (MP) seems slow and easy.  So back in the schedule they go.  And I love them.  They are fun!

8 miles done today, with 5 x 600m (6:56 pace) with 2 minute recovery jog between sets.  Also included a couple of downhill miles.  Fun stuff!

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6 Responses to Intervals for marathon training?

  1. Maria says:

    I have a strong love / hate relationship with intervals but ultimately the love outweighs the hate although it’s not really hate, it’s fear and pain. :)

    BTW, you may find this article by Lloyd to be interesting, strides and longer intervals have different purposes but strides and shorter intervals are done for many of the same reasons: http://www.runwithlloyd.com/1/post/2011/01/the-best-five-minutes.html

    • Thanks for the link. I read it. Good stuff. I wish the weather had been cooperating more so I could have (safely) incorporated strides earlier. Do you ever do them on the TM?

      • Maria says:

        Not usually, they are pretty short so it’d be hard to mimic the build up to speed and back down in that period of time. You could probably do a few but jump on/off the TM belt as you speed it up/slow it down

  2. Kristy says:

    I’m still on the fence about speed work. I have incorporated it back into my current training cycle but only if it doesn’t compromise my tempo and long runs. I wish I could say I loved them and they are fun but I loathe every second! Maybe that’s because I’m forced to do them on a TM rather than a track because of the weather?

  3. Mindi says:

    I LOVE intervals! I think they are so much more fun than long tempo runs, plus I always feel like I have gotten a great workout when I am done.

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