Day 82: Achieved Running Goal

I increased my interval running for the last time this week have now reached my goal. I achieved the goal I set back in January. I am now doing intervals of:

5 — 6.5 — 8 — 9.5

I started out at:

5 — 6 — 7 — 8

and increase the interval from 1 to 1.1 for two weeks, then 1.2 for another two weeks, etc. until I hit my desired interval increase of 1.5. If you set your mind to something, write it down, make a plan, and work towards it you can achieve it. A goal not written down is just a wish.

Now, keep in mind 4 of those 21 minutes was warmup and cooldown. I wonder what my average minute per mile is if you take those out? I think next week for one of my cardio days I’ll mix it up and see how fast I can do a mile in. It’s been a long time since I timed myself in the mile. Today’s post is going to be short…I’ve got a good post coming tomorrow with my weekly checkin that I’m excited about!

Day 66: Fourth Interval Running Increase

This will be a short blog post, as I am out of town on business in DC. Yesterday I increased my interval running again by .1 to 1.4 inbetween each interval. I am now doing four reps of one minute each on 5 — 6.4 — 7.8 — 9.2 with 10.0 power burn on the final rep after then last 9.2 . I’ll do this for two weeks, then I’ll do my final increase and will be at my goal.


Day 45: Running and Music

I haven’t talked about music yet on my blog, but music is a big part of my life. I love, love, love music. All kinds of music. My mom started teaching me piano lessons when I was 5. I played the oboe in middle, high school, and college. I was in the drum line for the marching band in high school for 2 years, and marched the sousaphone for 2 years. I also picked my dad’s guitar in high school and he taught me my first few chords that I learned (the chords to Puff the Magic Dragon). I then proceeded to learn some Candlebox and Weezer (yes, I was in high school the early 90s) and have been dinking around on the guitar off an on since then. I’m actually about to head over to band practice. I’m in a band and we have our first live performance this Friday night – woohoo!

How does this relate to running? I have to listen to music when I run. It is what drives me. It gives me energy. When doing my standard 21 minute interval run, the toughest part of it is the last 5 minutes before the 2 minute cooldown (minutes 14-19). Right now I’m at 5 — 6.2 — 7.4 — 8.6, and then for the last minute the sprint at 9.8 before cooling down at 3.5 on 19-21.

Years ago Nike partner shipped with Apple and came out with the Nike + iPod system to track your runs. I used it a while ago, but now I use Runkeeper to track my runs. There is a very cool feature of the Nike + iPod system: the Powersong. The powersong is the song that you put on when you need a boost, generally at the end of your run to pump you up. I still use the concept when I’m doing my interval running at the gym, but I just do it myself. My powersong changes from time to time. I like to pick one that has a beat that is around 160 bpm for my footsteps. Sometimes the song is in 4/4 and is actually around 80 bpm, but if so I’m stepping twice per beat (on the downbeat and upbeat). That seems to be the perfect speed for me to have good long strides as I ride out the last part of my run. Right now for my power song I’m doing Linkin Park’s “Somewhere I Belong”. It is 3:34 and I time it so that it ends right as I’m done with the sprint. So, when I’m at 15:25 (it takes about a second to queue up the song and start playing), I hit play on the song. It finishes exactly at 19:00 after the sprint and then I cool down for two minutes. Here is the video for the song I’m using:

Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands. I love their combination of heavy guitars, singing, and rapping. What is your powersong?

Day 23: Increasing Intervals

A week ago I went over my interval running schedule. Up until now I have been doing intervals of 1 on the treadmill:

5 — 6 — 7 — 8

My eventual goal is to get to 1.5 intervals on the treadmill:

5 — 6.5 — 8 — 9.5

I was starting to get pretty comfortable with intervals of 1, so today I increased my intervals to 1.1 starting with the same base of 5:

5 — 6.1 — 7.2 — 8.3


The distance was hardly much more than the intervals of 1 (2.17 vs 2.12), but I felt like I was being pushed harder. Gradual increases is how you can get to your goal. Once I get comfortable with 1.1 intervals, I’ll bump it up to 1.2, etc, etc, until I reach my goal of 1.5 intervals.

Day 16-17: Interval Running

Interval running is an excellent way to train your heart and burn calories. The plan on Body For life is quite simple. When I do my running routine I do it on the treadmill. It only takes 21 minutes to do around 2 miles. The first 2 minutes are warm up and the last 2 are cool down, so it’s really only 17 minutes of running. The 17 minutes are compromised of 4 interval reps. Start low for a minute, increase for minute two, increase again for minute three, then again for minute four. Then you go back to the low and repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 reps. That makes 16 minutes – for the 17th you go up one a little more to a fast sprint for a minute, then back down for 2 minutes to cool off.

Right now I am doing 5,6,7,8 for each group, then 9 on the 17th running minute for the high burn. Years ago when I first tried this running routine I was not a “runner” and had to start at much lower and work my way up. For example, if you are not a strong runner, start with something low like 4,4.5,5,5.5 (burn at 6). Then once you are comfortable with that, increase it by just .1 each time, for example 4, 4.6, 5.2, 5.8. You can gradually increase the speeds as you become more conditioned. Here is a chart I created using my mad Excel skillz depicting my routine:

Sometimes after the burn on 9 instead of going straight down to 3.5 I’ll go down to 5 and light jog for 30 seconds, then go down to 3.5 for the last minute and a half. I did this yesterday and this is what my final stats were:
An excellent 21 minute run