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Speed intervals - “wind sprints” – and me


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whenever I think about these terms along with my senior citizen age, I get a mental image of a Seinfeld episode where George (faking a disability for advantage) is escaping from a group of angry old people – all of them, including George, riding in “Hoverounds.”

Speed is a relative term and so is sprint.

My workout plan specifies “speed intervals” once a week. I admit that I’ve let that go. My next race is a half marathon where speed isn’t as important to me as endurance. I haven’t covered that distance at one time in 8 years. Yet, in the back of my mind I want to finish about as fast as last time. I may be older but I’m not hauling as much weight around.

Speed was never important to me in weight loss. As long as the trend was in the right direction, I was very patient about reaching goal. So it’s a little surprising that I’m focusing on running speed now.

Maybe it’s a matter of maintenance. My running speed is a measure of my fitness maintenance like my scale validates my weight maintenance.

I want to maintain both.

I have more control over my weight. Increasing age hovers like a dark shadow over my fitness efforts. I may need to increase the intensity just to maintain.

According to Covert’s Rules for Wind Sprints, “Intensity is a relative term – it means pushing yourself beyond what’s comfortable”

Intensity is different for each of us and it’s time for me to pay attention to moving out of my comfort zone (safely, of course).
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 1/27/2014 12:58AM

  It sounds to me as though you have a pretty sensible plan, and I feel sure you can do the half marathon at a fast (relatively speaking!) pace. Stay warm, though - the next few days may be challenging for outdoor workouts!

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HAYBURNER1969 1/26/2014 11:09PM

    I have also been ignoring the speed workouts... and I won't when it comes time to try to BQ. They are tough though, and so easy to say, "Eh... what do I care????"

That was a funny Seinfeld episode. But I believe they were Rascals... not Hover-rounds!


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TXPATRIOT 1/26/2014 10:30PM

    I feel the same way about speed work.

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GINIEMIE 1/26/2014 6:26PM

    Of course-safety first, then speeds at intervals. Pushing yourself with regards to how your body is reacting seems like it should be okay. I wish you well.
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PHOENIX1949 1/26/2014 1:34PM

    Run like the wind! Steady for the most part but with strong gusts every so often.

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JODROX 1/26/2014 12:55PM

    Sounds like a good plan!

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DR1939 1/26/2014 12:09PM

    After having stents in my aorta two years ago my walking speed and stamina slowed significantly. I have had a terrible time increasing it. I use very short sprints, 30 secs or so, to help with this. Any longer and my heart rate gets too high.

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CELIAMINER 1/26/2014 10:01AM

    Inspiring and motivational as always!

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BOILHAM 1/26/2014 9:20AM

  As you (and your body) age, you must be careful and not enter the area of diminishing returns, and end up with injuries. For me, that is difficult to judge. So, I tend to justify my lower volume speed work as injury prevention. It's all a balancing act, and so much easier to lean towards the faithful (and still difficult) long slow runs, especially as we age.

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WATERMELLEN 1/26/2014 9:17AM

    "Pushing yourself beyond what's comfortable": yeah, I'm thinking that applies to a lot of things.

We've got a fairly recent cultural focus on "comfort" it seems to me: with "I'm just not comfortable with that" a phrase used to excuse a whole lotta effort in a whole lotta areas. (But then I'm just getting old and crusty. Will have to increase my intensity of tolerance efforts just to maintain minimal standards, right? )

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MBTEPP 1/26/2014 9:01AM

    Speed work is my least favorite, and will easily get replaced with a longer run. The newbie I am, I started working on speed at the outdoor track to become more efficient in running and it was working. But unless I am training for a race, speed is less important to me.

Thanks for the reminder. I am making it a short term goal to keep up with speed work.

Love the picture of George out scooting some old folks emoticon



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RACEWELLWON 1/26/2014 8:42AM

    I agree , great blog ! Absolutely , endurance is the key . The weather conditions too , this winter has been recording breaking . I have to keep your thought s in mind while I train for the Tri - even the Transition Tri which is mock Tri in march - three things to focus on my gait , my breathing and endurance . Thanks for making feel better as I know you are more experienced with racing.

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KANOE10 1/26/2014 8:03AM

    Good plan..keep safety first. I tend to ignore the speed intervals when I work out and go for the straight cardio. I admire your resolve to maintain your speed! (as well as continuing to maintain your weight)

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/26/2014 7:50AM

    Amen... same here, same here. Safety first!

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MARGARITTM 1/26/2014 7:42AM

    I'm right there with you.... always want to do my best but ...........endurance is the key.

See you at the finish line!

Please post a blog on your race

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_LINDA 1/26/2014 7:42AM

    Good for you! This will make you even fitter! Also keep things interesting.
I have to admit when I am on long hikes or walks I get totally distracted by scenery, wildlife etc. I don't know how you runners maintain your focus for such a long race!
Got to admire your dedication!
Have a super Sunday!

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JSTETSER 1/26/2014 7:05AM

    Good plan. I also run like that. Right now, things are slow until the majority of the ice is off my dirt road.


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