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Counting Run Intervals and Plans

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today my training plan (from Jeff Galloway's 5K/10K book - 3rd week) calls for 11 quarter-mile intervals. For an under 30-minute (29:59) 5K goal, he recommends these intervals at a pace of 2 minutes and 12 seconds; to target 24:59 he recommends 1 minute and 44 seconds. Since my goal is in between, I went for 2 minutes. I found that is a stretch for me now, but I was close, making it in 2 minutes and 1 second several times.

The trick I want to share is how I kept up with my number of intervals. Last week when doing 9 intervals I may have done 10, or maybe it was 8. I was not absolutely sure. Today I was determined to keep up with it. So I counted out 11 pennies. After each interval outside, I took a penny from my right pocket and put it in my left pocket. After I went inside to the treadmill it was even more reinforcing moving the pennies from the right holder to the left. Clink! One more done. Gotta smile!

I'm sure I'm not the first person to count intervals. I'm sure there are many other ways. I considered paper clips, but I think they'd stick together. Toothpicks seemed too pointy. I'm sure there is something else that would work maybe even better.. . Maybe a knitter's row counter? Anyway, pennies worked great for me today. If anyone has a better idea, please share.

By the way, my target 5K for this 6 week training plan is on September 6th. It may still be too hot for a PR -- it doesn't even start until 7:30am. The course is through a shopping village, so there isn't much shade either. Nonetheless, I did really well on that flat course in 2011, and hope to do so again.

My nephew wants me to do the Aching Quad races with him on September 12th and 13th, just a week later. It is four races in 24 hours: a 5K at 7pm on Friday evening, a one mile and a two mile race on Saturday morning, and a 5K at 6pm on Saturday evening. I'm thinking I'll run with him, but not really race those 5Ks and the two mile. If I'm feeling strong I think I'll go for a one mile PR. And there is another 5K on October 19th, but by then my primary focus will be on my upcoming half marathons on November 8th and December 6th. We'll see. Just want to keep running and running and running!!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1114 days ago
    You are doing great and the pennies are a super idea! Way to go!
    1114 days ago
  • LEWILL1982
    Great idea with the pennies? What half marathon are you running in November? I think that's the same weekend as the Savannah Rock n Roll 1/2...
    1114 days ago
    emoticon idea!
    1114 days ago
    I love your penny idea :-)
    1114 days ago
  • WILEE323
    I run my intervals at the high school track. I start in lane 8 and move in a lane each interval, then back out again. I like the penny idea for when I have to do them on the treadmill.
    1114 days ago
    Love the penny idea. I have a bracelet with beads that move along that I used to use to count golf strokes...

    Going to look for the Galloway book as I'm going to be trying to rebuild speed again soon now that my PF is better.
    1114 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I love the idea of pennies....that is how I count my water everyday so I don't lose track! I'm excited for you you are doing SO emoticon
    1114 days ago
    I love the penny idea! I still have a few kicking around even though they are phasing them out in Canada. This idea will put them to the best use EVER!
    1114 days ago
    pennies, definitely pennies!
    1114 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Really awesome idea with the pennies! You could always invest in one of those simple clicker counters they use to count how many people come through to event, fast and easy only have to deal with one item..
    Love that Aching Quad idea lol. I think it would be a fun thing for you to do. Not all your running should be so serious, got to cut loose once in a while too!
    1115 days ago
    Pennies work for me~
    1115 days ago
    I like the penny idea too. I always lose track and wonder how not to. emoticon
    1115 days ago
    I love the idea of the pennies, thanks for that suggestion!
    1115 days ago
    I like the penny idea!
    1115 days ago
  • DEB9021
    Because I work in a preschool, I had thought of using plastic beads. I also have a bracelet with a moveable charm. However, I feel especially finger clumsy when panting and sweaty, so I have visions of dropping them everywhere. I usually just lightly hold a finger on my thumb to count up and down by 5s. My running app on my phone and my new GymBoss interval trainer will both count for me, but since I keep them tucked away and don't want to keep pulling them out to check, I try to keep track myself also. It is motivating to know when halfway, almost done, etc.

    Great job putting in the miles! I was starting to shoot for a time goal for a 10k, but found that once I started picking up my pace on short runs, I had trouble slowing down for longer runs. So as I focused on my half-marathon and began adding distance, I stopped pushing as hard on the timed intervals. Do you find it hard to change your pace for shorter vs. longer runs? Or perhaps you can run that faster pace over a longer distance. I can't, at least not yet!
    1115 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    emoticon idea to use the pennies!!
    1115 days ago
    Penny wise!! Sounds like a great plan!!
    1115 days ago
    You sound like you are high from running! Oh, by the way, I used a rectangular plastic box to assist in counting swim laps or 100 yard rotations. It has a tab on one end. I rotate it 12 o'clock, then 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions, like a clock. Now, with the GPS watch, I get the laps counted for me.

    Tomorrow, back to training. Pool swim, I'm thinking. emoticon Seven weeks to my next Olympic TRI.

    Don't you LOVE having those races out in front of you, pulling you along... to run, and run, and run!? emoticon emoticon
    1115 days ago
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