Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hammer Intervals

As runner and avid road racer, I am always looking for ways to train and ultimately race better. Since I have gone down the path of being self coached, it is up to me to find challenging workouts. Mainly, I look for articles on the internet or in running magazines such as the Running Times magazine.

Recently I stumbled across an article about Hammer Intervals.

The concept behind hammer intervals is during the middle of an interval workout run a selected interval much harder than the rest. To pick which interval to run harder all depends on you. Perhaps during a road race you have a let down in the 2nd or 3rd mile so you could do a hammer interval during those miles. By doing this hammer interval in the middle, then, the remainder of the intervals should seem easier to run.

So this morning, I tried this idea.

My workout today was 5 x 1 mile with a 3 minute i.e. 400 meter recovery. The 3rd mile would be my hammer interval. My warm up and cool down were around a mile.

I started out with a 5:46, then a 5:43 for the 2nd mile. My hammer interval for the 3rd mile was 5:37. I then returned to my original pace with a 5:46 for the 4th mile. My 5th mile was 5:43. I was tying up a little during the 5th mile and was probably struggling a little from the head wind and cold temps.

Going back to the description about hammer intervals above, the 4th and 5th miles did seem easier and I certainly felt more relaxed. Maybe I could have run the 4th and 5th interval faster, but without trying to make excuses which I am about to do, it was cold this morning and I did have a head wind. (LOL)

Overall, I give the hammer intervals “a thumbs up” and plan to use the hammer interval concept during some of my future workouts. Look for me to try it again in two weeks.

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