Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ladder Workout

Is anyone else enjoying these fall days? I freely admit that I am enjoying them.

What's not to take pleasure in. The temperature is in the mid 70s. The humidity is almost nonexistent.

There's the coolness in the air that lets me know – fall has arrived. There's no better time to be out running.

Anyway, I headed out for my regularly Tuesday up tempo workout. This week my training plan had mapped out a little ladder type workout. For anyone that doesn't know what a latter workout is well, let me explain.

A ladder workout is where you run intervals in an ever increasing length fashion until you reach the longest interval. From there, you descend back down usually matching the same intervals used on the way up. Although, it doesn't have to be follow this pattern – runner's choice. The recovery periods are typically half the length of the interval.

Today's workout went like this 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute. After each interval, I did a half of the interval recovery. For example, the 2 minute interval had a 1 minute recovery while the 6 minute interval had a 3 minute recovery.

My warm up covered roughly 1.5 miles and then I covered roughly 9 miles through all of these intervals. The warm down covered ½ mile with 20 minutes of walking – just to get rid of the lactic acid in my legs.

The first few intervals always seem difficult to me because my legs hate getting started, but once I do, then I feel like I found my rhythm. Through the 1-5 intervals, my legs felt good and strong. Once the 6 interval was in the bag, my legs started feeling the strain of the workout. By the time I was on intervals 3 and 4, my quads start to feel this "what I will call a numbness". They will continue to run but they tend to lose the feeling of freshness.

Once I reach intervals 2 and 1 on the back side of the ladder, I know that I am home free and will probably be digging more out than I expected. Once the last interval is in the bag, I slowed to an easy jog and headed for home.

Because this workout is on the roads and I don't measure the exact distance of each the intervals, I have to make some inferences. I remember the first mile was in 8:10 and the last mile was 8:05. My total running time was 1 hour and 16 minutes for 11 miles. With a little math, I know that I ran 9 miles in roughly 59 minutes – give or take. And I will take it any day. 59 minutes running hard ¾ of the time and recovering the rest of the time and still averaged under 7 minute pace. What else can say, but it was a good day for me.

Now, these legs need to recover and be rested for a big weekend of running.

See 'ya on the roads,


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

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