Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Trackless Intervals

My first FIRST speedwork session was yesterday and I was going to publish this post about it until I found out that yesterday was also National Grammar Day which made me too scared to type. I, never was, very good with’ my comma’s or’ apos’trophies and I dont know what it mean’s to dangle your participle but Im pretty, sure that I do it. I don’t even know if it’s a good thing or bad thing to dangle your participles but it sounds like it would be fun... you know... as long as you weren’t running, you don’t want your participles dangling when you run. Am I right or am I right?

Moving on. I woke up at a previously undiscovered hour of the morning and programmed my Garmin to run 8 x 400m intervals with 400m rest periods. This was only the second or third time that I’ve used Gustavo (my Garmin) in such a manner, and I have to say that it’s a pretty cool feature. Maybe the rest of you use this feature regularly, maybe you read the manual and fully understand all of the Garmin’s features but I prefer to discover cool new things as I go. It’s more fun that way.

I decided to put together a list detailing the pros and cons of running your intervals without the benefit of a track. Here they are in RazZDoodle-approved bullet points:

  • I was not running in circles.
  • It was dark and the track is not lit.
  • Non-repetitive scenery.
  • I didn’t have to climb over the chain link fence to get into the locked high school track which usually results in me getting my shorts (or my dangling participles) caught on the fence.
  • Freedom to run wherever I want.
  • Some of the intervals occurred on nice downhill stretches.
  • It was kind of fun.


  • It’s still running.
  • Some of my intervals were uphill and into the wind. :(
  • It didn’t really feel like interval training. (Although this might also be considered a “Pro”)
  • Pavement/asphalt is not as soft as track.
  • No bleachers to sprint past and imagine myself winning the gold medal.


  1. That is a great feature. I really need to learn more about all this thing has to offer besides taking up so much room on my writst.

  2. *sniff*. You have learned well, grasshopper. They grow up so fast.

    Next thing you know, you'll be skipping runs and doing bullet points on how you do bullet points.

  3. I haven't even used my Garmin; I read the book fron to back--not the Spanish part but I didn't get to use it & I have since forgot about 90% of the cool features.

    I have to ask; your in Colorado & its snows (Hot Flashes) how do you keep your feet warm & how long till your shoes dry????

    I'm in Michigan & when I'd run after a rain, I used the "soccer mom" rule for my wet shoes---stuff them with newspaper. It never worked. So I put them over the heat vent & then they were VERY tight (shrinking some obviosly).

    Now I stick to the TM & I rREALLY wanna go outside, but wet & cold feet do NOT appeal to me.

  4. Dude, I HATE the track. There is always some tool in your lane that refuses to step aside as you're trying to sprint. BAH! LOL

  5. See, I told you the Garmin would change your life. Although a word of caution: I became so dependent on it that if I accidentally pushed the stop button instead of lap on my intervals, I would freeze and stand there like a lost child. "What am I supposed to do? Garmin says rest 400 meters but I just warmed up! I can't decide, I can't decide! Brain Aneurysm!"

  6. another pro:

    intervals on the road better simulates race conditions

  7. Wow, I had no idea my Garmin could do this.

    Although I sooo love the track. It makes me feel like Mariel Hemingway in Personal Best but without the bisexuality.

  8. quite a coincidence to find out that national grammar day coincided with a post i wrote regarding grammar...

    i'm a big fan of track runs because the repetition just pulls me along, but i know most people hate it. those fences around tracks are the worst; it's always a risky couple of seconds as i try to keep my "dangling participles" from becoming split infinitives (i may have just taken that too far for comfort.).

  9. My grammer ain't too good neither. yo. (maybe because I'm half redneck, half urban and half valley girl). Maybe I'm not good at math either.

  10. I am a fan of the track, too. Not so much the gym track (which is 1/8 of a mile), but the regular one...yeah I can handle the 4 laps in a mile idea. I also have to recommend running on it at night when it isn't lit. It feels like you are sleep-running.

    I think the gold medal point was definitely the most important of all in the lists.

  11. That's about the only thing I use the damn garmin for these days....

    No I'm not inside!!
    No I haven't moved hundreds of miles since the last time I used it!! Urgh

  12. I work in IT, but I still am no good at the 'RTFM' thing. Consequently, my Garmin is just an oversized stopwatch.

    One day I will use it to do more than just show me a pretty picture of my route on my PC when I get home...

  13. It takes me a long time to figure out the new areas of Garmie that I could be using. I'm just getting over the treadmill thing.

  14. National Grammar Day and I missed it?! Geez.

  15. So is the climbing the fence thing standard? I thought that we girls were the only ones who regularly broke into the track. And yes, the deputies were in the parking lot one morning and we asked their permission before breaking in. They offered to give us a boost! LOL


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