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Interval training, or "How is it possible to love and hate something at the same time?"

kjg's picture

I have been unable to run for almost a year due to a stupid and apparently undiagnosable injury but after many kook-ball doctor visits, plus hours of yoga and massage, I am finally venturing back out onto soft surfaces. This is very exciting but also depressing as I realise how horribly slow I am now compared to where I left off a year ago, in peak running shape! So I decided to go do some intervals--which brought me to this musing....

I hate intervals. I always have. They hurt. They have to; otherwise you are not pushing yourself enough to get the interval effect. But they show your body how to go faster, and magically, in a heart pounding, bursting, going to throw up kind of way, build the fitness to go faster all the time. I've seen their magical effect before as I descended from a 9 min mile to and 7 minute mile in a couple of months. Yet I still hate intervals--that is until they are done and I am cooling down--and then I love intervals. The sense of accomplishment, the feeling of exhaustion, the endorphines....so I hate intervals but I love intervals....maybe this is some kind of parody for life!


eebee's picture

Hurts Less with Company

Hey Kjg! Great to see your pic here again. I agree. Intervals are tedious and inconvenient. I like to think I am doing them at my local 1/3 mile oval - until I realize I'm supposed to be in the three minute 'very slow skating' but am still at 90% hr.

I know you already know it's easier to skate faster when you're racing/chasing somebody else. I just wanted to say I share your dislike of intervals - especially when I only have the company of my own brain to keep me in trouble.

Groupskates are the best for pushing your limits while immune to the pain, at least for those fortunate enough to live near other skaters.

Weight training creates a similar love/hate effect for me. I loathe it so much I hardly ever do it. But oh the benefits! Faster metabolism, strength, injury-prevention, less wobbly bits...

Wishing you further injury-healing, and hope to skate again with you sometime!

dtg's picture

I really like intervals!

Ok, you may hate me but it's true. I do like interval workouts much more than other workouts. I think the reasons are: 1. You're not working the whole time - there is a rest in between each hard effort 2. They truly are "magical workouts" that give fantastic ROI (in terms of time). Now having said that, my interval workouts are usually of the 1-5 minute variety, not the insanely short and intense ones. Maybe this is what you're talking about, perhaps HIIT training? http://tinyurl.com/2da4tm

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