Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Running Disney with Galloway's Intervals

Interval training is what carried me through training for what was supposed to be my first half-marathon and I relied on it heavily on race night.  I first learned of the benefits of interval training from reading up on information from Olympian Jeff Galloway.  Jeff Galloway has partnered with runDisney to create training plans for each of their races which are posted on the runDisney website.

Interval Training + runDisney Race = BLING TIME!
If you're a first time half-marathoner like me, intervals provided a great way to extend my mileage without burning out.  As I began training for the 2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I printed out Galloway's beginner training plan from the runDisney website.  The training plan was the first place I saw interval training outlined and then I quickly found more information online.

At first, I have to admit that I felt silly.  Everything I read said that it was important to follow the intervals from the beginning of your run and I had read a few different places that 30 sec walk and 30 sec run intervals were a great place to start.  This means that just 30 seconds into a long training run, I was slowing for a walk interval.  The thoughts of looking silly quickly passed though as I saw my pace remain steady while continuously adding miles to my distance.  I felt good even after those longest runs and knew I could have even gone further.

On race day, intervals calmed me down and allowed me to keep my pace without going out too fast.  I did deviate a few a bit from my regular intervals on race day though.  If you have ever been a part of a runDisney race, you know how busy each corral is at the beginning of the race.  I chose to run the first 3 minutes before starting my intervals just to get out of the bottleneck at the starting line.  There were also several places along the way where the course narrowed (like the walkway between Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk), where my intervals fell apart too as the congestion just got to be too much.  For those who scoff at interval running as "not real running," I will say that I passed A LOT of people during the race who overexerted themselves early on and couldn't keep up their pace while I stayed steady the entire time.

Important Etiquette Note:  If you are using intervals, PLEASE practice runner's etiquette.  Signal when you are going to walk and move to the right.  Others around you will appreciate it!  

Overall, I was really pleased with using intervals to train and run my runDisney race.  I have a half marathon planned close to home in May and anticipate using intervals to get started after winter at building my distance once again.

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