Today, I had a choice: run outside in the blowing snow and heavy winds or run at the Y. So really, my choice was this: do nothing or run at the Y. I reluctantly chose the latter.
I was staring down a 55-minute run--I have a coach right now through Carmichael Training Systems, because I'm taking their power cycling class--with no plan except to survive it. Ten minutes into it, I composed a workout simply because 45 more minutes of the same pace, same incline and same tedium might have sent me toppling over the back of the 'mill, mentally. I'm a big believer in breaking things up: to get to point E from point A, think B, then C, then D, then E. If I only focus on E, I can get discouraged embarrassingly quickly and quit.
So enough rationale: here's the workout.
10 minute warm-up (you knew that part). Set a base pace (BP) and base incline (BI) during the warm-up. This should be a comfortable, I can run for an-hour-straight, no-prob pace. For me, that was 6.2 mph and 2% incline.
20 minutes of climbing intervals:
4 minutes at 4% at BP, then 4 minutes recovery at BP + BI
3 minutes at 5% at BP, then 3 minutes recovery at BP +BI
2 minutes at 6% at BP, then 2 minutes recovery at BP + BI
1 minute at 7% at BP (this one is hard!), then one minute recovery at BP + BI
(Note: 30 minutes already done! More than half-way through the workout!)
20 or 22 minutes of speed intervals (for this, I lowered my BI to 1.5% and kept it there for the duration)
4 minutes at 6.7 mph, then 4 minutes recovery at BP + BI
3 minutes at 6.9 mph, then 3 minutes recovery at BP + BI
2 minutes at 7.1 mph, then 2 minutes recovery at BP + BI
1 minute at 7.3 mph, then 1 minute recovery at BP + BI (while doing this one, marvel that this is slower than the pace of a recovery run for an elite marathoner)
Bonus: 1 minute at 7.5 mph, then 1 minute recovery at BP + BI
(Note: this part was much easier than increasing the incline, so it's kind of fun to do it second and see how fast you can go.)
3-5 minutes of cool down and wham-mo: I was done! It still felt long at parts, but getting through four minutes mentally is cake compared to thinking about laboring through 55.