1/4 Mile At a Time

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Or in my case I die 1/4 mile at a time.   😛

In my phone call with Coach Jenny with Ekiden last week we discussed the partial training schedule she had for me.   She had intervals scheduled for this Wednesday.  Sweet!  I love intervals even though I know I do them wrong.  Run like hell than slow jog (walk) for a bit?  I’m all over that.  Except I noticed the plan doesn’t say recovery.  It said float.

Wait a second- what the hell is FLOAT?!

So I asked.  Float is less of a recovery and more of a push.  Instead of a recovery pace, you run closer to tempo pace.   The logic behind it is two fold.  One is that you get used to running the intervals on tired legs without a full recovery.  Second is that your tempo pace should feel a little more comfortable post speedy interval.   Ok, makes sense.  Sounds intense but makes sense.

But could I do it?

Well, kind of.  I headed to the lake path on Wednesday since I knew I would need flat and easy for this.    My legs have been achy so I even had compression socks on for a shorter run.   I had programmed 5 intervals into my phone but had a feeling I would only be completing 4.   Yep.  😛

After a 1.25 mile warmup, I hit the first 400.  8:03 pace, yes!  First float? 9:08 pace.  Sweet!  But I felt like was going to lose my cookies.  Could I keep doing this?

Set 2-  7:50     9:16
Set 3-  7:48     10:49
Set 4-  7:50     10:37

So my speed intervals sped up but my float intervals slowed down.   That crap was hard!  There were a few times I came to a complete stop just panting.  Granted those times were also to avoid being hit by a car or a kid on a motorized mini motorcycle thing but I milked them for all they were worth!

I cooled down with another mile but man I was toast.   I felt pretty good but out of shape at the same time.   It’s frustrating but it is what it is right now.  It gives me something to work on, right?  Or whine about.  😛

Do you like speed work?

Ever heard of a float interval?

Happy Friday!!!! What are you doing this weekend?




14 thoughts on “1/4 Mile At a Time

  1. Never heard of float intervals, sounds interesting though! Since I’ve been injured and off running for a few weeks (back at it now) every run is a tempo/speed work run, haha! Last spring I did my tempo runs on my treadmill and loved it, no joke. I loved it!


  2. I want to start off by saying I LOVE a good speed workout. Notice I said good, they are not always good and often end up averaging slower than normal runs. That said, when I am on it and having a good speed workout I float (though I didn’t know it at the time). I would warm up my normal pace, then do the speed a little faster than I’m comfortable with or where I want to be comfortable then recovery is about halfway between the two (i often do this on the treadmill so numbers are easy). It really does work because the “float” pace is a little faster than what I would consider a comfortable pace, yet after the speed run it feels like recovery and I am comfortable with it. Though it is exhausting, but that’s what I love after a good speed workout: that it hurts so good!!


    1. I love speed work when it goes well!! I never “floated”. I was more likely to walk most of my recoveries as I always believed the interval was the most important part of the work out. I really like the float idea but man I need more practice!


  3. I haven’t heard of float intervals either, but they sound awful! 😉 I milk my recovery “jogs” for all their worth, and they probably couldn’t even be classified as jogs at all… more like slower-than-walking shuffles. But this float method sounds like it has potential… even if it sucks at the time!


  4. That sounds insane! I would love to get back to intervals but I have a very sore calf so i have to wait it out a bit. Weird because I used to haaaaaate intervals. I mean, I still kinda do, but the satisfaction is in the pain!

    Good job on you for trying something new, it sounds really challenging. If I’d seen “float” I probably would have done some serious bargaining to get out of the intervals 😛


  5. Ahh speed work, frenemy numero uno. Nice job on this post. Great topic, very interesting, and you explained the experience well. Do you ever use a treadmill? It helps me to hit and stay on pace for speed work like no other, and also for the recovery or float pace in between. We are very similar runners I think: on Saturday I did 4 x 800 with .25-.5 mi floats @ 8 min pace and 10 min for the float. I think it would be “easier” for me to increase the float pace than the interval pace the next time I do this particular workout! The 9s are my comfort zone…


    1. Thank you! I tend to use treadmills only in the winter when it is too dark to run outside after work. Very soon, all my speed work will be indoors. I found the floats to be harder than the intervals but I definitely need more practice at both.


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