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Posted 04-25-2019
In Running

Interval Running and Marathon Training

Interval Running and Marathon Training

Running a marathon is an item that appears on many bucket lists. Most runners figure that marathon training includes daily long runs to prepare for the difficult 26.2 mile race. In reality, logging long runs every day does not always lead to the best marathon time or experience. It is important to mix up long run days with interval running workouts. These long distance runs with varied paces are known as fartleks in the running world. If you can get past the funny name, these workouts will be very beneficial to your training. Here are a couple interval running workouts to implement into your weekly marathon training cycle. It’s easy to do! All you need is your Gymboss timer and a place to run.

The 10 on/10 off Workout

The 10 on/10 off workout is easy to remember and helps runners become stronger. Start out by doing this workout for an hour. Set your Gymboss timer for 6 intervals of 10 minutes each, which will equate to an hour total of running. The first 10 minutes should be treated as a warm up. Jog nice and slow to get those muscles warmed up for the workout. The next 10 minutes should be run at your marathon pace. This pace will be different for everyone, but the important thing is, it gets the body used to running at a faster pace. Once the alarm goes off, the next 10 minutes are a slow recovery jog. Repeat this pattern until you reach an hour. By the end, you will have run for an hour total with 30 minutes of that time being at marathon pace.

This workout does not always have to be set at 10 on/10 off. For example, as you feel stronger, you may want to do an altered version such as 20 on/10 off. Or you may want to keep doing 10 on/10 off but for 2 hours instead of 1. This is the beauty of interval running. The runner can alter the workouts to fit their training needs. The Gymboss timer is flexible and can be set at any time value from 3 seconds to 99 minutes allowing you to be fully creative with your interval workouts.

The Varied Interval Running Workout

This interval workout is a little more spontaneous. The varied interval running workout is perfect for the marathon runner who gets bored easily. This workout includes on/off time just like the first one but in a more varied pattern that allows runners to work on endurance and speed all at once. Here are the intervals:

• 10 minutes – easy warm up
• 30 minutes – faster run at goal marathon pace
• 10 minutes – recovery jog
• 20 minutes – faster run at goal half marathon pace
• 10 minutes – recovery jog
• 10 minutes – faster run at goal 10k pace
• 10 minutes – recovery jog
• 5 minutes – faster run at goal 5k pace
• 15 minutes – easy cool down
This workout keeps runners on their toes. Total run time is 2 hours with 65 of those minutes being at various race paces. This interval workout allows for more speedwork as it pushes the runner to test out different speeds. Before embarking on this workout, carefully set the intervals on a Gymboss Timer with alarms sounding at the end of each one. Also, make sure you know what your goal pace is for a marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k. That way when you run those intervals, you have an idea of what it will feel like.

Summary

Interval running is an extremely important part of marathon training. When included in weekly workouts, runners will notice a marked improvement in their endurance and speed the day of the race. The workouts also help break up the monotony of the long runs required for marathon training. It is helpful to invest in the miniMAX timer for these workouts as it can save up to 20 programs. This is a valuable feature so that runners can avoid reentering their intervals into the timer each week. It is recommended that these interval workouts are completed on trails thus giving runners a lot of soft-surface space to run. Don’t wait another minute! Invest in a Gymboss Timer today and start making interval running a part of your weekly marathon training regimen.