I know that walk breaks are eschewed by some runners, but for me they are essential. When I am ramping up my training they are what keeps me from going too fast and burning out early. They are also a great opportunity to have a drink or a gel without accidentally introducing water and food into my lungs as has so often happened when I have tried to run without breaks. As my husband would say, “We don’t need another hero.” For long slow distance running I prefer 10:1 run/walk intervals, which is something I learned from the Running Room.

I also enjoy running data, but it can be demotivating when you feel compelled to don a lot of gear before getting out the door. It wasn’t that long ago that my Timex Ironman died, and even though I miss the interval watch for my long slow distance runs, it is a relief to have one less watch to wear. Perhaps it doesn’t save me much preparation time, but if you are already trying to talk yourself out of a run, putting on that one last piece of equipment can make all the difference.

At first I would use my Garmin 310XT‘s elapsed time to run for ten minutes and then walk for one minute over and over. This would mean paying more attention to the watch face during the run and watching for the following times in minutes: 10, 11, 21, 22, 32, 33, 43, 44, and so on. Recently I have decided to take my walk breaks at each of 11, 22, 33, 44 and so on, which means less looking at the watch and more looking at where I am going. This method adds only one minute to my total running time and it is a lot easier to remember and follow. How do you keep track of your interval work?