Posted by: Karen | October 3, 2007

Pyramid Running

My friends know how much I’ve grown to love hill running, but running a pyramid* is not the same thing. Last night the CRR 10k group ran a speed work pyramid by time. We ran intervals of 1 minute, then 2 minutes, 3, 4, and 5, then ran back down the scale again. After each interval we took a standing/walking breather of half the interval time.

I’ve done distance pyramids before, with 100m, 200m, etc., but had never tried time-based ones. I probably went out way too fast in the first one, but it was fun to just fly when I knew it was only for a minute. By the time we’d worked up to 4 minutes I was sucking wind big time. Somewhere in the 5 minute interval something clicked and I was able to relax. I went out kind of fast in the second 4 minute interval, but I felt like I maintained my cadence much more efficiently. Even though I ran hard in the last 3 bursts, my stride still felt good. Maybe it was just oxygen deprivation skewing my perception.

Lisbet, Leana and I ran side by side for almost the whole workout. I am learning a lot from how well Lisbet paces herself in our workouts, and she encourages me to work harder than I would on my own. It was Leana’s first time out, but I’ve seen her recent race results – she was up to the challenge. We chatted during warm-up and cool-down, but I just shut up and ran during the pyramid.

The skinny-fast runners at the front made a habit of walking back towards us slower ones during the rests. I didn’t watch the clock much, because on the short intervals I was able to keep them in sight. Since the workout was time-based, I stopped when they did. For the longer runs when the fast ones got away on us, Lisbet kept the clock. Occasionally she’d gasp “30 seconds. hang. in. there.” in response to my childish “Arewethere? (gasp) YET?”

It was a fun way to run fast. I can see myself doing a lot more of this.

*Some runners also call this kind of workout a “ladder”.



  1. Sounds like a good, tough workout! I went for a not-so-quick recovery run yesterday. Boy, did my legs feel heavy…

  2. This is one of my favorite speedwork workouts too. It’s amazing how slowly 5 minutes can pass when you’re going by time than distance. At the same time the final minute flies by, unlike the first.

    And thanks for the video — I guess there’s a lot I don’t miss about the more mundane side of parenthood, especially getting everyone ready in the morning. Good luck!!!

  3. Geez.. .gives new meaning to “I’m dancin’ as fast as i can”:razz: You rock!!

    happy trails
    grap in montana

    PS I’m changing addresses for Fish creek House (you’ll be on our new one)

  4. That was a fabulous speed workout. It was a toughie, but I really enjoyed it, and I can’t believe how fast I ran. So yay for speedwork! I will be out there next week for sure. I think I’ll need some speedwork to help burn off some of my Thanksgiving dinner. Have a terrific weekend!


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