Maybe that's my problem. I view running as a form of exercise, but I also view it as a way to escape. When I'm running, it's just me. It's an open invitation for me to think about anything I'd like. I can work through a problem I'm having at work or in my personal life. I can think about my writing projects. Or, I can just think about my body, how it feels to be running—my foot placement, the movement of my legs, how the wind feels against my skin, how the shade offers a slight but palpable relief from the summer sun. Running is my way of being in the moment.
On paper, interval training always sounds easy. You would think this alone would motivate me to at least try it, but it doesn't. I frequently read about different approaches to interval training, or about different workouts and think that I should try them, but never do. Just running is my easy way out.
I did, however, try the 10-20-30 interval. Twice. What convinced me were two things. One, that this approach seems to be something people stick to and I wanted to know why. Two, Gretchen Reynolds tried it. With her dogs. I don't know why I was so surprised to know that she tried it. Of course she tried it. Any good writer would.
The interval program plus warm up and cool down took me about thirty minutes, which was good. The intervals themselves, were intense, quite the struggle. But there were some other factors as well. It was late in the morning, the air temperature already close to 80 with about 60% humidity. I'm not a hot weather runner at all, so the elements only added to the intensity of the workout. Super intense, but also fun. There's something about an all-out sprint that reminds me of being a kid and playing outside, so those ten seconds were almost something to look forward to. Plus, ten seconds of sprinting, forced me to use my whole leg, something I don't do when I during my typical runs (thus the hip injury).
I think I'll also stick with this approach for one to two runs each week. Now all I need is a canine companion to join me.