i’ll show you intermediate

Spoiler alert: at the end of this story I somehow end up looking both completely airheaded and totally badass.

Pinterest is the source of all inspiration in my life of late – from recipes, decorating, and crafts to workouts, devotionals, and organization. Last week I pinned a treadmill interval workout from an exercise blog, then I came back and printed it off so I could follow it on Monday at the gym.

Before going, I did a little math. The workout had times and speeds but not distances, so I used the time and the speed to see how long of a run this would be. Looking at the chart, I saw that each set at a certain speed (right column) had a range of minutes (left column) Since this was the first time I had tried this specific workout, I thought I should start with the smallest number in the range and run at the speed for that many minutes. For example, the 3rd row down says ‘5-9 min’ at speed 6mph, so I would run at 6mph for 5 minutes – the smallest number in the ‘5-9′ range.

Based on that math, it was a 6 mile run. I pictured which of my training road runs that would be and figured I felt up to it that day.

Things that occurred to me while preparing for this workout and looking at this chart:

  • I was surprised to see that each interval got longer in length, never shorter.
  • I had never run at 6.7mph for anywhere NEAR 15 minutes (the 9th interval). That interval would probably kick my ace.
  • I liked having something written out rather than going off of what I think and feel like I can do. I chronically underestimate myself.

On Monday at the gym it was all feeling pretty good until the 5th interval. And then the 7th interval, and by the time I got to the 9th interval, I only had 5 minutes of 6.7mph in me instead of the assigned 15. I finished up, and stretched out feeling really stinking discouraged, especially because the site from which I printed this had three levels of intensity for workouts; I had chosen the intermediate one.

The intermediate workout had killed me, but you know what, dumb pinterest exercise list? I finished a half marathon so I don’t NEED YOU.

Wondering where all of my endurance had gone, I got home and told DanO about my frustration. I showed him the list where I had marked the actual times and speeds I ran (blue pen ink above) and told him that there’s just no way I could do 6.7mph for 15 whole minutes.

“You mean for minutes 15 through 19?” he says.

Shut. Up.


From minute 1 to minute 3 was one interval, then minute 3 to minute 5 was the next. The work out was supposed to be 20 minutes total.

I guess next time maybe I should try the advanced one.

25 Responses to “i’ll show you intermediate”

  1. Corrina

    Oh, I love this! It made me laugh, which was just what I needed. And hey, next time you can print out the advanced one b/c I bet it would be even easier than what you did! So badass!!

  2. Nancy

    I was thinking “oh no, I don’t think that’s what it means” the whole time I was reading this. I’m impressed you lasted that long though! And I too literally laughed out loud.

  3. ellie d

    HAHAHA! Not gonna lie…I was thinking the same way you were…blondes at heart I suppose :) I’m sure you will rock it the next time you do it the right way!

  4. Kasey M.

    LOL! You totally kick butt! I would have dropped dead by minute 19 (which means even the 20 minute workout is too much for me).

    PS How are you feeling today?!


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