Long slow or intervals. Which do you prefer?

Issues regarding best for health or weight loss or VO2max aside … which do you enjoy doing more, the long slow run or intervals, inclding HIIT style ones?

You left off the guys who liked to run fast. :wink:
I preferred Lydiard’s maximum aerobic pace(steady state under Jack Daniels) for distance runs and doing intervals for a planned “season” of races.

Once Daniels introduced tempo runs, I incorporated those and found they made a big difference in off season racing. (Though I’m sure my runs at steady state sometimes drifted into tempo pace at times)

I do both; I like to mix things up from time to time, both because doing the same thing gets boring and because I find it pushes me in different ways. So I might do a long slow one when I’m feeling a bit more mellow, and then intervals on a day when I have more energy.

I’ve always enjoyed long distance running, but for the past 5 years or so my running is targeted at covering 5 miles as quickly as possible. That’s done by 7 or 8 mile runs at a moderate pace mixed with intervals at various distances.

You smilie but you are correct. Probably most recreational runners gravitate to most runs intermediate distance and moderately hard … I should have had that in.

When I’m in running mode, I like a mix of all of them. I typically do slow & steady runs (although my slow & steady runs tend to be at a high pulse, according to my heart rate monitor–something around 160-165 bpm), but once a week I’ll throw intervals in there and once a week I’ll also do a tempo run. Intervals suck, but they really do seem to build up my fitness level and overall endurance in a way the slow & steadies don’t.

I dig the long runs. More miles, more fun.

I was never much for long runs, even though I’ve always been better at endurance than speed. I tend to get bored. I like to mix it up.

I’m of the opinion that “junk miles” are just that, and volume can be counter productive. But they’re fun. I always preferred long slow distance, but I think sprints, intervals, hill runs, and pulling/pushing a sled are actually better for you, metabolically.

After reading about HIIT, I decided to give it a try. I can’t speak to the effectiveness, but I went from looking forward to exercise to dreading it in the space of a week or so. I could never convince myself to keep with any exercise plan that included intervals more than infrequently.

I like doing a mix - focusing on one thing gets boring. But within that mix, I have more fun with the intervals. I think it recalls my “glory days” of high school track when I was actually slightly fast.

I thought this thread was going to be a setup for the punchline: “You’re screwing like a Chinaman!”*

I like to mix up the pace - exercising, that is.
*obscure Chinatown reference.

Well that was really what made me ask the question. Lots of the HIIT stuff discusses how people enjoy HIIT more (in addition to its taking less time) and I don’t mind doing it once in a while as part of the mix (I am a wide variety of exercise kind of guy) but dang doing just HIIT would not strike me as fun.

HIIT focus has drifted more towards the High Intensity than the Interval part in recent years. When I first started doing it, you had a longer recovery interval between bursts, usually minutes - now everything indicates you speed up 30-60 seconds after you resume normal speed. In my experience, the chief benefit of that isn’t faster overall speed covering a distance or improved VO2max, but weight loss.