Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running Update: Week 9

Map of 4x 0.5 mile run/ 1 minute walk
I haven't posted many updates, but that's mainly because not much has been changing with my exercise... I was keeping up with running Monday, Wednesday, Friday and doing the elliptical on Tuesday and Thursday. Because of problems with shin splints, I had moved to doing run/walk interval training so that I could get my legs into shape without dealing with too much pain... relatively stable at 4 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking... and that's basically been the story for the last month.

However, last week the weather was so nice (in the beginning of the week anyway) that it seemed really depressing to be in a dank, dark exercise room on a machine when I could be experiencing Spring(be it ever so brief here in Boston)... so I decided to try and change my routine to include 5 days of running and no elliptical and see how it felt. If you're curious, you can check out all my GPSed runs here, but it suffices to say that it went pretty well. I went back to trying to run 2 miles in one go for most of my workouts that week, and while I did O.K. with it as far as pain goes, even running 4 days in a row, I still think I need to continue with the interval training to make real progress. However, I decided to make a change this week and am really pleased with it after only one workout (map/linked above).

Instead of doing a time run/ time rest interval workout, I decided to try doing a distance run/ time rest and was really happy with it. When your goal is distance instead of time, I think you spend less time looking at your watch because what you need to accomplish is right in front of you and much more concrete. Trying to do a workout of a set distance more quickly seems to be a better motivator (to me) than working out for a set amount of time and trying to get more distance in that time.

So my workout plan is to run 5 days a week, weather and legs permitting, and to run intervals of 0.5 miles with a 1 minute rest period. Yesterday I did 4 reps, and today I'll do 5 with the plan of moving up to 6(i.e. 3 miles) (probably not this week though). Once I'm comfortable with that, I think I might switch to metric and run 1 kilometer and rest for a minute 5 times. I'll throw in some "runs without stopping" to see where I'm at, but I think I'm mainly going to do the intervals for a while... and even once I can run 5K comfortably, I'll still be doing the intervals pretty often because then the next goal becomes getting my speed up.

So anyway, that's the State of the Exercise.