Thursday, November 11, 2010

To all my runners and the people that want to start

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been taking my own advice. I know… shock! But sometimes the hardest advice to take is your own. SO, what haven’t I been doing? In short… intervals.

Here is where I make excuses: After I had Hazel, I went almost directly into training for the half marathon where I followed a training schedule. Didn’t I run that half marathon ages ago, you ask? Yep. What have I been doing since? Being lazy. I have been running a boring 10 minute mile for approximately three months. Then something happened… I joined the YMCA and 25 minutes into my workout a woman from the childcare room would come and get me. Apparently, Drew has some separation issues.

To an anal retentive runner like me, doing 2.5 miles is not a complete run. I have to do at least 3 miles to feel the run was significant. Once again, that philosophy is not congruent with what I tell my readers… so when the woman at the Y pulls me off the treadmill at 25 minutes and 2.5 miles, I leave feeling like I need to run to the car to finish out my 3 mile run.

The solution: I stopped being lazy and got my ass back into intervals. Here is how I modified the interval workout to be longer, faster, and most important of all, complete 3 miles in under 30 minutes.
Here is the routine:
Warm-Up 2 minutes at 5.5
Minute 3- 5.5
Minute 4- 6.0
Minute 5- 6.5
Minute 6- 7.0
Minute 7- 7.5
Above is the core interval set. Do it 5 times. That will bring you to 27 minutes and almost 3 miles. Lower your speed to a comfortable run and finish out the 3 miles.

What has happened since I started doing this? First, I have taken a minute off my mile time. Second, those final 2 pounds that were holding on from pregnancy are gone. Third, I don’t feel like a lazy runner anymore. I am progressing as I should. I have been doing it for three weeks now and recently moved up my speed (if you do an interval set of 5.7, 6.2, 6.7, 7.2, 7.7 you will do 3 miles in 27 minutes flat).

How to get started:
1) Pick a speed that you feel will be challenging, but sustainable for 3 miles. At the end of the workout, you should feel dog tired and possibly like your legs are going to fall off. What you don’t want is to pick a speed where you kill yourself for 15 minutes and then quit because it is too hard.
2) Don’t concentrate on the distance, concentrate on each minute. Interval training is above all about bursts of speed, not distance running. For me though, if you can accomplish a distance goal while interval training you have the best of both worlds.
3) Once it becomes too easy, up your speed. Don’t get comfortable. There is no challenge in that.
4) A great running mix helps a lot. Pack your IPod with songs that make you want to kick ass, dance, or sing at the top of your lungs (my personal favorite right now is Dynamite by Taio Cruz… amazing). Put that energy into the run and you are good to go!

On a side note....
I have to give a shout out to my mom. This Thanksgiving, my mom, Anna, Kyle, and I will be running the 10K Turkey Trot in Cincinnait. My mom has been training for a few months and last week she ran 7.5 miles in preparation. At fifty (mumble) years old and not having run in years, she has put hard work and dedication into this race and I am SO PROUD of her for setting her sights on a goal and making it happen. Holla, Mama!