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Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting Back Into Running Shape

Battling a head and chest cold for the last two weeks hasn't helped my training. In fact, it felt like I had fallen off the wagon until recently. This morning I did a 30 minute run. I made the daunting realization I have a ways to go before I'm in tri shape.

My coach said that I'd be surprised by how much I'll improve if I work on my weakest event the most. I'm shooting for better times on my run portion of my triathlons, so I've been working mostly on my running through the winter.  I'm excited (and working towards) for a four to seven minute overall improvement.  That would be a nice surprise (and get me on the podium, too).

If you've been out of the loop in your running for more than a month, start slow. Here's how I've done it the first week:
  1. Day 1: Run for 10-15 minutes, keeping good form (leaning from the hips, keeping arms consistently bent at a 90 degree angle, or less, by your sides, pushing both your elbows and heels back). Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 15 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
  2. Day 2: This should be at least a day or two after your first run/walk. Run for 15-20 minutes with good form. Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 10 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
  3. Day 3: This should be at least a day or two after your second run/walk.  Run for 15-20 minutes with good form. Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 10 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
I try this on a course where I know the distance. A outdoor track would be good, or use MapMyRun, so you know your distance. If you have a fancy GPS/watch combo (I'd love the Forerunner 310XT from Garmin because it can be used in the water and on your bike), you can track your distance and pace for work on later. I find it very beneficial to write down how fast you're able to run your route, so you can work on improving that time.

In between days, I do a yoga. It's the perfect complement to running because it stretches all those muscles you use during running. It also helps you with concentration through discomfort...which is a big part of why running is tough. You'll see fewer injuries if you can work in yoga into the mix of your training. 

Extra Running Tips:
  • I like running without anything plugged into my ears. The sound of my feet hitting the ground, my breathing and nature or my neighborhood helps me get into a meditative zone that makes running more bearable.
  • While running, I talk to myself — in my head. If a muscle gets cranky, or my knee/shin/hip starts to complain a little, I'll tell that knee/shin/hip that it's doing a great job and working hard and how much I appreciate it. I got that idea from an old running partner who was a Scientologist. It always works for me.

1 comment:

  1. I can't run without something plugged into my ears, but I make sure it's my most favorite, quick music. And I am LOVING yoga! I do it twice a week plus one day of pilates. It balances out spin class. :) I do need to start running again, though. Good thing my first tri isn't until September!

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