Sunday, May 23, 2010

Breaking the cycle (with something short and hopefully sweet).

I usually start running to get back into shape. Then I think, “why not train for a race of some kind?” Then I run a race and think, “why not train for a longer race?” Then I complete a longer race and think, “why not train for an even longer race?” At this point, my life is usually becoming somewhat consumed by my running schedule as I train for longer and longer races. At some point, however, I always get too burned out to continue. In many cases, I get injured or just become too busy with “life” to sustain a workout regimen that has morphed into something rather insane. So, I concede and give myself sabbatical from running for a while. Cycle complete.

This summer I’m breaking the cycle and trying something new! I’m training for a race that is short and fast. Exciting, right?! I will be training all summer to run a 10K in the fall…as fast as I can! Instead of increasing my mileage each week, I’ll be working on speed and running in a completely different way, with different goals. My personal trainer/athletic trainer/conditioning coach/husband is stoked about this. I’m hoping his excitement stems from the idea of seeing more of me and not losing me to longer and longer workouts (like he has in the past), but it could also be because he will finally have his very own personal, human “guinea pig” to experiment with (one that he doesn’t have to pay from a research grant or bribe with extra credit). I kind of think it is the later, but I’m a little afraid to ask.

Anyone else feel stuck in a cycle or have any tips on getting faster (sometimes I feel like my legs only have one speed)?  As I eluded, this is an experiment.  I'll prepare my thesis and be ready to defend it after the 10K this fall.


  1. I like your idea of changing it up! You will still be able to set a great goal and you'll still feel like you accomplished something in the end all while having more time to your days/weekends to spend with your family! I'm sure everything I know about increasing speed you already know (add sprints to your runs, during crosstraining include leg exercises to increase muscle, do hills, etc). Good luck - can't wait to hear of your progress!

  2. Yep, I'm definitely a newbie blogger. I just realized I could click the follow link on your blog to follow you. I follow blogs but they are in favorites on my computer. Anyway, your running plan may work better than you think. I ran my first half-marathon with a friend after training for a little over a month. Literally, I had only been running for one month. I was never in any sports in high school or college. Anyway, the longest distance I had run up to that point was 7 miles. Time 2:17. Six weeks later I ran the Burnsville Heart of the City Half-Marathon in 1:45. My training: I would run 3-4 miles 4-5X a week and try to run faster every run.

  3. Not only does it gives you more time, but it should speed up your overall pace too, I'm pretty sure.

  4. I tried running after the shuttle at work today and realized that I've forgotten how. Maybe it's my ever-growing belly. (Girl, this time, by the way. Who'd-a thunk?) I can still ride a bike, though. At least sort of. I'm looking forward to getting back in shape someday. Maybe that will coincide with my allowing myself to look in a mirror again somewhere around early 2011. She's due on Clay's birthday (late Sept) so by then I should be able to move a bit again. I'm living vicariously through all of you at the moment. =]