27 July 2009

Training By Time

I have only been running a short time, but ever since I started I have read many times over that it is best for beginners to run by time rather than distance. It is beneficial in different ways to run for thirty minutes rather than run for, say, three miles.

It has taken me an entire year to heed that advice.

A couple of weeks ago, when coming back from a slight foot injury, I decided to run by time and not worry about distance at all. I have not had a bad run since then. (knock on wood)

There are a couple of different things, both mental and physical, that make training by time better for me. First of all the body does not know what one mile or one kilometer is, but it does know what thirty minutes or an hour is. Time is more realistic to the body, and the body knows the difference between minutes rather than miles.

Another aspect for me is mental. Twenty minutes will always be twenty minutes, but one mile can be anywhere from eight minutes to eleven minutes for me. As long as I keep my pace the way it needs to be for that particular run, my mind is in it better because I know how much longer I am running for.

Another thing that I tend to do is run fast to get that first mile done with, or speed up to finish that last mile. This can mess up my workout and I will completely fail to reach my goal for that run. Now if I focus on time, then it does not matter how fast I run, that last five minutes will always be five minutes.

One of my problems however, is that I am a stat whore. I love compiling numbers and measuring the distance I run each week and month. No problem there, I can always plan my runs by time and log them by mileage.

Problem solved.

So the training plan I have written up for my first marathon starts next week. Every run is by time rather than distance, even the speed workouts. The only workouts where I am measuring my runs by distance are the Yasso 800's.

I will be doing five of them starting at 6x800 and working up to 10x800 a few weeks before the marathon. I am interested in seeing how well that will measure preparedness for the marathon.

12 July 2009

I Will Never Learn

The good news is that I am now signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon and the Philadelphia Distance Run. The bad news is that it cost me more money than I originally was going to pay because I procrastinated, as I always do.

I was going to sign up as soon as registration was available, but why do it now when I can wait? Of course I waited too long and the prices went up July 1st.

What is really funny to me is that I could have signed up for them at the Broad Street Run expo and not only paid the early costs, but avoided the online fees.

I am literally paying for my procrastination this time... but now I can focus on the races and be well prepared!

08 July 2009

Back To The Basics

When I get passionate about something, I tend to overdo it and either get frustrated and stop or quickly get bored and forget about it. Running is the first thing that I have truly become passionate about and continued to do for any extended period of time. Unfortunately overdoing it in running can lead to injury.

Thanks to Runners world Beginner forums and reading other running blogs, I was smart enough to give myself rest when my foot felt wrong. I really wanted to start running high mileage weeks and pushed myself little too fast, but luckily I stopped and rested before it got too bad.

Today was my first run in about two and a half weeks. I took it really easy and pretty much went back to basics. I ran for 5 minutes and walked for 1 minute. I repeated this for a total of 42 minutes and finished with about 3.5 miles. It felt really good to run again, and strangely it felt really good to get back to basics and run like a beginner again.

I am going to repeat the run/walk routine for a few runs and then continue conditioning myself until marathon training starts next month for the Philadelphia Marathon.

I am no longer focused on running 5 to 6 days a week. That will come in time and it may be a long time. I know that it is more important to get in 3 or 4 quality runs a week rather than run 6 mediocre runs.

Here is to falling in love with running... again and again!