Friday, September 23, 2011

The Off-Season is On

Now that my races are behind me for 2011, it's time to start the off-season training. Since I still don't have a car, I can't meet up with other cyclists so that leaves me with swimming, weight-training and running.

I decided to kick off the weekend with... a cold. That meant I wasn't getting in the pool - no way, no how. So it's been a good week to get that run thing going.

My running goal is always like that New Year's resolution everybody makes and 90% give up on 6 weeks later. I just give up on it before I reach the end. So this season, instead of trying a new down-loadable program, I'm just going to take what I know I've got and try to improve on it.

Starting From Scratch
Not having been on a consistent running schedule, I'm pretty much starting at square one. That's okay by me since I never really got past square 2 anyway.

I was going to get a new 5K time but since I had no ambition to get on the road with this cold, I'm just using my only timed 5K road race as my starting point. In that race, I finished at 42:42. It was a hilly course but no matter. The average walk/jog/shuffle-y thing speed for that race calculates out to about 4.35 mph so I'm going to approach this from three angles (which might be a bad thing given my distaste for geometry).

1) All workouts will be done on a treadmill. This will force my legs to keep a steady pace until I am comfortable keeping pace outdoors. The lighter weight-bearing activity will prevent injury and this also eliminates the weather as an excuse for not running. I'll keep the grade at 1% for a flat road.

2) I'm starting out at a pace below my 5K time - 4mph which is what on the bike would be considered "base mileage." It isn't running yet - more like a brisk walk - but the muscles will start getting the message that this going to be the adaptive workout du jour.

3) All workouts will be 45 minutes long. If I actually get faster (you'd think I would but who really knows) the runs would get shorter as I progressed if I only measured my workouts in distance. Starting at 45 minutes at 4mph also pretty much guarantees that I'll be covering at least a 5K every time.

So the trick then is to push a little faster each week through the winter until I'm holding a 6 mph jog every time. At that point, I should be strong enough to add in some high intensity interval training and some higher grades.

The first two workouts have gone fine although I do have to go 47 minutes to get that last 1/10th of a mile in for a complete 5K. I should have brought more Kleenex with me, too. I'm sure things will start to get interesting when I start creeping up to the 4.7 - 5.1 mph mark since I can never decide whether I'm walking or jogging at those speeds.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a plan. Glad it is you. Even as a miler in high school, I didn't like running.