Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Choosing Your Battles

Leave it to the treadmill to zap every ounce of fun out of running. It's no wonder us cardio machine users take any means necessary to escape the present reality (tvs, ipods, books, magazines, and I've even seen crossword puzzles). After complaining about it to a fellow runner downstairs in my work gym he just said to me, when you live in Boston you have to choose your battles. And when the forecast outside is 18 degrees with a "Real Feel" of -10, you run on the treadmill.

My training plan called for an easy 6 miler just to get some miles in. I set the treadmill to 6.5 for nearly the entire run and the incline to 1.0. The longest I have ever ran on a treadmill was 10 miles back in 2005 when I was training for Boston. It was a blizzard outside, I was out of options, and I paid the price with terrible back pains for a week.

I spoke with the trainer downstairs at my work gym who told me I might be able to avoid back pain by increasing the gradiant a bit more. He said that running outdoors uses more hamstring muscles, however on a treadmill one overcompensates with hip flexors which can hurt the back. Unless I'm trying to simulate hill intervals I will normally keep the gradiant at 0, but running at 1.0 seemed to help.

I consumed my lunch in less than 5 minutes. I totally forgot just how ravenous running can make you.

I'm following a 3-4 day/week running plan with cross-training as filler. I know my body and I know it can't handle 5-6 days/week of running. The rest of my week should look something like this:

Wednesday - Spin class and 20 min. strength training

Thursday (New Years Eve!!!) - 4-5 mile interval run (hopefully outdoors) followed by BR's big bash where I will try not to undo all of my hard work, but have fun while doing it :-)

Friday - 45 minutes of light elliptical and some strength training if I have time or feel like it after New Years Eve

Saturday - 10.5 mile long run with Team Brigham. I'm finally going to meet the team I'll be training and fundraising with!

Sunday - Rest

And please please visit www.firstgiving.com/heathercanner to contribute to breast cancer research. Anything is better than nothing!

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