Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March’s Last Run

Waking up early Tuesday morning and looking out the window, I saw dark clouds in the sky that grew even darker on my way to the grocery store. I hightailed it back home after buying a few things because I wanted to put a run in before it started raining. The forecast was for the rain to arrive by Tuesday evening but it appeared it might start pouring much earlier.
The workout planned for the day was the 4 minute run with 1 minute walk Galloway training method. I tried to start running harder than usual without a proper warm up. The difference was I took a full minute walk break between intervals. Usually I start running again after about 40 seconds of walking even before my watch starts alerting me for the next repetition. This was just an experiment since I already know that my body doesn’t get into a good groove without starting slowly and warming up first. Not only that, my inner ankle tendons tend to hurt more because it is subjected to heavier pounding so early in the run. Needless to say, it was a rough start and my stride didn’t feel smooth until after about 3 miles.
I wanted to treat this run like a regular interval workout but since I have to be careful with my ankles especially at the start, I couldn’t really pick up the pace hard enough to the capacity of my heart and lungs. So the four minutes of running is closer to a tempo pace rather than a lung busting effort.
Well, I finished my usual hour slower than my last 4:1 workout two weeks ago. This experiment made me conclude that it is better to warm up slowly at the start then pick up the pace later with the reduced walk time, than running hard from the start and taking the full 1 minute walk break. The toll on my ankles is also lesser with the proper warm up. Another lesson learned. Even though I’ve been running for 30 years, running like life continues to be a learning process. What may have worked well in the past may not work now because of changes in your body as you age. The experiment continues.
By the way, the rain never came, the skies cleared, and the sun was out when I finished the run. 

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