The Boy started Cross Country practice and I decided to take my workout outside rather than the comfort of Planet Fitness. Having had such success on the treadmill with my running, I figured it would be a snap to hit the track and run a few laps.
Running outside is challenging. The steady turn of the treadmill does not take into account the wind velocity, the bumpy surface of outside, and the fact that my body was on FIRE when I was done. The water I brought along for The Boy to sip after practice tasted like sweet nectar and stretching felt absolutely divine.
The treadmill gives a false sense of accomplishment. True, when I first started the Couch to 5K workout, I could barely run the 90 seconds in Week 1. After diligently working toward an easy 5K, I’m able to run a full 6 minutes at a speed of 4.9 and only feel slightly winded. So I’m not discounting the time I have spent in the gym, chugging away while My Name is Earl reruns play across the screen. However, to be ready for a race in October, I have to adjust my training.
Running on the treadmill at a speed of 4.9, I usually manage to have an average pace of 14’38” (I used the Nike+ app in the gym). According to Nike+ and RunKeeper, I run about the same, 14’55” and 14’57” respectively.
My plan when I got to the track was to do a “test” run using a workout I had been pretty successful with. Week 4, Day 1. This workout was a Warm-up of 5:00 minutes; jog 3:00; walk 3:00; jog 4:00; walk 3:00; jog 5:00; cool down.
I knew I was in trouble when I was in minute one of the three minute jog and my breathing was ragged and I was distressed to see that I still had two minutes thirty seconds to go. I modified my pace and tried to plug on, but that didn’t even help. I then decided to run a lap, walk two laps. I tried to practice the breathing technique I use in the gym (HUH, HUH, WOOH, WOOH aka in in, out out) and did an eight count that I use to push myself on just one more step. Even with DMX blasting in my ears I could not go on.
Since I’m a competitive person, I still pushed myself to finish one mile under fifteen minutes. I just barely made it. On the treadmill, my fastest mile is 12:08. Yesterday, I clocked in at 14:43. Mile two was 14:54, and if I keep up this pace, I can still complete a 5K in 45 minutes. But those were HARD miles. My thighs sang a ditty and I considered quitting smoking, giving up red meat, and even limiting my bacon intake.
Later, I sat on the couch icing my knee and did some research about treadmill versus outside workouts (okay I Googled and went to the first two sites I found). According to one site, I should alternate my inside versus outside workouts so that my body can adjust. The second site said I should also raise the incline on the treadmill to 1% to make it more like outside.
I’m going to push harder in the gym on the treadmill, raising my incline to 1 and going back a week in training.
I’m also going to take advantage of Cross Country practice and use the track.
Either way, I’ll keep running.