Thursday, June 25, 2015

Running update - 2/3 of the way there!

My first update was after 1 1/2 weeks of running.  This update is after a grand total of 3.  So I am obviously still quite the beginner.  But we often learn the most when we're first starting out, so I thought I'd post about my progress, and what I've learned.

So first of all, the main thing I've learned during my second 1 1/2 weeks:

It actually does make sense to "warm up" and stretch before running!  Yes, I had read that.  In multiple places.  But when I used to lift weights, I warmed up by running!  So why did I need to warm up to run if running was a warm-up?  What I've realized is that 30 minutes of running is very different from 5.  During a longer run or walk/jog, we use the same muscles in a repetitive way for a long period of time.  That places a different type of strain on them and on the connective tissues.  It makes sense to warm those muscles up and lightly stretch them before that repetitive use.  That is very different from the type of muscle use we do during weight lifting. 

If you are a runner and starting to lift weights - note that the opposite is true for weight-lifting!  Do not do static stretches before weight lifting, or you will increase your chance of injury.  (A little dynamic stretching is good - but not static.)

Running with friends is fun!!!  SO SO SO fun!  Yup, I finally ran with a friend.  We jogged together on Sunday, both pushing our toddlers in our jogging strollers.  And then we jogged together again on Tuesday, with her pushing a toddler and me all on my own.  Jogging together definitely helped me with pacing - I went at a nice slow easy-to-maintain pace.  And I certainly can talk while maintaining that pace!  I'm hoping I didn't talk her ear off - but I figure she still wants to jog with me, so that's a good sign.  :) 
Since this is one of the friends that I'll be running the 5k with, I feel like a couple jogs a week with her are great 5k training.  That made me feel free to do what I wanted on my third jog of the week - so I did my favorite without worrying about it - I let myself go as fast as I wanted for a mile or so until I got tired, and then walked for a minute or two to recover, ran fast again for 2/3 of a mile, walked again, and so on.  I still end up going much faster on average when I do this than when I jog steadily at the conversational pace.  The key is that this time I didn't beat myself up mentally about the walking bits.  I work my lungs and hearts a lot more this way, so I figure the two types of jogs serve different purposes and both are good - I'll do one or two nice steady conversational jogs with my friend per week, and one or two heart/lung/speed workouts per week, and enjoy both!

T25, while designed for runners, is a little intense to start while also starting a running program.  Starting both at the same time was a little like increasing my mileage too quickly - apparently the most common mistake that new runners make.  So I've put T25 on hold for now, and will come back to it once I'm more established in my running.  In the meantime, I'm using my 21DFX videos for my cross training.

And here are my distances and paces (underlining a couple of the new ones I'm really proud of):
  • Walk/jog 1 Tues: 2.32 miles, 11:39 pace 
  • Walk/jog 2 Thurs: 2.40 miles, 12:06 pace
  • Walk/jog 3 Sat: 2.28 miles, 12:24 pace, but pushing almost-4-yo in the jogging stroller
  • Walk/jog 1 Mon: 2.54 miles, 10:50 pace 
  • Walk/jog 2 Wed: 2.54 miles, 10:33 pace
  • Steady jog Fri: 2.52 miles, 10:20 pace
  • Walk/jog 1 Mon: 2.54 miles, 10:09 pace
  • Steady jog Wed: 3.12 miles, 11:52 pace
  • Warmup + stretching + jog Sunday: 2.58 miles, 16:48 pace, w/ friend and pushing almost-4-yo in the jogging stroller (note, forgot to pause timer while stretching, so pace is a little slower probably)
  • Warmup + stretching + jog + post-jog walk Tuesday:  3.76 miles, 15:50 pace, w/ friend (note, includes time spent stretching, waiting at stoplights, etc.  So pace is a little slower)
  • Walk/jog 2 Thursday: 3.20 miles, 10:41 pace (I did stretch after the warmup walk, but I paused the timer while I did)
I figure I probably have about 3 jogs or walk/jogs left before the 5k.  Sunday will be with my friend again.  Tuesday may or may not be with my friend.  And Thursday I'll keep my jog a little slower and shorter so I don't tire myself out or risk hurting myself. 

I haven't even done my first 5k, and I have to admit thoughts of a second race are already entering my head.  There's a 10k in my hometown in the fall - I could aim for that if my friends are also interested.  OR, if I can find another 5k, I think it might be fun to try and do an under-30 5k.  I suspect I could if I trained for it.  But I'm not sure if my friends would be interested in going for speed.  For now, I'm focused on having fun with my friends next weekend!  :)


  1. You'll burn more calories with spurts of sprints! Let's do it next time!

  2. Nice! Yes, let's do it! I bet the kids will love being pushed super-fast too. LOL - I can just imagine D's reaction - he might get a little loud for L if he gets too excited! :)