Quite a few weeks ago, I rounded the corner in my weekly training plan. That is, I had completed my goals down to 30s of running with 30s of walking (30s/30s) and so it was time to increase the amount of time I was running. Unfortunately, I did not have a ton of guidance available to me on how to do this. Galloway’s beginning running book only goes to 30s/30s, and his half-marathon book kind of assumes you already have a max running interval. I’m sure one of his other books covers how to start increasing your run time, but I was like, “Hey, I’m smart. I can figure this out on my own.” I decided to go to 40s/30s. That was an utter failure. So, I said, okay, I’ll go to 40s/40s, and I’ve been struggling to try to do that successfully for weeks.
The thing is, I kind of figured that, just like I had gradually decreased my walk time, I could gradually increase my run time in the same increments. I’m writing this to tell you, dear reader, that is not the case. 🙂 Running for longer is much harder than walking for shorter.* I realized I had miscalculated this plan when I actually ran out of room for frogs on my training record. (I use frog stickers on a chart to mark each run.) I was having to put frogs on top of the words on the 40s/40s line. So…I re-thought my plan. Once I start running for longer, my breaks will tend to be one minute and stay at one minute. In fact, my self-created running plan was 40s/40s, then 50s/50s, then 60s/60s and then gradual increases to the running side while keeping the walking side constant. With that in mind, I decided to re-calibrate myself to 35s/60s. 35s is definitely achievable for me, as that’s roughly where I kept crapping out in my 40s/40s attempts, and the longer walk break should help me sustain it over the course of the run.
Tonight was my first attempt at that, and it went well for the first half of my run, but on the second half, I started having the kinds of muscle cramps that I used to have whenever I decreased my walk intervals for the first time. I was a bit puzzled by this, but when I got home, my Garmin told the story. Apparently, because I was giving myself that longer break, I was running faster than my normal jog by about 2-3 minutes/mile. Blaze of Glory Fail. So, that’s another lesson learned: pacing! 🙂
* Yes, it’s bad grammar. Don’t care. It’s poetic license. Meh. 😛