I ran out of grapes a couple of days ago, and decided to try having other fruit instead--namely, apples. I missed the grapes very much, but figured I would live without them ;) But apparently, the grapes are the magical food I need to keep me from bingeing!
After dinner, I went to Kroger and bought three bags of the
As of today, I am 73 days binge-free :)
Today I had three miles at an easy pace on the schedule. I brought my new handheld water bottle with me, just to see how it feels in my hand while running. I was tempted to fill it with hot tea to keep me warm out there--it was a cold morning!
I ran at a pace that felt comfortable, and didn't look at my Garmin the entire time. I was impressed with the water bottle--it wasn't annoying to hold at all, and it didn't feel heavy. I think if it held any more water it would feel heavy, but at 10.5 oz., it was perfect. It was easy to open the spout with my teeth (there is a soft cushion on the spout, so you don't break your teeth), and easy to push closed. I'm very happy with the bottle, which is good, because I couldn't find any info about returns on the website (I checked before ordering).
When I first started running, I didn't know anything at all about interval training, tempo runs, splits, fartleks, or even the number of meters on a track. Basically, I just wanted to be able to run a 5K race, which I learned was 3.1 miles. So I started by walking, and then throwing in a little running. You can read the whole story on my running page. The Couch to 5K program was too hard for me, so I did my own thing.
By doing my own thing, I was able to reach a 5K distance pretty quickly (within a couple of months). Once I was able to run 5K, I wanted to get faster. And like I said, I knew nothing about speed work, so I (again) did my own thing:
I ran faster.
I learned that to be a faster runner, I had to run faster. Is that clear as mud? Good. Basically, I ran 3.1 miles three times per week; and each time I ran it, I tried to run it a little faster than the time before.
I didn't do intervals, I didn't run repeats on the track, I didn't do tempo runs, or any of that. I just tried to run a little faster each time, since I was running the same distance each time.
Fast forward a year, after I'd been studying up on running and reading everything I could get my hands on, I decided to try to PR at 10K by following a real running plan, and doing all the speed work on the plan. I followed it to the tee, and was sure I was going to PR that race. Then I ran the race, and missed a PR by about 11 seconds. I couldn't understand it, because I actually trained for a PR.
|The race I busted my ass for, but didn't PR :(|
However, I was so excited to be running shorter distances, that I decided to push the envelope, and just run fast--not paying attention to what the "recommended" paces were. And I went back to the basics of when I was a beginner, just running to try and get faster. I started running every run faster, in order to be faster. I've been running faster than my recommended paces, but it's working really well! I've seen HUGE improvements on my pace in just a month's time.
|My sub-26 goal for 5K after 2 1/2 years of trying!|
But what about injury? I've always read that if you push too much, you'll get injured. Well, the only times I've been injured were during marathon training, when I was running slowly, over long distances. Now that I'm doing shorter distances, I think my body can handle the fact that I'm running faster.
So my (unqualified) advice for a beginner would be to pick a distance (even if it's just once a week) to try and run it a little faster than you did before.
Since I'm on the subject of how I got into running, I typed out a generalized plan of exactly how I started running. I hated running at first, and I especially hated the C25K program because of the intervals. After running for a minute or two, I would start the walking segment and DREAD hearing the beep of my Garmin telling me to start running again. So I did my own thing, and this plan that I typed out is pretty much what I did:
You can click it to enlarge, or here is a link to the PDF for printing, if that helps. The R is for Run, and the W is for Walk. The numbers are minutes:seconds. So on Day 1, you would run for 30 seconds, then walk for 29 minutes and 30 seconds. Sounds ridiculous, but it worked for me!
I think the reason that this was helpful to me was that I could just run for x amount of time, then walk and be done. I didn't have to run, walk, run, walk, etc. Mentally, I just said, "Okay, you just have to run for two minutes--you can do ANYTHING for just two minutes. After that two minutes, you can walk the rest of the way." That is how I stuck with it.
Anyway, this kind of plan worked for me, so maybe it will help someone else as well. Feel free to use it how you wish. One thing that I can't stress enough is that if it feels too hard, just run even slower. You might be able to walk faster than your running pace, but you can work on speed after you've built up the distance.
I posted this stuff now, because I have some plans in my head to host a virtual 5K at the end of January--my 31st birthday is on January 25th, and I thought for 31, how fun would be to host a 3.1 mile run? ;) I will post details on that later (once I figure them out) but this way, if you'd like to participate, you have time to prepare!
Whew, this was a long post!