Thursday, February 12, 2009

Running like the wind

I've never been a runner. Actually, I've always hated running. In high school, I joined the track team. I joined not for the competition (my piano lessons were on the same day as the meets) but for the exercise, since I was a rather sedentary teenager. I was the slowest person with the least endurance on the team. It just seemed like a chore. I still continued jogging the summer after graduation, but I never really liked it. Then I got to college and took up rowing (but not crew, I couldn't get my butt up before the crack of dawn) and running went down the pipes.

I was on vacation in Alaska a few years ago and the hotel had very little in the way of exercise equipment. At that point, not being an instructor, I didn't know what kind of cardio I could do without equipment. So I decided to go running. The hotel was at the end of a 7 mile peninsula, so the scenery was beautiful, the sky seemed like it was sitting right on top of the ground rather than overhead. It wasn't terribly cold (being August), so I decided to give it a shot. And I hurt for three days afterwards. End experiment.

Then I got into group fitness. Step, kickboxing, cycling, weight lifting. Between jacks and jumps, leaps and lifts, there didn't seem to be a need for anything else. And then I started teaching boot camp.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love boot camp. I change up the format slightly every class, so none of us ever get bored. Sometimes I use the step, or kickboxing, or jump ropes, cones, ladders, all that cool equipment personal trainers use. It's great. But if I have them on stations, every station doing something different, I go around and correct their form. I might do a little bit of a workout during class, but not much. And when more than 50% of my classes are boot camp, I end up not getting much exercise myself.

Enter running. I've played with the idea of running for a couple months. It still seemed like a chore to me, something I wouldn't necessarily enjoy, but I was interested in trying it because it's different than my current workouts, and different is good. I almost got derailed when a friend told me that running 2-3 days a week might not work well because it would be difficult to progress, and anything under 4 miles pretty much sucks, before you hit your running high.

Then another friend mentioned she wanted to try running intervals. One minute running, one minute walking. Intriguing. This I could do. I have to be careful, because I have an old foot injury that could flare up, but with the right shoes and not going overboard, I should be fine.

So yesterday was my first try. I warmed up five minutes (walking at a 4.0 on the treadmill). Then my intervals were 7.5 on the treadmill for a minute and 4.0 walking, for ten intervals. How was it, you ask?


The thing about it was, it wasn't daunting. It was just a minute. And who can't run for a minute? Ok, I can do this. And damn did it feel good! I didn't have to worry about what anybody else was doing, about correcting form, about how their workouts were going. It was just me. I understand now why so many people try running and stick with it.

To avoid my plantar fasciitis coming back, I won't go crazy with increasing it. I'm figuring I'll do three running workouts a week, and I'll slowly start increasing the run-walk ratio (or I'll make it a run-jog ratio).

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Way to go! It sounds like an awesome workout!! I've also found that good music can make all the difference when it comes to running:)