duckshirt wrote:I have a few comments to add, since I like running as well.
I would alter step 2 in your plan - "keep distance the same but work on speed." The human body isn't a machine, you can't push yourself to any kind of limit every day, even once a week is hard. Aerobic training is more of a cumulative process, you just want a lot of total miles. I would pick ONE day per week to "work on pace" (assume that means see how fast you can run), and run the other two at whatever comfortable easy pace you want to run. And don't expect constant improvement, think of it like the stock market - don't focus on week-to-week fluctuations or occasional bad runs, what matters is the big picture, where you are now vs. several months/years from now.
I can understand not wanting to go do complicated workouts on the track, but I would highly recommend occasional fartlek runs - if you're running 30 minutes, run 10 minutes easy then 10 x (1 minute fast, 1 minute easy). You don't need to blow the pipes out, just run comfortably faster, it's a convenient way to get a bit of intensity into your schedule.
I think this has been mentioned already, but improving "pace/speed" and "endurance" are largely the same thing - aerobic fitness. If you can run a 5k at 10:00 pace, you can probably run further at 12:00 pace. And if you can run further, you can probably run a faster 5k. All workouts described so far will improve aerobic fitness and will help all these goals.
Absolutely - I'm not expecting to improve on every run (although it's been fun to see that happening in the beginning, I realise it's not going to continue). I might have been expecting to be able to push myself too often though, I'll tone that down, thanks. Re. fartleks - isn't that basically what I was describing in point 2, just without the timings? When I was doing walk/run intervals building up to 5k I started off doing the formal C25K program, but found that it was significantly
more effective (and fun) for me just to ignore the timings and tune into how I felt when deciding when to change pace - I was planning to do that for a fartlek type workout too (that's what I mean when I say run fast until I'm tired, carry on for 15 seconds, then drop back down to slow).
Izawwlgood wrote:Since I like running, I'm just going to keep talking about it with you.
Humans are really really effective runners, so to look to running as a means for getting fit, you kind of have to do it a lot. You can get fit running, but you shouldn't expect to run a mile in 15 minutes and burn off that cheeseburger.
Gyms are only as bad as the people they attract. My climbing gym is a delightful place. My schools gym is horrible. And there are leg exercises that you can do to improve your running!
Another thing I absolutely love about races is the good sportsmanship you tend to see in runners. I've shadowed people for two miles of a 5k, and when I started flagged they turned around and started cheering me on. I've sprinted against people in the finishing chute and had them hug me after. There's nothing more aggravating than a race so crowded you're tripping over other people, but then, there's nothing quite as fun as chatting with a random stranger in a crowded race. You also have the perfect excuse to stop talking to them if you want, "Alright man, I'm going to push it, good luck!" or "Whew, you're really cranking, I need to tone it down!".
I find when I'm pushing myself, angrier faster music works best, though I have a harder time pacing. When I'm just going for distance (he's going for speeeed!), it's a great time to pick apart the lyrics of Aesop Rock, or zone out to Afrocelt or revisit old techno, etc etc. I actually really dislike run without music, which has definitely worked against me, when I'll get ready for a run only to find my excellent black rectangle is empty on battery, and I decide I should do calisthenics on my floor instead. Audiobooks and podcasts are also great. I was listening to Dan Harlans Hardcore History while training for a marathon, and felt like such a badass hearing about Napolean crossing the alps as I plodded into the double digit miles.
Also, depending on where you live, I wager there are parks and trails and places you've never seen or explored. Check out that abandoned building! Run that forest trail! Find out what's behind that bank of trees! I hate crossing back on my trail, which I have to do a bit for my current run, so you know, figure out new loops!
Also, since I like data, I use RunKeeper which tracks my run and provides on the go feedback about pace and distance and such. I'm not very good at pacing myself, so its helpful. I also just picked up an Up24, and have been timing runs and such. It's not very accurate for running distances, since it's calibrated for walking, but it's neat having a timer and such on my wrist that unobtrusively tracks stuff.
Whew... Anyway. Running is fun. If you're interested, we could start posting photographs of various parts of our runs?
Yeh, I reckon the climbing wall I go to (or used to go to - writing my PhD thesis is cutting into my time a lot these days) has a pretty great gym. However, it's half an hour away so a bit far for regular gym sessions, and if I'm there I usually just want to climb. I'm in central London and I find that other gyms I've been to tend to either be cliquey student gyms, or full of ultra-competitive sneery people. They also (except the climbing gym) play bloody awful music all the time.
I use runkeeper too, along with my pebble smartwatch (those things are great), and it's definitely fun having pace, time and distance feedback on your wrist. Re. music - I actually find that I often run well to something that has one beat to every two
footfalls, so I listen to quite a lot of slower rock and folk music while running. There's a new Reg Meuross album out, which is going to be the soundtrack to this morning's run. His song "My Name is London Town"
is particularly appropriate given where I'm running.
There are definitely parks etc. I've never been to, however, I have a pretty great run more or less outside my door: a just-over-5K circuit on both banks of the Thames from Westminster to St Paul's, and it's going to be a while before I get tired of that. If I want it to be longer, I just need to go one or two bridges further.
I'm definitely up for some photo sharing - I'll take some next time it's a nice day.