Sunday, September 5, 2010

Minutes Not Miles

I've had a breakthrough in running. I was talking to a friend about how I had hit a plateau lately and was unable to move past it. I made so much progress when I first started running. Then things leveled out for a while and I was feeling discouraged. It seemed like I should be a bit farther in my abilities, but I was still walking more than I wanted to during my runs.

I've been running for 5 months now, and I still haven't run a solid two miles without walking. I can go up to about 4 miles, but I have to walk for a minute or so each mile. I'm starting to think that my problem is mental (and almost everyone agrees with me.)

I had this thought all of the sudden that I should stop thinking about my runs in miles and start thinking of them in minutes again. When I first started running it was all about minutes. I ran 2, walked 2 over and over as I built stamina. I gradually increased the running time and decreased the walking time. But after a while I quit doing that and just ran when I could and let myself take short walking breaks whenever I felt like it.

It occurred to me that minutes are less intimidating to me than miles, and I can control the training to where I run a longer and longer time until I can run a solid 30 minutes. If I can run for 30 minutes straight that would definitely be way over 2 miles of solid running which is my goal right now.

So I started with a reasonable goal. I wanted to run 15 minutes, walk 2, then run 13 more for a total of 30 minutes. Not only did I do it, I made it to 16 before walking. A few nights later I went to 16 again, walked about 1 1/2 minutes then ran again until I hit 30. I am SO CLOSE to going a solid 30 minutes. It seems totally doable now when before it felt out of the question.

This has really gotten me over a hump and I am excited about the new strength I feel.

1 comment:

Shari said...

Very similar to the training with Couch 2 5K program. (I use the iphone app for this.) I am on week 5 and we run 5 minutes three times with 3 minute walks inbetween, for a total of 15 minutes. In week 6, we will run 5 min, 8 min, and 5 minutes with 3 minute walking break inbetween. The minutes of running go up gradually. It seems to be working. -shari