Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's All About Progress

I got on the Woodway treadmill (way too early) this morning at the gym, ready for one of my three weekly walk/jog interval workouts. I'm still jogging pretty slowly, but my determination to do this right still outweighs my desire to increase my speed quickly. Well, for the most part anyway.

I'm only up to 2.5miles total with a walk/jog ratio of 1:3 and I have a 4mile race in just over a month. Not only is the distance and speed something I have to contend with, but also the elements. I haven't run outside yet at we all know that Central Park, where the race is being held, is full of hills. Thankfully, throughout this whole injury ordeal, my foot has hurt less while walking uphill, so that's good, but my quads and lungs are not used to the effort they'll need to expend while climbing. I picked up my speed a few notches today, but overall kept it easy. On Saturday I plan to go for 3 miles and see how I do. Today I will sit down with my calendar and figure out my plan so I'm confident enough with my progress to get outside for a few runs prior to the race.

I went to an event last night at Lululemon that was led by Laura Cozik, the founder and CEO of Team Lipstick. I think the biggest lesson I took away with me was that even though I did my research, followed a training plan from the NYRR website, ate well, and trained hard for the NYC Marathon last year, I made one huge mistake which probably, indirectly, led to me fracturing my foot during the race and having stressed joints. I didn't train with a team. I didn't have the support, knowledge, and guidance of a trained coach to guide me through the craziness and sometimes torture, that is marathon training.

I'll tell you this, once I'm running at a respectable pace, I am definitely going to seek out a team or running group to train with. I had seriously thought about this in the past, and went on 'trial' runs with a couple of groups, but I never joined. Partly due to my stubbornness about my training schedule (I prefer to start my day with a run, what can I say?) and partly due to a feeling of unease and not being good enough to keep up with the rest of the group. So, I'm going to try and be more flexible about my schedule and find a group that is truly accepting (rather than just saying so on their website) and with a range of pace groups. I know now that there's a lot more to running than just getting outside and running. Yes, it can be that simple for some people (especially depending on ones goals) but for me, it seems apparent that I can't do this alone. If I want to run more half marathons (and I do) without getting injured, then I need the support and guidance. The one fall that I took the NYRR running class, I hit PRs in all the distances I ran. That class taught me a lot, but I need more. With all the independent groups and teams registered with NYRR and the plethora of running/fitness shops with running groups, I'm confident that I can find the right one for me.

My session today wasn't bad. I hardly felt a twinge and I'm getting used to a slightly different stride that doesn't put as much pressure on my heels. I have a long road ahead of me, but it's one I'm excited to be going down... again!

Do you train on your own or with a team or running group? What do you most enjoy about how you train?

Off topic, but important. Have you heard about the oil spill in Michigan that is polluting a major river that runs through the State? Another disaster that is affecting a fragile ecosystem. Hopefully the federal government moves quickly (they haven't yet) to help clean this up.
workout stats -
2.5mile walk/jog
13.5mile bike
3x10 leg press
3x10 hip abductors
3x10 glute kickback


Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

Glad you didn't feel a twinge today! So when I trained for the half it was with a team that I found by accident. They have runs in the park every saturday and you should totally do it! I'll go with you! It's Team World Vision. It's a christian organization (I'm jewish, so that doesn't matter) but the leader Kirsten is great. Let me know if you want more info!

Maureen said...

I totally can relate to what you're saying with training. Because I work at a running store I have a lot of people with a lot of knowledge that I can bounce ideas off of and it really helps me.

I don't train with a group. I feel like my schedule is so hectic that I like the freedom (like you) of training when I want to. A lot of my runs I try to grab my boyfriend and have him come with me. It always makes the time pass sooo much quicker! Good luck!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

good job on the smart progression to recover!

i used to only run alone and really loved it to be honest... now I'm in so many running groups I kinda miss my alone time! I love the groups though for all the things they have brought to my running and life

Molly said...

For the most part I run alone, but have been running with two other people for my Saturday long runs. It helps to have them motivate me. I'm following an official Boston Marathon training program that a friend gave me, it served her well so I'm following it to a T!

ALFIE said...

i find i train best alone. i am usually more motivated to actually get up and DO something, if someone is meeting me---but i workout more seriously when it's just me, myself and i :)

J said...

I run alone most of the time and pretty much have since I started running. I did train with my college track team which helped for motivation etc but i still got hurt while training with a team. I think it really just depends on the person, you may get hurt running on your own or running in a team but the important thing is to find something that works for you!

sarah said...

I do train intermittently with a group, but I'd like to join a more structured team. Besides the benefits you listed, you just plain old work harder with a team. And I like team spirit.

Morgan said...

Yay for progress!!! Keep at it girl, sounds like you are going about it right and are slowly reaping the benefits.