Saturday, December 11, 2010
Knowing when to STOP
I remember when I first started my C25K, it's all about working your way up to running 30 minutes( or 3 miles) with out stopping.
I got so excited when I reached 10 minutes with out stopping. I remember the day that I ran 20. You might have thought I just won the Boston marathon or something when I finished my first 3 full miles.... at 11:30 minutes per mile, none the less.
It was all about building up the endurance to keep going with out stopping.
What happens when I go 4, or 5 or more...
I learned all too quickly- especially when I ran a slower pace- that once you hit a certain amount of time running it's OKAY to stop!!
Now, do I mean stop and sit on the ground to meditate for 30 minutes? Nope. I mean it's alright to stop, take a drink, tinkle if need be, catch your breath, and get back at it.
At some point, (for me, about 45 minutes) we have to learn that it's okay to take a little break. When I started training with the group, they would have water stops every 2-3 miles. It was wonderful to know that I'm not the only to stop!! For me, it's usually a time thing. B/c I got faster with time, so I no longer need to stop during a 5 mile run, it doesn't take as long as it used to- See?
As you get faster, you're adjusting your pace accordingly for your goal. What do I mean? I mean that I know I can "run" 8 miles at a 9:30 pace, but I also know that I can NOT run it with out stopping. Therefore realistically I add about a minute or so on to my goal pace to aim for. I have no idea if this is the "right" way of doing things or not, but I do know that it works for me. That's not factoring conditions like weather, wind, hills, terrain.
I tell you these things because I know what it's like to see all my elite runner friends and compare myself to them. But we all had a beginning- and that's where I'm at now. We have to be realists when it comes to running. If not, you end up on the I-list! Keep those stress fractures away, and listen to your body, not your garmin. Set your gps device according to your body!!
So there ya have it runners... It's okay to take a break. Especially in distance running. While it's good to set goals for our actual race, it's also a good goal to FINISH. People outside of the running community don't know how fast, fast is. All they hear is how FAR we went. Be proud of that, and focus on training smart.