Saturday, January 2, 2010

Something new

I hate treadmills. The exploration, adventure, and scenery that make running fun for me are basically absent while struggling on that ever revolving belt. Even the simple physics of the treadmill seem beyond comprehension for me (ever heard the riddle about the giant treadmill that goes at the same speed as an airplane's wheels and yet the plane is able to get off the ground?). I used to think that treadmills were physically easier than running outside because the belt seemed to "pull" my leg backwards. That isn't true of course - except for the lack of air friction, which can be accounted for by raising the front end a few degrees, running on a treadmill is just as hard as running outside on a flat surface.

My inherent distrust of treadmills has meant that I've only used them for easy runs when a run outside wasn't an option or if I became tired of running in sub-freezing weather. One chapter in my Jack Daniels book that I've left pretty much untouched is about his treadmill workouts. Daniels views treadmill workouts as not just a winter weather escape - but, rather as a controlled environment for his experimentation (Daniels loves hooking runners up to contractions to detect when their bodies start to give out and figure out why) and a way to run workouts that end up not beating up on the body quite as much. On Thursday I was supposed to run a tempo workout outside. When I woke up I noticed at least 3 inches of snow on the ground. Brennan and I decided not to slip and slide through the snow. I was leaving for a NYE celebration on the eastern shore and knew that realistically I wouldn't get another chance to run a decent tempo workout for few days.

So, I cracked open my Daniels book and found the treadmill section. Daniels did a lot of testing where he discovered what different treadmill speeds and angles were associated with the same effort level as mile paces. For instance, if I wanted to run 5:43 pace I could have the treadmill go at 8.5 mph at a 5.0% grade. I don't completely trust this - since treadmills can be inaccurate. But, it allowed me to completely focus on my technique and how I felt. The most important thing about tempo workouts is staying a little bit slower than the place where you start to feel "uncomfortable". So, the workout actually went really well. I didn't get any idea of what kind of shape I'm in - but, I felt like the workout helped move me a few steps down the road. I also decided to start running a long run each week. I'm starting to feel a little heavy - the long run is the quickest way to get back to feeling lean & mean.

Last Week
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 12 miles Hills
Wednesday: 8.5 miles
Thursday: 9 miles 3X10 min @ T pace 2 min rest
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 17 miles
Sunday: 4 miles
Total: 57.5 miles

This Week
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday: 10 miles 4X200m 2X400m 1X800m 2X400m 4X200m all at R pace all with jog same as last interval
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 11 miles 7 mi tempo
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 17 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Total: 60 miles

3 comments:

KLIM said...

I ran one 5 mile run (part of a double) on a treadmill and it hurt me more than any other run I've done this week. I, too, hate it.

Ste said...

I hear you. I'm not a big of treadmills... Only thing worse than treadmill is aqua jogging. Oh and not being able to run.

Emily said...
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