6.14.2012

Treadmill Running: Hitting the Hills

Running is an amazing thing. I love it so much but yet at times, it can be hard. I want to run but I can become bored. I want to become a better runner but training can be intimidating. However, with time and practice I seem to be mastering some elements for myself.

When I started this blog I was training for my first marathon. I started writing to find inspiration, motivation, support and that was a success. But I also discovered some worries along the way. I would read other running stories and feel like I wasn't doing enough, pushing enough, running enough. But in time, I learned to not compare myself to others but only to me. And please, I am human so yes, there are days I still fall into that comparison trap. Don't we all?

But through running and/or blogging I found my strength. I truly feel blogging did help that process by hearing stories of others successes, hiccups, frustrations, training mishaps, training goals, etc. It made me realize I am not in it alone. Running is hard and it should be. Training is hard and it needs to be. I cannot accomplish all my running goals without pushing myself to my limits, testing myself, dreaming bigger, reaching further, and having courage.

And sometimes my ideas can come out of nowhere. They just pop in my mind and I embrace them full-heartedly. Like treadmill hills. Today was to be an easy run. FYI - yesterday I ran 5 miles with 3 miles at tempo pace. My overall pace was 7'35". It was hard but comfortable hard. And it left my legs feeling it later in the day. I realized this every time I walked up the stairs at work.

Seconds into my run the idea of doing some hills sounded cool. I instantly changed my run profile to incorporate intervals of an easy uphill and downhill. Imagine gentle rolling hills. My legs were liking the different feel, my motivation was loving the switch, and I got to thinking more. How about I do this each week? Wouldn't it up my training a bit? Would it help me be able to better tackle that hill near my house? Wouldn't it make me a better runner? Yeah, it could be a bit harder, especially if I changed the hill profile, but isn't that the point of my training?

It didn't take me long to come up with my plan. For the remainder of my training I am going to have hills Thursdays. Yes, this falls after Wednesday's tempo or speed work days but I think that is fine. I am mainly focused on changing how my legs are working at different inclines and will keep the pace where it should be for this to still be an easy run day. Yes, I just used hills and easy in the same paragraph. Am I nuts? I think not. I think I can train this way and it will better prepare me for major hill work or hills in races later. And remember that nasty hill near by house? I can use it as a test to evaluate how my training is working. Cool, eh? And please note, my Thursday hills won't always be the gentle rolling variety. Way too boring!

And for the stats: Today I was supposed to run 5 miles but as I approached that 5-mile mark I was at the start of an "uphill" and how can I quit then? And then I had just over 2 minutes until I rounded out 45 minutes of running. How could I quit then? I ended up with 5.39 miles with an overall pace of 8'20".

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the courage of others to share their stories of strong that include DNF or scary run experiences. You know who you are and you are amazing!
Daily Affirmation: I am contributing something wholesome and unique to society. 

5 comments:

  1. Great job! I added hills to my week too but I do it on the treadmill to make sure I keep my speed up. Otherwise, I might be tempted to slow down:) It has really helped me during races.

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  2. I agree that hill training is so important, and it's so hard to get running indoors. Most of my training is inside, so I'd like to add a hill day too.

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  3. you have become such a strong, dedicated runner. Not that you weren't before, but you push your limits so much now and you've become faster and better because of it. So awesome!

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  4. Great job!! I love the quote!

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