Saturday, May 22, 2010

Running in My Own Shoes

Before I begin again to try on the shoes of courageous and admirable people, it's going to be necessary to use some time to get comfortable in my own. So, I've spent about a week researching training plans, experimenting with how much running is realistic after such a long break, and determining how and when to use those newly-prescribed muscle relaxers to get the best results for training without affecting my ability to function otherwise.

It turns out, much as I'd feared, that it will be necessary to start from the beginning. In a previous post, I'd described the scenario that runners dread after a long lay off, and this is it. But, the benefit of such a conservative training plan is that it should help to prevent any further injury.

The internet is packed with free resources for runners, including everything from videos of the science of foot strikes to marathon training plans for advanced runners. One of the many plans I reviewed is found on, and it has been modified to fit my own circumstances. Others can be located on websites such as Cool Running, the Mayo Clinic, and Runner's World. Click on the schedule to see a clearer version, if you like.

This two-phase, eighteen-week plan to reach the goal distance of 3.1 miles takes into consideration my age and current physical challenges (always check with your doctor when beginning a fitness plan). It also incorporates strength training and cross training. It is posted on the refrigerator, glaring back at me with every pass I make through the kitchen. I'm looking forward to drawing a big "X" over each block as the tasks are accomplished.

The idea behind this plan is to begin by ignoring distance, and to strive instead for sustained running through small and repeated time increments -- a "connect the dots" approach. For example, during the first week, the plan is to walk for six minutes, jog for one minute, and repeat both increments five times. A one minute sprint is included in the last repetition. Each week, the duration of walking time decreases slightly, and the duration of jogging time increases slightly. Over the course of eight or nine weeks, the dots connect, translating into a jog time of thirty consecutive minutes. At that point, distance is achieved automatically. At my slow pace, which averages about 3.7 mph, I should be covering around 1.8 miles in thirty minutes.

The 1.8 mile distance is a perfect beginning point for the second training phase during week 10 -- the training plan for a 5K. If all goes well, that should allow for participating in a charitable 5K event during mid-October.

There's only one thing missing from this plan. That is, what cause is going to get my race registration fee, my attempt to cross the finish line wearing a T-shirt filled with the names of courageous individuals who've traveled a difficult path, and a $100.00 donation honoring them?

Help me decide whose shoes to borrow! Leave a comment about your favorite cause!

Meanwhile, here's to the next mile....

1 comment:

  1. I like to do jogging, running and also like to take part in running competition very much. That is why I have a huge collection of shoes and also have other type of shoes because I like to wear different type of shoes.


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