Friday, March 11, 2011

The treadmill is part of the plan

Rain has recently replaced snow as a persistent inhibitor to my outdoor running. I wear glasses and they don't mix well with rainy weather as both fog and rain impair my vision when I run. The effect can be disorienting and sometimes downright scary. So with last night's storm extending into the morning, I knew that the treadmill would be my only choice.

Every run I do these days connects to my need to be ready for my half marathon. In between now and then I'll run a 5K but my raison de courir, as my aunt would put it, is to do well at the RXR LI Half. My biggest issue with the treadmill experience is that it's the opposite of peaceful. When I'm on the road or the trail I tune into my surroundings and my favorite runs are those where the sound of my footsteps is the loudest thing I hear. I further appreciate that I own the run and choose where and how I'll run. Our treadmill is quieter than its predecessor but it's still an aggressive machine that forces me to conform to its limitations.

My current approach to treadmill running is to begin more slowly than when I run on the street. Rather than begin with a frenzied pace, I work my way up by starting at around a 9:50 pace and finishing closer to 8:50. That seems to work and I am getting to fold in some speed into the run. I think the two keys to a successful race on May 1st are: 1) Continuing to build my base closer to 9 or 10 miles, and 2) Working on strengthening my core, especially the glutes and hamstrings that will help me maintain my speed. Hard work to be sure, but at least I have a plan.

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