Showing posts with label routines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label routines. Show all posts

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The important thing is that I ran

Today's run (street): 2.35 miles

One interesting thing about running at 4:00 AM is how the workout connects to the day ahead. The run itself can determine what type of day I'll have. A particularly good performance or a positive experience can carry far into the day. Regardless of how I've run, whenever I return to my driveway I always think "If nothing else, at least I accomplished this today." My wife shares the same perspective about her daily treadmill runs. Besides the convenience of getting it out of the way early, morning runs provide a great platform for managing whatever comes later in the day.

This morning's run was not remarkable in any way although it felt tougher than some. My energy band is highest before noon but at 4:00 AM it's sometimes a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh remaining weak. After the transition to aerobic breathing I got into rhythm but it wasn't one of my stronger efforts. The local weather report said 39 degrees but it felt colder, even with two layers of running shirts. I tracked a somewhat random course and made it back to the house close to schedule despite starting a couple of minutes later than planned. I'm glad to get that run in since I decided to take a day off from running (and blogging) on Wednesday. The weekend is almost here. I may try again to achieve a distance record on one of those days.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Give us this day her daily tread

Every weekday morning, as I step out of the shower, I hear the modulated whine of the treadmill from the guest room. As long as we've had our treadmill my wife has used it daily for her workouts. While I dutifully cover my miles each morning, my time-span pales in comparison to hers. She typically endures 45 minutes daily, walking at a rapid pace about half the time and running the balance. My wife isn't planning to switch to road running but I'll bet, with her excellent form, that she'd do very well as a runner. Her approach to fitness is simple and practical: get up and get it done before the kids wake up and start their day.

My day starts earlier than my wife's but not by much. I got out this morning at around 4:10 AM which is a few minutes later than I usually start. Putting on all those layers in defense of the 34 degree temperatures (plus wind) adds to my prep time. I ended up covering 2.3 miles in around 21 minutes. I had no problem with fatigue since I rested yesterday but I did not feel as though I was running efficiently. No matter though, I managed to warm up and was fairly comfortable by the second half of the run. While it was cold (the head on-wind caused my eyes to tear) we still haven't reached those days that require full face coverage. When the temperatures hit the teens I'll need to decide how much I really dislike the treadmill.

Friday, September 18, 2009

From bedroom to street in 28 simple steps

Last night, as I was preparing my gear for this morning's run, I realized just how much I need to do just to get out the door. I've often wondered why, when I arise at 3:50, that I'm not on the road until 4:08. Thinking through all the individual steps I'm not surprised that it takes so long.

Consider this routine:

1. Head downstairs
2. Start coffee machine (set up done the night before)
3. Turn on cell phone and place in arm band
4. Take vitamin
5. Pour coffee
6. Grab energy bar
7. Head back upstairs
8. Change out of sleeping attire, put on:
9. Supporter
10. Running shorts
11. HRM
12. Compression t-shirt (it was chilly this morning)
13. Running jersey
14. Reflective vest
15. Running socks
16. Running shoes
17. Flashing tail light
18. Running hat
19. Head lamp
20. Garmin 50 watch
21. Arm band
22. Consume 1/3 of energy bar
23. Drink 1/3 cup of coffee
24. Head back downstairs
25. Step outside
26. Do quick set of flexibility stretches
27. Prepare and start Garmin
28. Hit the road

It's no wonder that my running time is barely longer than my prep time. This morning I covered 2.6 miles in 23:04, a mere eight minutes longer than the time I took to get ready. If not for all the work I do the night before to set out my clothes and gear that gap would be even closer. I'd like to run longer distances in the mornings but I'm not sure how to gain more efficiencies. Perhaps if I put all my gear downstairs I can save a minute or two by changing into running clothes while my coffee brews. Or I could sleep in my running clothes and forgo my coffee until I come back from my run. Alternatively, I could become a 7:00/mile runner and cover about 5K every morning in the same period of time. I'm all for aspirational pace goals but I think I'm just going to have to adjust to running without a caffeine boost if I want to get more time in the morning.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Racing to run

As I've mentioned in past postings, my morning routine is planned with a similar precision to a space shuttle launch. The alarm goes off at 3:55 AM, I pour my coffee at 3:58, turn on the treadmill at 4:00, put on my shoes and running clothes by 4:05, set up the HRM by 4:06, consume half my Special K bar and 1/3 of my coffee by 4:08 and start my warm-up by 4:09. This gives me approximately 20 minutes to run two miles at target pace before ending with a couple of minutes to cool down and reduce my heart rate.

Some mornings the routine goes flawlessly and I sometimes gain a few minutes and run a little longer. Other times, like this morning, time went by in fast motion and before I had even started my run the clock read 4:12. This left me with only 15 minutes to run, forcing me to get up to speed faster than normal. I ended up running 15:00 at 9:05 (1.66 miles). I thought I'd actually run faster than that but the Garmin doesn't lie (unless I calibrate it wrong). Making things worse was my treadmill display that sputtered out after about 5 minutes. That left me no easy way of monitoring progress and performance short of toggling through my watch settings as I ran. That's fine once or twice during a run but repeating this process soon becomes tedious.

It seems like 9:05 is my new default pace, quicker by far than my average daily performance in 2008, but again, not under 9:00. I could blame my cold and my leg soreness for being off goal pace but I know that I could have pushed harder than I did today. I'm working from my home office tomorrow which will give me an opportunity to run a little later (possibly outside) and longer. If I keep it under 3 miles tomorrow I won't be happy with any pace above 8:59.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Caution: icy roads ahead

I had a great run this morning despite the fact that the neighborhood roads still have patches of ice. There was snow and ice on less trafficked areas, like the Middle School, where I often begin my runs. I was careful to navigate around those hazards and I also encountered ice patches around the lower ends of some hilly streets.

Today's run was about 3.2 miles which I did at an average pace of 9:49. I thought that was good since I needed to slow down a lot when the roads were bad. I bought some running leggings last week that are very comfortable and perfect for temperatures in the 20's and 30's. The down side is that I have no place to put an ID or my phone (I usually keep them in the back pocket of my running sweats). The other thing about the leggings is that they are form fitting and you get the sensation that you aren't wearing pants. I actually checked the first time I used them last week to make sure I hadn't forgotten to fully dress.

I've definitely stepped up my average distance per run but it's mostly due to having more time on vacation. I really want to extend my morning runs between Monday and Friday that are constrained by my schedule. I can probably start slightly earlier by preparing more the night before. Even five minutes gained would make a difference.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My routine

I've asked a lot of other runners about their running routines. Most say that they run three to five times a week and have stressed the importance of taking days to rest or cross train. I don't take days off to rest because I'm afraid that if I stop it will be harder to resume. Plus I would feel guilty for missing a day. I run one to two miles every morning (on the treadmill) and then do longer runs outside on weekends. My longest continuous run so far is 2.6 miles and I'm hoping to go a full 3 miles in the next few weeks.

We're getting an elliptical machine this week so I plan to switch between running and elliptical every day (but run Saturdays and Sundays). The elliptical is low impact and will help provide a rest from running.

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