Now that I am finished with physical therapy, I am gradually adding back more challenging running workouts–like speed and hill intervals. I usually do interval workouts on the treadmill. That way, I can force myself to do a long enough warm-up and cool-down, and work up to faster intervals or steeper “hills.” Plus, I find that intervals make the time spent on the treadmill so much more tolerable.
Two weeks ago, for my first speed interval workout in ages, I warmed up for 15 minutes and then did 30 minutes of intervals:
0-5 min: waking @ 3.7 mph
5-10 min: running @ 5.7 mph
10-15 min: running @ 6.0 mph
15-45 min: 2 min fast/1 min recovery, working up to 7.0 mph
45-47 min: running @ 5.7 mph
45-50 min: waking @ 3.7 mph
It felt good. I felt good. The endorphins felt really good!
This week, I decided to run on the high school track near my house. I walked most of the way there, but ran the last 1/4 mile to start warming up. I ran two laps to finish my warm up, and then did 4 sets of 800 M repeats–running two laps at a fast pace, with a recovery lap in between.
I timed my laps on my Garmin, but didn’t look at it while I was running. It was a gorgeous day–in the upper 60’s with a lovely sunrise–and I was just enjoying pushing myself like I haven’t been able to for months.
When I got back home and checked my split times, I was amazed. My first repeat was at an 8:40-ish pace (about 6.9 mph), my second and third repeats were at an 8:30-ish pace (about 7.0 mpg), and my last repeat was at an 8:20-ish pace (about 7.2 mph).
I know I would not have gone that fast on the treadmill, and that got me thinking–do numbers motivate me or hold me back?
For distance, I think numbers motivate me. Once I decide to run a certain distance (or a certain time on the treadmill), I will reach that goal–even if I have to push myself, prod myself, or bribe myself to get it done.
For speed, I think numbers may hold me back. I am afraid to set aggressive pace goals, and wary of pushing my pace on the treadmill. Rightly or wrongly, I am afraid that running too fast will trigger an injury. When I run outside, I usually run faster that I do on the treadmill. I used to think that was due to differences between treadmill running and natural running, but maybe it’s because I hold myself back on the treadmill.
What about you–do you think numbers motivate you or hold you back?