Time or distance?

Today I had all intentions of doing 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I was free of the kid for a few hours so had the time to take it easy and not worry about how long it took. I figured I’d run a couple miles, walk a couple miles, run a couple miles, and then walk the rest.

Now, it should be noted that in the year and a half since Paul died, the furthest I’ve run is 6.2 miles. And it should also be noted that I’ve not really done any training. My last run (5 miles) was about a month ago. The run before that was about a month earlier still (a 10K race). So, 8 miles was actually a bit of an aggressive target.

When I got to the gym, I noticed that the treadmills had a time limit of 60 minutes. After which, they will go into cool down mode. So I figured I’d do 60 minutes then restart the machine to finish off my 8 miles.

As I got going, I realised this was going to be hard. But I got a good pace going and started to feel confident. Then I heard Paul in the back of my mind telling me to stop being stupid and not push myself too hard. And I knew he was right.

And so, I decided to just do 60 minutes and not worry about distance just yet.

I am still trying to determine what my official training regimen will be, but for now I’ve told myself that I’m going to stick with 60 minutes for the month of December. Over the course of the month, I will try to increase the mileage within that timeframe with the goal of running a 10K (6.2 miles) by the end of the month.

In January, I’ll think about my next step and whether I will go for increased mileage or increased distance. I’m starting my training early enough so I am not concerned that I’m taking it slow. Because Paul is right—I can’t be stupid and push myself too hard when I’m training. That’s what race day is for!

Just 300 days until the Loch Ness Marathon!!

6 thoughts on “Time or distance?

  1. i’m still trying to motivate myself to set foot on the treadmill, let alone time. once the craziness of christmas craft fair season abates i’ll start swimming again to ease myself in gently

    • I used to love swimming! Sadly, I have to stay away from the chlorinated water because it wreaks havoc with my platelet counts. But on warm days, I can still play in the lakes and rivers!!

  2. I started my own training on Saturday. And then promptly sprained my ankle whilst looking up at the gloriously blue sky. So I’m sidelined for a little bit. But I made it two miles before the big crash that left me laying on my side in the dirt and pine needles while I tried not to throw up. It was not awesome.

    So hopefully this time it will only take a week or two to feel better, unlike the 4 months it took last time. (This is the 4th time I’ve sprained this ankle) I think I need some serious help. Either physical therapy to fix it, or counseling to determine why I’m such a glutton for punishment!

    • Ouch!! I hope your ankle heals quickly. It seems to be a common injury. I bashed my own ankle a few summers ago and had several months’ of physical therapy. It still gives me trouble now and then, but it’s pretty strong for the most part.

      How long of a race are you training for? Or is it just training for the sake of good health?

  3. The training plan on the Loch Ness Marathon site itself looked pretty helpful?

    The advice I always got when i was easing myself into running was to go for duration to build up stamina rather than worry about speed or distance, so maybe setting yourself goals like running/walking for 60 mins in differing combinations and then up-ing it to 70 mins, 80 mins etc might be a good idea rather than try to run 60 mins or 8 miles flat out straight off?

    But what do i know, i’ve done one 10k and not run since!!!

    Good luck. I’ll get back in training in the New Year. Who knows I might even get feeling good enough to sign up for the marathon instead of just the 10k – unlikely but not impossible!

    R xx

    • My problem with increases in endurance is that I will tell myself one thing then decide that I can push a bit further even still! So when I’m getting back into training I find that I do best with a hard-and-fast rule (60 min) until I can do that effortlessly.

      Otherwise, I really do push myself too hard. I seem to forget that I am no longer that 16-year-old cross country star! And as I’m also a ‘sicky’ on top of it all, when I push myself too hard I end up down for several weeks and have to start all over again.

      BUT, once I can do a 60-minute effortless run, that will mean I’m in good enough shape to add 10 minutes at a time as you suggest.

      I plan to run/walk the marathon because I know there’s no way I can run solid for 26.2 miles. I need to talk this all over with my doctor yet, too. I don’t think she’s going to be overly thrilled with my plans, but she’ll be supportive at least!

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