Sunday, November 16, 2008
Slow Running Does Count!
I have an answer to yesterday's post...slow running does count. In fact, for an ultra marathoner, almost anything that keeps you on your feet counts! Waking, hiking, jogging, running, delivering the mail, etc. An old friend of mine (the "Fat Kid") used to work for the USPS and he had a walking route to deliver the mail. He was in great shape even though he didn't run more than a couple of times a week. I guess walking all day and then getting in a couple of good runs is a recipe for successful ultra running. So get out there and run...or walk...or hike...or race...it all counts as training for us ultra runners.
Now, back to the real intent of yesterday's question...does moving at 13:00 pace really count as running? Sure it helps to go slow in training for an ultra race since you'll be walking and jogging for most of that 50 or 100 miles anyway, but is it really running? I think the answer lies in the individual's conditioning. For me, it isn't running. My body feels awkward at that slow of a pace and my heart rate is too low to count it as a running. If I was coming back from an injury, then maybe that pace would be "running." For a beginner, anything faster than 12:00 pace might seem like a sprint. For an Olympian, 7:00 pace is pedestrian. It's all relative. What counts as a "real" run or a "real" workout will vary by an individual's training goals and fitness level.
My gerbils always run on their wheels very fast. But they stop a LOT. Sprint. Stop. Look around. Sprint...stop...look. Repeat. I suppose that's their interval workout. My hamster tends to go for a stroll. He'll trot at an easy pace...and keep on going forever. I swear he just runs ALL night. If they were entered into a race, the gerbils would be the 100 meter specialists and the hamster would be the 100 mile guy. So, are you a gerbil or a hamster style runner?