Friday, December 11, 2009

The Running Pact

Last weekend I was running with Jeff Riddle and we were both complaining about what we'd like to achieve with our running. Lose weight, set some PRs, get back to trail marathons & ultras, qualify for Boston, do the 100 mile Grand Slam, etc. All fine goals. The problem is we already know HOW to achieve them...but we don't do it! Jeff knows how to lose weight. I know how to become a faster runner. We are both knowledgeable about training plans. The problem is we don't have the discipline to carry through with what we SAY we want to do. Maybe we don't really want to achieve these things. Or maybe we do, but simply don't have the correct motivation. So we decided to start small and commit to running together on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 5:30am through the winter. Probably an easy 4-6 mile run. Simple enough. Nothing earth shattering. It's implied that during those runs we would discuss our progress...that's an extra slice of accountability. Additionally, I'll post an update on my progress each Friday on this blog. Jeff is welcome to comment, or have a full guest post, if he wishes. That is our simple pact.

How will this pact get us toward our goals? Well, for me, I need consistency. I skip too many runs. I'm blessed with some innate running talent. I can "get by" on pretty low weekly mileage and still preform OK. In fact, I can run fairly well at all distances from 5K to 100 miles with just 25-35 miles per week. I want to run better and achieve my potential as a runner. I want more than "OK." I've never committed to a real training plan and attempted to see what my personal records could be at 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, 50K, 50 miles, 100K, 100 get the idea. I think I'm capable of new PRs at all these distances. Running with Jeff will get me out the door twice a week for a couple very easy runs. Plus, those runs will motivate me to do other runs so I can report progress back to Jeff. In addition to Tuesday/Thursday with Jeff, I plan on doing a benchmark run every Friday morning to objectively track my progress. I did my first one this morning at the gym (see below). In future posts I'll detail my full training plan and my ultimate goal for 2010.

Why wait until the new year to commit to a new training program? My new training started this week! Tuesday and Thursday I ran with Jeff early in the morning. It was bitterly cold, dark, and windy...but we met and did our easy runs. If we can run in the dark when the temperature is 4 degrees (windchill well below zero), we should be able to continue under better conditions. Today I had my first "benchmark" run on the treadmill. My goal is to run every Friday morning on the treadmill under the same conditions: same shoes, same pace, same treadmill, same incline, same warm-up and cool-down. Here's the workout and metrics I will follow: half-mile warm-up jog @ 9:00 pace, followed by 3-mile run at 8:00 pace on treadmill set at 0% incline, then half-mile cool down walk. I'll run the same pace (8:00 minute/mile = 7.5 miles/hour) and track my average and peak heart rate for the 3-mile run. I believe the pace will feel easier over time and my average and peak heart rates will drop. Here are the statistics for today and what my goals are for the near future:

December 11, 2009 Benchmarks
3 miles @ 8:00 pace
Average HR = 155
Peak HR = 165
Resting HR = 54
Weight = 174

Intermediate Goals (achieved by March 27)

Average HR = 145
Peak HR = 155
Resting HR = 50
Weight = 172

Long Term Goals (achieved by August 1)
Average HR = 135
Peak HR = 145
Resting HR = 45
Weight = 170

Seems doable, eh? Wait until you hear about my ultimate goal for 2010. I believe it's doable too.


Tom Rice said...

If you REALLY want to do something, you'll find the discipline to do it. Otherwise, you don't really want to do it. Or something like that. I walked to work this morning in 14-degree weather bacause I wanted to, it was a beautiful, sunny day, and I had enough discipine to get up earlier, dress properly, and leave the house ealier for the 45-minute walk.

Chris Ⓥ said...

I'm with you on that one! It's true. I won't speak for Jeff or others, but if I wanted to break 24:00 on a 100-mile trail race, I could (it would take effort in training, but I could do it). If I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I could. Break 19:00 for a 5K, yep. Obviously, I haven't wanted any of those things bad enough. I can admit to that...but I think I'm changing my mind on a few things for 2010...getting older and I'm getting re-motivated to make a surge! Soon I'll be old like you and not be able to accomplish my goals EVEN WITH TRAINING! ;-)