A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Take it and Run Thursday

Today's Take it and Run topic over at Runners' Lounge is brought to you by none other than...ME!

How do you decide how far/long to run when you aren't following a predetermined training plan? I have a few short races (5Ks and 8Ks) coming up but I'm not planning to follow a training plan for them. I just finished my most recent half-marathon on July 19th and now I'm at a loss as what to do now in terms of distances, etc. I almost always run with a training plan but I'm not sure if I should now or not. Or, if I should be, what I should be looking for in one.

I’m lucky enough to live in area that has lots of options for running. I can run laps around my neighborhood for 5K distances. I can do out and backs through my town for runs between 3 and 6 miles. I can drive to the 7 mile-long bike path that starts a few miles from my house if I want to get in a long run with minimal stops. I can run along the lakefront path in downtown Chicago after work or at lunch for any distance I want. I can do speedwork on the track near my house. Or I can stick to the treadmill in my basement.

So, not only do I have the difficulty of choosing what distance to run, I have the challenge of deciding where to run. And, really, they’re all such great places, how would I ever decide? Here’s a sample:

Click here if the slide show doesn't show up.

Which leads me to what I want to know from you: How do you decide how far to run? Do you base it on a training plan? On the route? Or on something else entirely?

Last night I decided to mix it up and do 3 miles half in my neighborhood and half on my route through town. I figure I did just over 5 on Monday and 4 on Tuesday. If I did 3 last night it would be like my own little taper.

I ran the first 1.5 miles with Trinka Deu. Who, by the way, was having none of it. She lagged behind me the entire time. She wanted nothing more than to stroll along at a leisurely pace. Well, that's all fine and good, but I wanted to RUN. As it was, we did our first mile in over 11 minutes. Sigh. At least I was taking it easy? I picked up the pace after I dropped the dog off at home. I stopped the Garmin when it hit mile 3, but I actually ran a little bit after that and walked about a quarter mile more.

And now, after three days of running in a row, I'm off to rest up for my 5K on Saturday. Never fear, though, I have a fun surprise for all of you tomorrow! Stay tuned!


Route:--Elev. Avg:620 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:-3 ft
Date:08/12/09Up/Downhill: [+16/-19]
Time:06:20 PMDifficulty:2.0 / 5.0
 76 F temp; 48% humidity
 77 F heat index; winds E 9

Distance: 3.00 miles
Speed:5.9 mph
Pace:10' 07 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
111' 14+1' 075.3-0.6+3 ft
29' 53-0' 146.1+0.1-4 ft
end9' 12-0' 556.5+0.6-3 ft
Versus average of 10' 07 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Lacey Nicole said...

Hi Erin! So much fun this new TIaRT! I just posted my blog response :) I saw that you are running a Rally for Autism on the 15th! So cool! is this a run or a walk? Good luck :) I do a lot of work with kids on the spectrum and walked a 5k this past May with my "Little brother" who i have been working with since he was 4--- (he's 7 now!) :)

Mark said...

Wow! Awesome blog!!

kilax said...

I have to have a plan to follow... otherwise, I am lost! I end up doing the same thing each time, and that doesn't get me anywhere (well, it gets me home and back, but doesn't improve my running "skills").

If I know I have to run longer, I do try to find a different route! I wouldn't want to run 11 miles in my neighborhood. B-o-r-i-n-g!

Maybe Trinka was helping you taper? Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

I posted a TiaRT response for you! Great question!

Bayjb said...

when I don't have a plan to follow, I tend to go to far because I forget I have to go back. I'm so bad at judging when I should turn around.

chris mcpeake said...

I always run with a plan otherwise I would find it increasingly harder to get out the door each day.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview! <3 you!

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