A view from my side.
Now that I’m in between seasons, it is time to focus on my own training. I have been a runner/jogger for many years and my weekly mileage has varied dramatically over that time. I’m not one of those serious runners training for a marathon, hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I do try to keep fit. And while I prefer running outside, I am not adverse to running on a treadmill either. In the past, when I controlled my soccer teams practice schedules, I always set practices to start around 7:00 p.m. which gave me time to run after work and before practice.
Running for me has always been more about staying in shape and feeling good. While I have run in a few races over the years, they have always been relatively short, 5 and 10Ks. My training regimen has always been pretty basic as well. 2-4 miles a day, 4-6 days a week. Once I got myself to a point where I could easily continue, after about a month or so, I would add a “long run” of 6-8 miles one day a week. When I cut my training in January at the start of the just finished soccer season, I was running 4-6 miles a day, 5 days a week, with a 9 mile long run one day.
The more serious runners will vary their workouts, adding hill runs, interval or Fartlek runs, cross country runs, etc. They keep a daily log of runs, have monitors that connect to their computers to keep track of their progress, heart rate, pace and distance.
I admit to keeping a log when I do run and have found it much easier these days with the help of any one of a number of smart phone apps. RunKeeper is my app of choice. Simply press the start button and it tracks my progress, distance, creates a route, pace, etc. I press finish when done and I have all the information I could ever want on my phone. It also keeps the log on their website. And, you can share workouts, routes, etc., with others if you so choose.
So, I will start tomorrow. An easy 3 mile run is on my agenda to slowly work my way back into things. The benefits for me are many. One of the things that I really enjoy about running is the solitude of the run. I’m on my own, in my own thoughts, with no one and no thing to interfere. I almost always run on my own, and find myself working through whatever is on my mind that day. Problems or issues at work. Something that has come up with a kid. Plans for vacation. Strategies for whatever team I may be coaching next. I use that time to focus on something and think my way through the run. It helps soothe away the stress of the day and I always feel great when I’m done.
And, I will leave you with this final benefit, the one that lately, I have come to anticipate the most. As I have aged, my metabolism has slowed and I can’t eat like I used to. Running for me allows me to “purchase” the foods I like to eat. If I want to eat that eclair, it costs 2.5 miles. If I want that bratwurst in the hotdog bun, it costs 3.25 miles. My almost nightly glass of wine, well, I know how many miles it takes to off set the calories. So, much of my fun on the run is thinking about what I will be eating, drinking, or snacking on when I’m done. And those of you that follow this blog, know I love to eat, drink and snack.