Some of you may have heard me say I’m not great at running. I never really have been. I ran hurdles in middles school briefly until I hit one with my foot and badly sprained my ankle. I was done!
Ever since then I’ve started and stopped running a half-dozen times. The real problem: I want to love running. I actually do love running. But my body doesn’t necessarily agree. My lungs feel like they are going to burn up after like 5 feet! Just kidding. I can go a little farther than that without wanting to quit. But not too much.
A few years ago I was challenged to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes. 10 minute miles. Ok! that doesn’t sound horribly difficult. After all, people run half-marathons and marathons, and usually average less than 10 minutes a mile. Surely I could do 3. So I made a plan to run with a friend and fellow trainer. We found the best place to run, by the beach. She and I ran, and she talked to me the whole way. I didn’t talk back because of all the wheezing of course. In the end we finished our 3 miles in 31 minutes. So almost but not quite. I was bummed, but also pretty glad I had actually accomplished the 3 miles.
Fast forward to now. I picked up my running again a few months ago after a long 6 month recovery from a broken tailbone. Of course I was back to being out of running shape. So I decided I was going to approach my running differently this time.
I’ve done interval running before and I really like it because it allows me to go further each time, but also really helps my lungs and body adjust to running more quickly. I’ve also done sprint intervals too, but never have I combined them in a full program with the purpose of increasing my lung capacity and running speed. Until now!
This is the program I created. My first goal is to be able to run 3.5 miles without resting and walking. That’s how far the nearest Barnes and Nobles is. And my reward will be Starbucks 🙂
Each week I will increase the Total Time by 5 minutes and every 2 weeks I’ll increase the run/walk intervals by 30 seconds. Eventually I will decrease the rest periods of both the run/walk and sprint/walk intervals. I plan to continue this until I can run steady for the full 3.5 miles easily. Then who knows, maybe 5 miles? That’s just crazytalk!!