My First Big Running Fail

I’ve posted a couple of updates on how things are going with my running program.  Although March still has some time, I can say that it’s shaping up to be another solid month, except for an experience earlier this week which was a giant fail.

I do all of my running at the gym, on a treadmill, and it works out very well.  I don’t get bored.  I find it challenging, and I don’t mind the drive and all that.

Still, I was tempted to give an outdoor run a try, and after my wife came back from her second one of the year and talked about how great it was to be outside, and just be able to go, I figured I’d give a small outdoor run a chance.

I knew it would only be a short run, around the neighborhood, but figured why not get out and try.

It ended up being a giant mess.  I came back and spent almost half an hour coughing and panting and just miserable, before I finally recovered.

So where did I go wrong? Everywhere!

  • mb-2015-01-watch – I was getting stuff ready to take out the garbage and decided right then and there that I’d go for a run.  I didn’t change.  I did minimal stretching.  I didn’t have any sort of mental prep time.  It was literally less than five minutes between the time I decided to go and when I was off.  It just didn’t work.
  • It was cold – When I’m inside, it’s a controlled temp, probably around 70 degrees.  This works.  It was probably only about 40-45 degrees out.  My body just wasn’t ready for that.
  • I had a cold – I’ve been battling a small chest cold.  Near the end of the day, I start coughing a little more and then a little more than that.  Trying to run while breathing in the cold air at a rapid rate sent my cough to overdrive.
  • I did not pace myself – When I’m on a treadmill, I set the pace on the control panel, and then have to make my body go to that pace.  I also can change pace based on various times.  As it was, I did not have any pace, so I ended up starting off at a pace well under 9:00 per mile, which would be great, except that I normally run around 9:50.  It was overload, and by the time I realized I’d overextended myself, I was already a mess.
  • I downloaded an incompatible app – I like to run in intervals.  I’ll run for a period of time, then stop for 30 seconds or so.  In my five minutes of prep time, I went to the Play Store, typed in running, and downloaded the first app I found…which did not have the ability to program intervals, as many other apps do.  Had I gotten the right one, I would have been able to program this in, and my phone would have alerted me when to start and stop.  I probably could have also programmed in a desired pace and had it alert me I was going too fast.  As it was, my winging it kept me going not only faster, but longer.

All in all, I could have done better, and I will.  I think running outside could be great, and I definitely plan on doing it again, but everything will be different.  Next time, I will try it on a warmer day, when I’m feeling better, when I have an app that can align with my running style, when I can pace myself, and when I’m a bit more mentally prepared.  Maybe a lot more!

Readers, have you ever started off with something with the best of intentions, only to realize how unprepared you were?


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2 thoughts on “My First Big Running Fail

  1. Preparation is half if not more of anything you do. I used to run about 20+ years ago . I would get up early (5:30 AM) and run for about 30-35 minutes. In Los Angeles, it rarely gets below 45 degrees even in the winter, but I dressed for the weather. I stopped running because I was concerned about injury and have been bicycling ever since.

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