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!
- – 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?