Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thirty seconds

Yesterday I ran for thirty seconds. A really long thirty seconds.

I used to do the 10K Sun Run in Vancouver back in the '90s, which was pretty hard on my knees. However I did learn one thing from that, interval training. The Vancouver Sun used to promote training for the Sun Run by doing this interval training a few months in advance. You could start in January not being able to run at all, and by the time of the Sun Run in April you could do the full 10K without stopping. Pretty impressive, and it works. So I swear by the Sun Run training, and that's what I am trying to do now.

The way it works is, the first week you walk four and half minutes and run for thirty seconds, repeating for up to an hour. These days I set my limit at thirty minutes because I don't think my knees are up for the full hour. Repeat three times in one week. The next week you add thirty seconds so you are walking four minutes and running one minute. Each week you add thirty seconds till finally you are running the whole time. Pretty simple.

Simple, but not easy. Yesterday was my first go at it, out on the MacGregor track. I've been walking there with Fatima and Grace and the dogs, and I've improved significantly from being totally wasted by a forty minute walk to being able to complete the full forty minutes in reasonable shape. So now I want to up the ante and try running.

That first thirty seconds yesterday just about killed me. The second one I survived. By the eighth one I thought I could tack on a few seconds at the end, just to see how far I could go before running out of breath. Maybe an extra fifteen seconds. I am so out of shape!

But this morning, I woke up raring to go, I can't believe the energy I feel. That alone is motivation to do it again. Fatima was at the dogpark this morning, I told her what I was doing and she is reluctantly agreeing to try it. She is dead set against running. But how bad can thirty seconds be?

I didn't tell her how bad it can be.


Steven said...

Can I suggest 'racewalking'? No, not just walking fast, but the formal sport of racewalking. Sure it looks silly at first, even feels that way, but it is so easy on your knees and and you can go as fast as most runners. Smooth! You can actually see where you're going because your head isn't bobbing up and down. I was up to 10 minute miles in my prime and I was doing marathons at a 13 minute mile pace and passing runners. Do your knees a favor and check it out.

Annie said...

Hi Steven, good suggestion. I have seen a couple of people doing it but I am not sure how it is done.

As my former doctor (a sports medicine specialist) explained it, pounding is not the cause of my knee pain, it is more about rubbing. His recommendation was to do exercises to strengthen the muscles that hold the knee caps in place. So far I have had good luck with that, I just don't do the exercises as regularly as I ought. Long distance cycling also causes me knee pain, and I don't think there is any pounding involved in that.

Wisewebwoman said...

I was a runner in my time too, Annie, I would love to do it again and your methodology sounds excellent. However, there's something wrong if you're running out of puff or you're in knee-pain.
I ran a lot and never suffered any of that. I was told at the first sign of knee-pain to not run and immediately replace my shoes.
And if you can't sing or talk while running you are going too fast.
I was never one for feeling the burn, etc. A nice easy conversational pace and I actually placed in a Toronto series one year!
I'll et you know how my training goes....we have the Tely 10 here in July. A 10 miler, but downhill.

Annie said...

Hi and good luck WWW on the Tely 10!

I hope this training program helps. Here's a link to the original training program.