Saturday, April 19, 2008

My secret to running on a treadmill + a bunch of nothing

I dislike running on a treadmill. It is boring.

Sometimes there are some interesting people to watch. One day there was this woman that was running near me and she was running at a 6.5 mph pace. She started just after me and I thought that judging by her weight (which had to be around 200 for a someone about 5'6") this pace would be short lived. um, no. She ran that pace for about 45 minutes (Rock on lady!). Last night there was a guy that was walking next to me--he was thinner than I, but only walking at 4 mph. He was sweating like a pig after about 10 minutes. Weird. Anyway, stuff like that can keep me interested for a little bit. For the most part, no matter what my intentions are when first stepping on to the treadmill, I have to mix it up a bit to stay sane.

Yesterday, I rode with DTP up to Skyline Drive. The original plan was to ride for 2.5 to 3 hours. When his cranks started coming loose I cut that down to just a ride on Skyline to Springville Road, west to Bethany, and then north on Cornell and on to the house. 90 minutes of riding that included a couple of minutes trying to fix DTP's bike and waiting for him a couple of times. This is not to say that DTP is slow, but well, perhaps there is a reason why the guys that we play cards with call him Slow Dave (The dude takes 3 times longer to play a card than anyone else). To make a short story longer, I wasn't too tired after the ride and btw yes, I really enjoy giving DTP a bunch of crap. We got back home in time for me to watch son #1 while Bridget went to a kindergym class with son #2. She would have put him in the daycare, so DTP's bike problem saved us some money.

About 8 hours later, after consuming a Muchas Gracias taco, half-order of Nachos, a Skyline Burger, fries and salad, and a three pack of McDonald's chocolate chip cookies I got around to the treadmill.

As noted earlier, I cannot just be on the treadmill without some sort of disraction. Everyone who has ever run on a treadmill knows this to be true, unless you have the ability to go into some sort of mediative trance. I can't so I do the following:

Listen to my iPod--either Car Talk or Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on podcast or some music

(1) Wonder why in the hell I don't have the legal job of my dreams yet. I also like to berate myself regarding things that I should be doing but haven't for some reason. I talk down to myself in an effort to shame myself for my incompetence at getting a job. This usually does two things, takes my mind off of the boredom of running on the treadmill and angers me enough to keeping at a decent pace. Self-hate can be a powerful thing sometimes, and it can be used for good oddly enough.

(2) Wonder why I am still gaining weight even though I have been burning about 7000 calories a week working out. Then I remember the nachos, taco, hamburger, fries, cookies, and blue cheese dressing I consumed during the day I and figure it out. This doesn't usually take long.

But my real secret to running on the treadmill is to push myself in intervals.
-Run one mile warm up
-Start the timer on the treadmill again and run 5.5 mph
-At 5 minutes increase pace to 6.1 and run for 75 seconds.
-Return to 5.5 mph
-At 10 minutes increase pace to 6.2 and run for 80 seconds.
-Return to 5.5 mph
-At 15 minutes increase pace to 6.3 and run for 85 seconds. return to 5.5 mph afterwards.
-At 20 minutes 6.4 mph, run for 90 seconds. Return to 5.5 mph.
-At 25 minutes 6.5 mph, run for 95 seconds. Return to 5.5 mph.
-At 30 mintes 6.6 mph, run for 100 seconds. return to 5.5 mph.
This continues until I get to 7.0 mph and 120 seconds. I don't go beyond that. After the interval I head back down to 5.5 mph. After finishing 6 miles of this I then do a cool down--last night that was about 3/4 of a mile. Total mileage was around 7.7 miles. Anyway, that was last nights workout. Other days I do similar intevals, even if it is not this exact one.

My heart rate last night averaged 157 during the 80 minutes I ran. My max was 171. I burned something like 1320 calories. The only negative was that my lower back, near my hip was killing me again during the night. So I probably over did it a bit. Nevertheless, I felt great during the run. The change of pace keeps me interested, and the ever increasing speed during the faster parts are a challenge.

I still worry about the run portion of the Vikingman. My hip still pains me making running at all a concern. I am limiting my running to about twice a week. Hopefully that will be enough to survive. Survival is the only goal at this point.

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