March 31, 2010

Ran a great 2.5 miles in a snow storm

We had about an inch of snow last night, and it snowed all morning. The air temperature, though, was in the high 30s, and the snow hasn't collected on the sidewalks and roads. It has collected on the lawns. A light snow was falling during my run, but I was warm and felt good.

I didn't check my wakeup pulse rate this morning, but I felt good before, during, and after my run. I followed Jeff Galloway's 30:30 (seconds) ratio again by counting steps. I counted steps, not to control the time of walking and running, but to check the accuracy of my guesstimates of how far I should run or walk. I would choose a tree, a big rock, a clump of grass, or a water puddle and then count steps until I got to that point. In the beginning my guesstimates were too long, but by the end of my run, my guesstimates were within a couple of steps of being the correct distance. My goal is to not measure time or count steps but to go by "feel" as to how far to run or to walk. I don't think it is necessary to run exactly 30 seconds or to walk 60 seconds. I just want to run a short distance and walk a shorter distance.

In his blog entry about frequent but short spurts of running and walking, Galloway said that some runners are actually completing a route in less time than they did following the more traditional pattern. I checked that today by using my GPS to measure my mile splits. On February 24, for example, my mile splits were 16:42 and 18:29. I measured my splits on several days, and they were always within 20 or 30 seconds of those times. Today, however, my splits were 15:21 and 15:50. That is, my total time for 2 miles when running until my legs started feeling tired and then walking for a minute or so and then running again was 35 minutes and 11 seconds. Today, using shorter spurts for running and walking, my total time was 31 minutes and 11 seconds, and I felt much better at the end. My pace today during the first mile was a little bit faster, but the pace was significantly faster during the second mile because I started walking before my legs felt tired. If my splits were to be extrapolated to 3 miles for a 5K race, it would reduce my time for the race by about 6 minutes. That would be a significant decrease for a short race. I will continue measuring my mile splits while I experiment with Galloway's method.

My legs felt fine at the end of my run, and this is the first run since January 2009 that my legs felt fine during 2.5 miles.

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