Friday, December 30, 2016

Running Plan

The idea is to get back to running more and walking less.  Three weeks ago I saw a very good therapist who specializes in running - in fact she is also a runner, and a fine one.  She gave me a schedule for ramping up that was appropriate for an injured runner, probably someone younger than me and not taking cancer meds.  I protested that it ramped up pretty fast, and she suggested that I use the same schedule but a third as fast.

Today we talked about it more and I understand it better.  This is the plan:

  • Each session begins with stretches and then 2-5 minutes of brisk walking. 
  • After that, each session (walk/run) is 30 minutes, including six repetitions of walking & running, 5 minutes apiece, comprised of 4 minutes of walking and 1 of running.
  • After three sessions at this pattern, the running portion increases by ½ minute for the next three, the increases continuing until the total running time reaches 30 minutes per session. 
  • Sessions must always be separated by at least one day off, i.e. never walk/run two days in a row. 
  • Once a week or so, sessions should be separated by two days off. 
  • Additional walking during a session is allowed. 
  • After the running time reaches 30 minutes, it may be increased by 10% per week.
The 30-minute goal should take seven or eight weeks.  I'm in no hurry.  Running speed is not important yet; I'll be happy to do 10- or 11-minute miles.

Since I last saw the therapist, I've been walking about 40 minutes per session and, most recently, finishing with a run of about 2 minutes, including a short sprint.  I have clear instructions now to avoid sprinting until the running time reaches 30 minutes, to avoid injury. I do love to sprint, but don't want to get hurt, so I'll probably follow that advice too.  Mostly.

We also discussed and tried some of the stretches and and resistance exercises that she had recommended three weeks ago.  More about those in the next post.

Friday, December 16, 2016

New Training Plan

Thursday, Nov 15, 2016:

Not complete yet, but working on it.  I saw the physical therapist last Friday and got a lot of information.  I agree with a lot of it, but not with all.  In particular, the therapist gave me a sort of one size fits all rehab sheet, meant for an injured runner, titled "Return-to-Running Program."  It features a walk/run schedule of 30 minutes three times per week, and escalates from mostly walking to a full 30-minute run in four weeks.  After that, one would increase the running time by 10% per week.

It doesn't fit me, though, because I haven't run for 30 minutes straight in a very long time, years actually. I would get injured ramping up so quickly.  I've tried it before, and did get injured.  Hamstrings, Achilles', hip flexors, knees, all have happened and will happen again if I push too hard.

The therapist did give me the option of going slower, so I will do that and try to ramp up slowly enough to avoid injury.  I do believe in the time-honored 10% per week rule, but how does that apply to a 30- or 45-minute walk/run when I am now almost exclusively walking?  Start at 10% running / 90% walking, as the rehab sheet suggests?  Then 20% / 80% the next week?  No, that's way too fast.  11% / 89% the second week?  That's a 10% increase from the first week, more or less, but way too slow - I'd never get to 100% running.  So I have to figure that out and make some decisions, but I don't have to do it right now because I can go at least a week at the 10% level.  In fact, this week I've been doing the 0% level, just walking, no running.

That feels good, but won't get me anywhere.  I'm reading a book about this - more in the next post.

Today we went to the YMCA, where I walked pretty fast for three miles and wore my heart rate monitor.  The highest rate I saw  during the walk was 108.  During the walk I could always talk (e.g. recite the Pledge of Allegiance) without difficulty, a measure of aerobic performance, and was always walking at least five footfalls per full breath, another measure.  Why might that matter?  More in the next post.

Splits: 13:43, 13:39, 13:20, total 40:42

Tuesday, Dec 13:

YMCA Walking.  Maximum observed HR 122.  A mile is 13 laps on the YMCA track.  I did run the last lap of the third mile.

Splits: 14:14, 14:45, 14:23, total 43:22

Friday, dec 8, 2016:

Mall walking.  Just a nice walk with my gals, a little less than two miles.