Sunday, March 13, 2011

5k Training: Day Six

I did it.  It took me until 7:00 at night, but I did my training today.  I've always wondered what is the optimum time to run.  I've tried a few different times, morning, afternoon, but haven't had a night run until now.  For some people it works well.  Wait until the evening, they feel more awake, the husband is home to take care of the kids...many reasons.  For me, I think the afternoon is the best time. At night, it's dark, duh. I like to be able to see where I'm going, gauge how fast I'm running by the landmarks(see previous post for a deeper explanation) I'm just grateful the sidewalks were clear so I didn't trip on anything.
So, how did it go? I decided for this run I would focus on my center of gravity and the length of my stride.  For some reason I always equate running with a lot of up and down movement, instead of forward momentum.  As I began my run, I thought, the longer I stretch my legs the further I will go.  Of course, in order to run with my whole leg, I needed to lower my center of gravity to keep my balance.  Completely the opposite of what I had been doing.  Short bouncy steps had dominated my gait, wearing me out more quickly and, frankly, not getting me very far.  I glided, using my full range of motion to propel me forward over the path.  Before the burn had even kicked in, before I felt out of breath at all, I had finished my first quarter.
I wish I could say the second went as well.  At the halfway point I simply couldn't run, but again I focused on the length of my legs, even as I walked.  Only the length of one house and I was running again.  The second break came and went.  Time for the final push.  The muscles in my legs were howling in protest, refusing to move at the speed I wanted them to.  Twice I slowed to a walk, yet twice I pushed my stride wider, covering more ground.  And finally it was over.  I had gone a mile and a half.
I will say this, I did run faster then I have in a while, but I think I could have been better earlier in the day.  By the time dusk falls, whether I've run or night, my body is so exhausted from the day.  Sitting down to dinner each night, I feel an intense need to sleep.  Every muscle in my body shuts down and is ready for the night.  To ask it, at the most empty time of night, to give me more than it has is too much.  I can do it, but I'm not at my best.

Avg. Pace
Avg Speed
IntervalsPace (min/mi)Elevation (ft)
5:00 (warmup)15:371
0.25 mi (fast)12:06-0
0.25 mi (slow)16:47-2
0.25 mi (fast)13:154
0.25 mi (slow)16:44-3
0.25 mi (fast)13:271
0.25 mi (slow)15:481
5:00 (cooldown)16:09-1


  1. What kind of timer are you using? Is it one that dings at you or just a regular stopwatch?

  2. It's an app for my phone, Runkeeper. I have the pro version(it normally costs money, but they had it for free in January) and they have coaching that you can program. It tells me how far I've gone and how fast.

  3. Stride length can be a tricky thing. Too far and you end up landing more on your heel, which seems to lead to a lot of other issues. Too short and you don't feel like you are getting anywhere! If you haven't already, you might want to look into chirunning or Good Form Running. My local running store offers classes in good form running. I love that you are thinking about how your stride is impacting you! Great job!