Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Running Workout

I generally consider myself to be a fit and active person, but running is something that has never come easy for me.  For years I would go for walk/jogs without ever seeing much improvement in my stamina.  I couldn't seem to consistently run more than a few minutes without stopping regardless of how much I trained. 

Finally, around three years ago, I was able to bust through that wall.  It all started when Jay woke up one day and, out of the blue, announced that he was going to run a half marathon.  Despite not ever being much of a runner before, he planned his workouts and completed each one without complaint.  He never stressed over the distances or doubted himself, he just did it.  

At that point I realized that running is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one.  I decided that, if Jay could run five, six, seven plus miles without a gripe, I could at least run with him for the first two.  I was able to genuinely convince myself that it would be easy, and because of that I successfully ran those two miles without stopping.  Once I finally felt the confidence I had lacked before, I continued to add miles and go farther.  The next year Jay and I completed the half together, and we have stuck with running ever since (although he still kicks my butt).  I still find running difficult and am not fast by any means, but I am now able to enjoy the challenge and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a good run. 

After two big surgeries earlier this summer, I've had to start back at square one when it comes to exercising.  I am still slowly building my running stamina back up, and I've found that interval workouts are a great way to push myself while still allowing for some walking recovery time.

Below is a quick treadmill interval workout that I put together for days when it is too hot to run outside (which has been all of them lately).  It would be easy to increase or decrease the speeds to match any ability level. 
Happy running!

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