Run, walk, repeat…

Timing’s everything. In comedy – and in running. And believe me – my running is rather funny.

But seriously – I really appreciate the Galloway method of taking regular walk breaks. As one who has not been running all her life (or really ever before this year), the walk breaks have made a difference in my mental assessment of whether I can actually do this. I do indeed feel stronger at the end of my runs. And I’m generally still running at the end of the run (the general exception being that on these incredible humid FL summer days – sometimes I’m practically crawling home).

However, I’ve learned an important lesson in attempting to run/walk regular intervals. I am lousy at being a human stopwatch. For the last few weeks I would run with the Nike+ app on my iPod touch – but I have it set to tell me stats at every mile. You can have it alert you every minute…but that got annoying. I could look down at the iPod to check my time, but that’s rather annoying – and likely to cause me to run into something. So I decided I’d just let my body decide when to run and then walk.  Ha ha.  Turns out that tends to be quite funny.

The one thing I remember well from my AP Physics class years (and years) ago was that human beings are lousy thermometers. (For example – all my Northern relatives laugh at us Floridians for complaining about winter temps in the 50s…..but seriously y’all – that’s just COLD to us.)  Anyway – let me add that humans are lousy timepieces.  Or at least this human is. No future in being a pacer-setter or rabbit for me! I’m pretty sure I was walking WAY more than recommended on certain days. I have discovered that I have no ability to guesstimate when 1 minute is over. I just would decide that “I’ve run enough” – and I hadn’t cause usually the last bit of my run suffered greatly.

So I’ve finally found an app for that.  🙂 Actually I found an interval timer app that will work in the “background” while Nike+ is the app I’m looking at. (I’ve found that it works better that way – and I do like to check my pace and distance occasionally.) I had purchased one that was easy and I liked a lot (called Two Timer) – but it would pause when you put it in the background. (Note to developer – please fix!)  Now I’m using the free version of “IntervalTimer” which isn’t bad.  I’m not sure that I really know what I’m doing when I set it. But the beeps and bells are distinguishable from one another. My husband has looked into getting a Gym Boss timer (they have a Galloway green one!) as the volume on his Garmin is shot. (He’s trying the walk breaks as part of his training for the Disney marathon.) I’ll let you know how that works when we get one.

Regardless of how you keep track of the intervals – I’ve learned it’s really important not to guess the timing. This week’s runs with the new timer app were SO much better for me. I was stronger throughout the run and not as lackadaisical about how much running I should be doing. The heat was still yucky (and I turned home really quickly this morning – too much humidity and I started my run too late in the morning) – but I felt so much better for keeping regular intervals rather than guessing my way through the workout.

Now if only I can trick my body into thinking that 5am is a perfectly acceptable time to get up tomorrow – I’ll be able to manage a good long run in the am…