About two years ago, I went through a running slump.
I was signed up for an October marathon and by August, I was up to running about 15 miles.
And I dreaded every minute of it.
Now, this is really unlike me.
I love to run and while I’ve worked through injuries before, this loss of mojo was something new.
I eventually backed off and gave up on that particular marathon, but before I made that decision I was dreading the long weekend runs so much that I started doing them on Friday nights, just to get them out of the way.
Through that experience I found out that I *could* cover up to about 15 miles after work, but it usually wasn’t a fun thing to do at the end of a long week.
Fast forward to now: I have a few races coming up next month, and I needed to get a ten miler done this weekend.
Except Spouse had to leave early Saturday A.M. for a work trip, so I wanted to be proactive.
Enter the Friday night ten miler.
My initial plan (dream?) was to leave work early and be done with running by 6:30 P.M.
That plan was quickly foiled by the single digit temps and my exit from work after 6.
It was treadmill time.
The workout wasn’t easy, but I got it done.
Here are my tips for treadmill tolerance, particularly if you find yourself in a situation where you need to run a long, long time:
- Break it up. I set the workout time for an hour, then got off long enough to re-fill my water bottle, get a fresh towel and re-set for the final 30 minutes. It was just enough of a break.
- Distract yourself. I try to keep music playlists rotated and current, and I’ve watched lots and lots of movies or TV shows on my iPad during treadmill runs. I’m finishing up the second season of “Homeland” and moving on to “Breaking Bad.”
- Fuel up. For post-work runs, caffeine is key for me. I’ll usually get a coffee about two hours before I plan to run and this energy boost seems to help a lot. Ditto a small snack, like a banana and a Kind bar.
- Take it easy if you need to. Long slow distance means long slow distance. After a long week of work, it’s hard to do intervals. Be a turtle but keep moving.
- Bring post-run supplies. Besides a fresh, dry shirt, I knew that with the frigid temps I would need a warm hat and scarf that could stand getting a bit sweaty for the ride home. Skip the cashmere beret.
On the plus side, Friday night at the gym is great! Crowds are non-existent and I didn’t feel even a tiny bit of guilt when I later ate two slices of pizza.
It also felt great on Saturday morning to wake up at my leisure, help get Spouse out the door and then spend quality time with the kids without herding them to the gym.