Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weaning myself away from LSD

LSD in this case is not the illicit drug, but Long, Slow, Distance in the Arthur Lydiard tradition. When I started running, I learned from my boyfriend (now my husband), who was a collegiate runner and a Lydiard disciple. He still is, actually. Lydiard calls for runners to build a big distance "base" before doing much speedwork. The idea is that if you can go long, you will become faster at the shorter distances.

I don't have anything against LSD, but I never managed to make the transition from a slow, injury-prone runner trying to build up my mileage to anything that felt like success, at least for long. I would be going pretty well for a while and then I'd have a running-related injury and my doctor or physical therapist would forbid running until it healed, and then I'd gain weight and lose my fitness and have to start all over again.

I started triathlons because I wanted something as intense as running to do in my off days and decided to try Spinning class. Once I was doing well with that, I thought I might like to add swimming and try a sprint triathlon. I had to learn how to breathe while I swam so I learned from some friends and then joined a master's swim group.

The funny thing is, Spinning class is not long, slow biking. Master's swim workouts are not long, slow swimming. I am much more successful in those two disciplines than I am in running, which I have only really trained long and slow for. So I began to think there had to be a better way, but I really didn't know where to start.

I'm training with Up & RunningI heard a Two Fit Chicks interview with Julia Jones and thought that she sounded pretty cool. Her workouts incorporate skipping, faster intervals, and lots of other exercises to build up running-specific strength. It sounded cool, but I didn't think a beginner 5K program was really for me since I had 20 years of running experience (on and off). When Shauna wrote about the new 10K course, I decided I wanted to try it.

So far the workouts have been a lot of fun. I have been having a problem on and off with the toes on my left foot going numb. I am going to physical therapy for it and among other One of our recent workouts called for skipping, and I could feel that the muscles used in skipping are slightly different than those I had been using on my long, slow runs.  I'm finding that the course pushes me a little outside my comfort zone and is making running feel new again.

Best of all, the workouts are only three days a week so I still have time to get in swimming, Spinning, yoga, strength training, etc.  I still want to train like a triathlete, even if I'm focusing on running a little more right now.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting - I've never been a runner so I never thought about the long & slow vs. short & fast differences. It sounds as though you've hit on something here! I'm glad that running feels new and fresh, and am now contemplating skipping in to work (from the parking lot!) to see what I can feel in my legs. Keep us updated!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07