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 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.
"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