Short Distance Challenge

Are you crazed right now? I am. SOOOOOOOO busy. Despite the fact that I didn’t have classes this week, I still found myself struggling to make time for my workouts. They haven’t been as long as I would like nor have I been able to get to a class of any kind. Bummer. Or is it?

Presents had to be wrapped and shipped. Oh, hey thanks for overcharging on the holidays, UPS.

Some runners get hung up on distance. I get it, marathoning is all the rage right now and more people than ever are taking up distance running. I think it’s awesome. Welcome, one and all, to our running community! And a very special community it is…

Image courtesy of Adidas

But there is more to running than just marathons and long runs on the weekends. I’ve actually found that my shorter runs have been kind of awesome. I am focused, fast and 100% tuned into my workout because I just don’t have the time to fool around. Result? Kick-butt speedy runs! And I like it. In fact, I am about to pose a challenge to you. For the next two weeks, right into 2012, I would like to challenge each and every one of you to only run short distances. No more than 5 miles total for a run.

Why?

  1. It’s (probably) something different for you.
  2. The next week or so is likely a busy one for you and shorter workouts = workouts more likely to be done.
  3. Challenges are fun.
  4. Speed workouts are scary.
  5. What better way to start the New Year than with a new challenge?

I know I’m crazy-busy right now with my Physics final tomorrow, last-minute trip prep, doctors visits, flying tomorrow night, the whole family will be together over the weekend, there will be baby cheeks to distract me from my workouts…as much as a long run would be nice, I just don’t see it happening.

Multi-tasking: liquid iron lunch + one-handed blogging! Busy girl.

The added bonus of doing short, hard, fast workouts is that it kicks up your metabolism and makes you a stronger runner. And since I plan on eating Mrs. Obi-wan’s cookies for breakfast, lunch and post-run snacks, the hyped-up metabolism sounds like a good idea for me!

Here are some ways to break down your runs over the next two weeks so that they’re shorter, harder and faster. Don’t forget to always warm-up for a mile:

  • Out and back: Negative split this by timing yourself on the out part and beating that time on the way back
  • Ladders: 400m-800m-1600m-800m-400m *repeat* (best done on a track)
  • Hills: duh, find a hill and try to run it at the same speedy pace over and over again OR run in a hilly park and sprint the hills while your recover on the flats
  • 5K race: Map out your own 5K race route and time yourself…maybe you’ll PR!
  • 1 minute Dashes: On Dasher, on Dancer! 1 minute sprints followed by 1 minute jogs can be done just about anywhere and if you’re really kicking your own butt, this workout takes 30 minutes max to wipe you out
  • Yasso 800s: They’re not just for marathon training! Try to run each 800m sprint at the same pace 4-5 times with full recovery in between

Are you up for the challenge? Come on now, runners. Let’s RACE into the New Year stronger and with new workouts that challenge us instead of the ‘ol 5-miler.

Who’s with me? What are your holiday running plans? Are you doing a Jingle Bell Run? Share it in the comments.

Now go out and run!

…By New Year’s Day 2012

Confession: I hate New Year’s resolutions. I have never set one. I don’t like the idea that there’s one day of the year when people are supposed to start something. I get that some people need the start date to start anything, but I am going to propose something radical.

Start today.

Start now.

So that by New Year’s Day 2012, you have already accomplished something. Instead of:”I will start (insert New Year’s resolution) on January 1, 2012″ try this on for size: “I will be doing/have completed (insert goal) by January 1, 2012.”

It’s much more powerful to have an end goal date than a start goal date. Procrastinators (ie. most of us out there) get this. You will work much harder if you have a deadline than if you have just a starting date and an open timeline.

Why start now?

Why not?

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year for people young and old. Money, travel, family drama, work, end-of-year job stuff, seasonal depression, holiday food, office parties…the list of potentially nightmare-ish scenarios goes on and on. Why not set a goal during this crazy time and do something good for yourself?

Need more of this

I will…

have run every day since Thanksgiving…(STREAK!)

be taking a yoga class twice a week…

be running 7:30 miles for my long runs…

finish one non-school book…

take one Flywheel class a week…

turn over my wardrobe and clean out my closet…

race hard one race…

By New Year’s Day 2012!

There are a lot more sweaty Flywheel classes in my future!

Not very lofty goals, but goals nonetheless. I challenge you to start now and not wait for midnight on New Year’s Eve to decide to start something. Nothing will ever live up to the moment when Billy Crystal runs up to meet Meg Ryan and tell her he wants to spend the rest of his life with her in When Harry Met Sally.

It’s never that climactic, so let’s stop putting expectations on that one day and do it now. Don’t think to hard about it, just do it.

What are you going to achieve by New Year’s Day 2012? I want to know! Tell me all about it!

Now go out and run!