An inner athlete's manifesto.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Remix Your Mile Repeat

When I was in junior high track, running ONE MILE was the LAST thing I wanted to do with my time. The mile was the distance event in track, and my coach made me do it.  I loathed every single mile I ran, I puked in the grass after my event in every track meet, and I never won. As the marathon inches closer, I decided to get serious and try some "mile repeats", as dull as they sound. In a typical mile repeat workout, you warm up, then run a mile at a pace a little faster than your usual mile pace (based on the distance for which you are specifically training). Then you recover for half-a-mile, then run a fast mile again. Repeat cycle. You are, repeating your mile (duh).

Unlike a distance workout where I think in my head, Okay, I am going to run 10 miles. I ran three already, only seven more to go, the mile repeat workout just sounds daunting and...boring. For some reason, looking at the miles individually, and (oh my!) repeating them, was just too hamster-on-a-wheel monotonous.

Welcome,  Remedy, and cue the make-over.  Let's make this workout more user-friendly on the mind for any beginner runner (or other runners who hate to repeat themselves). From now on,  catch and release your mile. Ta-da!  Catch the pace your want for your mile in whatever type of race your are training for, and think of releasing that pace (recovering) during your mile repeats. To "catch" is to gain--"release" implies you can catch it again--remember that. The release period is very important to remind yourself of what you are capable of doing. Appreciate that during this workout, you are allowed the luxury of seeing what your body can do during a "catch" phase with as much recover/release time you would like.

Never snag on numbers, whether it be distance, time, or laps. For some, getting to a point where you can run one mile comfortably is a feat in itself--just remember this--it is possible, and every workout is adjustable. Your "mile" may be two laps around a track with one lap recovery. This is nothing to sniff at--EVERYONE has to start somewhere (post on Kara Goucher coming soon--google her).  Remain committed to the workout, and you will flourish.