Part 2: Make Friends with Your Interval Timer
Another week of changeable spring weather and glorious birdsong, and I’m still running, still following (with flexibility) my training schedule, and still feeling the joy of returning to what I love.
I especially love that I’ve given myself permission to adjust and modify the training schedule to meet my own needs each day or each week.
But there’s one annoying rock in my shoe, so to speak—the interval timer.
I’m still measuring minutes rather than mileage, so the interval timer on my watch is the most valuable tool I have for my training process—and the biggest nuisance.
This week I’m doing three reps of running 6 minutes, then walking 1 1/2 minutes (slowly upping the ante here). I warm up—another new resolution—then set the interval timer and go.
Six minutes of running later, BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! I practically stop on a dime before I can start walking. A minute and a half of walking later, the dreaded BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! Again, I have to recover from being startled before I can start running.
I do glance at my watch from time to time, but it isn’t always helpful:
Good grief, have I really been running for only 3 minutes? This is taking forever!
Or even worse:
Good grief, do I really have only have 30 seconds of walking left before I start running again? The universe hates me!
Practically jumping out of my shoes six times before breakfast isn’t the best beginning to my day. I needed more adjusting and modifying—this time, my attitude.
I decided to make friends with the interval timer by thinking of it as a gentle reminder rather than a red alert. How about smoothing out the space between running and walking?
Beep-beep-beep: Time to gradually slow down into a walk. Let some nice deep breaths arrive. Enjoy the silly antics of the dogs in the dog run. Wait, I’ve never heard that bird before!
Beep-beep-beep: Time to gradually move into a trot, and then a run. Enjoy the motions of my arms and legs and torso, the good feeling of muscles doing what they were born to do, the next breaths arriving, my exhales powering me along, the scenery moving by.
Is anyone out there also re-starting their running or even starting from scratch? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.
Meanwhile, happy running!
P.S. This is part 2 of a series for runners who are recovered from injuries—or anyone out there who wants to get started. Watch for the next part, coming soon!