I’ll share a trick I’ve discovered to help me go further, faster when really all I want to do is walk.
It’s obvious that if I keep running I get home sooner and get on with other stuff. That is motivation in itself! There are always a number of other tasks I would rather do than run! So to go further, faster is something worth striving for!
I used to tell myself to ‘turn up the volume‘. I don’t listen to music while running, turning up this volume means cranking the effort dial and putting more in – to get more out! If I get my running shoes ON and out the gate, I may as well use the time as fully as possible! So turning up the volume is still a regular phrase of self talk on my journeys, although it is interchangeable with ‘go further, faster‘! To view a photo of me with my running shoes on see the Photo At Last post.
After ‘turning up the volume‘ for a period until ready to walk a bit, I’d set a target point. With the mark set I’d run as hard as I could until ‘there‘, before having walk time. This seemed to help increase my strength. The heart rate gets super high, and over time I could maintain the faster run for longer. I discovered however, that the overall time spent over the same distance was actually faster if I ran slower but more consistently. Although this resulted in less calories burned – NOT the desired result, at all! Then I had to convince myself it was time to ‘turn up the volume‘ again at random intervals.
‘Ambling’ became my new ‘walk’
So by needing to walk after exerting self, the time spent out on the ‘street’ was increased. My next plan of attack was to ‘go hard‘ for a number of strides, then ‘amble‘ a while to recover. This negated the time spent walking in order to recover. This works great!! I find it is harder to start again, once I stop running. Far easier to simply ‘alter the volume‘ on the effort dial and go further, faster to get home sooner.
Going uphill I ‘go hard‘ for less strides than when headed back downhill. The overall time spent out on the road is decreasing all the time. It means I don’t run until I am spent and then NEED to walk. The slower, more comfortable pace of ‘ambling‘ has become my new walk. Ambling is a pace where there is room for recovery, in order to enable another exertion.
The trick with this method tho, is to keep count of strides… I count off ten or twenty at a time and hold up a finger to keep track of how many I am up to. This is a helpful way to convince self to carry on as the end of the exertion is only a measurable distance away. This trick helps to pass the time too. The ability to estimate the point where the next change of gait will occur also creates a target to aim for. The distance seems to be eaten up a lot faster when you are aiming for points in a more regular fashion.
As I get more fit using this method, my ‘go hard‘ and ‘amble‘ numbers are altering accordingly. The length of time to recover, is decreasing… Which means that the opposite side of the equation – the ability to spend more time in exertion seems to be increasing at a surprising rate!!
In my personal opinion – (from a place with no official knowledge regarding such things), this seems to be a far better way to improve fitness and strength! More productive than just going out for a steady run at a steady pace for the entire duration.
Another trick is to have points along the route and remember my times for. That way there’s an indication of effort spent compared to the common times of being at a point. I can tell if I have been slack and need to ‘turn up the volume’, or if I am on track for a record time. Being on track for a record time is motivation to go further, faster and make a new record!
The Dog… An Interruption
Of course, if the dog wants to have a swim in a stream my time gets out of whack. Or if he disappears after a rabbit and needs a realignment of his ears, or needs supervising whilst a vehicle goes by – time is affected. (Realigning ears involves retrieving the dog, and then attaching a lead. Of course, first one has to have had the forethought to put collar on dog. And then to remember to bring the lead…) But I would rather have the dog with me, than leave him at home and run alone!!
Here are my ideas to try and incorporate into your own exercise efforts! If anyone has their own tricks to go further, and faster, please feel free to share them! I am keen to learn how to reduce the time necessary to make the required efforts. Surely, everyone wants to have MORE time to accomplish MORE things! If only I had a running mate, (or several) that could all help motivate more effort, and add those 3 inspirational words that we could all do with hearing more!! What words are these? Check out the post Come Run With Me and join me on my journey!
As more lessons are learnt regarding this blogging caper, there will hopefully be links within posts. These links will lead to other posts which are relevant in content. So much to learn! So little time! Although with less time spent out on the street, things are looking up! Stay tuned to see what can be learned! Feel free to add any snippets of information to aid me! Did you see that?? I learned to add links from my knight in shining armour!!! Thank you kind Sir, from this damsel in distress regarding blogging!!