Perfect Running Conditions

Perfect running conditions:

  • 24 degrees Celsius
  • bright happy sunshine
  • a light cooling breeze
  • beautiful treed track with no traffic

That’s my definition of ideal running weather. It happens rarely, but sometimes we get close.

Today was about 21 when I went out, there was bright happy sunshine, but there was a helluva wind blowing.

I generally say that running in the wind doesn’t bother me, but it was really strong and I haven’t been out for a ‘long’ run in a long time, so the headwind really did affect my run today. When the wind would stop blowing for a few seconds at a time, I felt faster without any conscious or discernible change of effort or stride. Just for those few seconds, the ground seemed to move under me much more quickly.

Today I went for a 5km run. Just my standard loop. Because I haven’t done this for awhile, I decided I better take it easy and decided to do a 5:1 run:walk over the distance. I was pretty sure that I had a full 5ks non-stop in me, but at the same time I didn’t want to go out and injure myself by trying to run a 30 minute 5k just because I think I should still be able to.

Nope, I’m taking my own good advice, taking it easy, and giving myself up to 45 minutes to complete the distance.

So with my interval timer app set, my phone safely ensconced in a plastic zip-lock baggie to keep it protected from sweat, and then tucked neatly in between my bra and the built in bra of my tank top so I didn’t have plastic right on my skin (I think I need to invest in a phone holster of some sort), I headed out.

I set the timer to run the 5 minutes first, so I actually walked the first 6 minutes. I was happy for the long warm up. I just didn’t feel ready to run straight away.

By the end of the first 5 minutes of running I was wondering if something had gone wrong with the timer! I was running uphill and directly into a head wind. I was feeling it!





But I got there, and I got my walk.

On the second run, I thought “I might have to stop before the 5 minutes is up, but I’ll make it to the corner at least…” and then when I turned the corner, I just felt awesome! The wind was across me now (relief!) and there is just something about this particular stretch of road that I’ve always liked. It somehow welcomes me to run up the hill.

(There are a few roads that feel like this to me – the back stretch of the outside track, the curving trail of Mill Street, and the little road between the reserve and ‘the house with the golden retriever’ all just love to be run down.)

I felt so good that I was tempted to run past the buzzer. A far cry from feeling I was going to need to stop early only a minute or two earlier…

But I did stop and walk.

“Take care of yourself. Stick to the plan.”

The third and fourth runs were down McLeod street and I was really breathing hard at the end of each 5 minutes and really grateful for the beeper saying “rest!”

In retrospect, I think this is because I was probably running really quickly, as it was a downhill stretch and the wind was right in my back.

And I finished the 5ks in 34:36!

I was shocked really! Even with a 6 minute warmup, and 1 minute walk breaks and a strong headwind for a few k’s, I still did it in only 5 minutes more than my average 5km when I was running regularly. Granted, it wasn’t quite as comfortable or easy as I remember, but I was still damned impressed with myself.

Tomorrow morning is going to be a race-pace run. I am aiming at 5-minute-kilometers (12kph) for 5 and 10km runs, and 6-minute-kilometers (10kph) for my half and full marathon (though I have yet to establish if this is even remotely realistic and may change as I move through my training).

Because I’m only just getting back into the swing of things, tomorrow I will work on 6 minute kilometers. I will run the inside track (which is 1km long) and try to do it in 6 minutes, with a 3-5 minute walk/jog recovery. I’ll aim for 3 x 6-minute-kilometers.

Other things on my schedule for this week include:

  • Body Balance training and class Monday night. I still need to get forward folds nailed down… and an Aqua Gold class Monday afternoon (It’s going to be a big Monday!)
  • Body Attack on Tuesday morning with the night off
  • Speed/Intervals on Wednesday morning, plus Balance that evening
  • Strength training on Thursday morning (I am really looking forward to this, it’s going to be my ‘variety is the spice of life’ day and I’m thinking of doing a different workout every week. It’ll be like I’m PT’ing myself! πŸ™‚ ) Unless Shanti comes down this week, I will skip Attack Thursday night.
  • Friday will be a ‘variety run’ or cross-training session, which could include trails, skill drills, hills, stairs, bike, eliptical or a pool run. I haven’t decided yet… I also teach Aqua Friday afternoon.
  • Saturday will be a LSD run – for now only running for 30 minutes nice and slow – followed by a hip and core stability workout
  • Sunday I will do a tempo run to the pool, followed by a nice easy swim, and then an easy jog or walk home. If I’m feeling up to it, I will go on the social ride Sunday afternoon.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s something EVERY day! There’s NO REST!

I know.

But each workout will only be around 30 minutes, and I really think I’ll be comfortable with it. Plus this programs in enough training that if I miss a session, the next workout should pick it up.

At least, that’s the plan! πŸ™‚

For the runners out there, are there any roads that just beg to be run down like those that I’ve mentioned? What are your favourite running spots?

On my variety/cross-training day this week, what do you think I should do? I’ll take recommendations: hills, drills, aqua jogging, eliptical, etc?


2 responses to “Perfect Running Conditions

  1. Hi thanks for the comment… I laughed when i read your comment because honestly, a lot of Canada is covered in snow and the thought of running 13.1 miles in bone chilling cold is absurd! Luckily here in Nova Scota for the most part our winter this year has been quite mild except for a few days so far. hoping the weather stays for the best. Today was a great day…

    • I hope you have a great time at the Blue Nose! It’s on my new list of Canadian running events I’d love to do. If only I had more time, and was more willing to run in the cold πŸ˜›

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