Friday, April 10, 2009

test run

You might recall back in January I ran for 26 straight days. It was a test to see how my body and specifically my legs would hold up to daily running. Every day was at least one mile and I covered 103 miles. An average of 3.96 miles a day.

On day 27 I could have run on. I could have kept the streak going for a much longer time. I decided to stop, because my legs always felt tired. No injuries, just tired. Some run were fine, but some I didn't enjoy as much. I even ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on day 23 and did it in 2:25. A PR at the time. I was real happy about that race.

So, I asked myself if a running streak was in sync with my ultimate running goal. That goal, is to be running for the rest of my life. To be a 70 year old runner, an 80 year old runner and hopefully, a 100 year old runner. Can I run every day for the next 18,980 days? Or if I ran every other day is 9,490 days more realistic?

I think I can better reach my goals with an every other day (EOD) running approach. But, is EOD enough running to get better and fitter?

So, for the past 11 weeks I've done the EOD approach. 171 miles in 37 runs. A run every 2.08 days. Two half marathons of 2:25 (not a PR) and 2:19 (a big PR). 4.62 miles on average. My legs have never felt better.

Time for a new test.

Now, I am going to run EOD, 5 miles or more each time. On the off days I'm going to walk 3-5 miles at a slow pace. Maybe 18-20 minutes a mile. Plus, any walking I do normally in the day. I did 3.52 miles last night. I walked to the mall and in the mall. I only stopped once, no shopping. The mall is less than a mile from my home, so it was interesting to walk over there. My garmin even worked inside the building. Who knew? I enjoyed the walk.
The Reason.

They say you burn the same number of calories if you walk a mile or run a mile. No matter the speed. I could use the extra 300-500 calorie burn and walking won't (I hoping) tire my legs. I'll get an extra 1100 calorie burn from the walking. About 2100 calorie burn from the running each week for a total of 3200 calories. Almost a pound.

So, until the end of April I will be doing the Run/Walk test to see if I can keep fresh legs and burn enough calories to shed some pounds. I guess I'll have to avoid the mall too. The food court and Aunt Annie's Pretzels are way too tempting.


Chad in the AZ Desert said...

The EOD makes perfect sense. I don't see a problem with doing the walking in between, but if you hit a day where you feel run down, don't be afraid to take it off. I'm going to be interested to see how the test goes.

I currently run 5 days per week, as opposed to the 6-day-a-week training I did for years. I've found that the extra day has made all the difference in the word for staying healthy as I increase my mileage.

Irene said...

I agree. EOD. There's also less chance of burn out, but I sort of get the feeling you'll never burn out! You're on fire with the running!

I'd have a hard time staying out of the mall if pretzels are involved...

TNTcoach Ken said...

You're preaching to the choir about those tired legs! I actually did a really slow mile to day feel pretty good. I'm going to incorporate ice baths after hard days and see if that helps with the recovery process. I'm enjoying the mental discipline of running every day, I can't come up with excuses.....

Adam said...

Keep us posted.

Have you thought about biking or something else like that on the non running days?

Nick Markosian said...

Glad to see your still blogging here Pat. Saw you changed your link from here to Arizona Race Reports (i think is what it is)on your Runner's World link.

SuperDave said...

Experiments are experiments. I think that you don't have to run everyday to run for the rest of your life.
EOD is what a do mostly. I don't have any weird pains when I do that as opposed to when I ran 15 days straight.
Of course you can never go wrong walking. Have you tried the bike much? Good alternative.

wmd said...

dude... you never fail to give me inspiration and insight... and you are always impressing me.

Make sure you keep us well updated with this next expirement of yours. I want to follow it closely.

I actually think that the walking on "off" days will be better for your recovery than not walking.

Keep it up man!

Anonymous said...


That sounds a lot like the streak I started at the beginning of the year. I wanted to exercise everyday. Either run or walk.

Well, today was day 101 for me. And it's been all running. I have tired legs some days, but for the most part I'm holding up really well. I think it's person specific. And my Dr. likes the idea!!!! How sick is that?

But, like you, if I have a stay ache or pain, something out of the ordinary... I'll end the running streak and start the exercising streak. I want to run for a LONG time!

Jeff said...

Great plan. Does that work into your marathon training for fall?