May 31, 2018

Lovin' Life 31/5/2018: Running Better, Not Harder,

You know how I've gotten serious about running this year?  I began by spending my summer break doing my own Bays Run (on the other side of the city to the Real Bay Run and featuring two bays instead of one) and teaching myself to survive the ascent up Heartbreak Hill.  Then I started increasing the distances of my regular runs.  And then I managed to become the only person in history to add a good minute to my pace. After what I thought was four months of dedication and focus.

I am nothing if not predictable. 

As they say, you can't expect change if you keep on doing the same thing.  And to me, change often means shopping for new stuff.

I shopped my wardrobe for this pair of pink ASICS I bought in Hawaii many years ago and I browsed a little to long on 'We Made Too Much' at  New kicks and new tights (the Wunder Under Hi-Rise are Lulu's best in my humble opinion) - would all this translate to tens of seconds shaved off my average pace (because that's the order of improvement I need)?

Sadly not.  Turns out that rethinking my actual running regime rather than reworking my running wardrobe was where the answer lay.  Who would have thought?

The Map My Run app has a My Plan tab which allows you to select a goal and plan to suit your stage of running.  I have the paid version of the app so I'm not sure if this is also available in the free version.  My goal is to improve my speed over 10K.  The app suggested that I was an intermediate level runner and has now provided me with a 17 week plan.

I'm heading into week 3 of the plan and have been pleasantly surprised at how it differs from how I was attempting to train on my own.  The Map My Run plan for me features:
  • runs scheduled five days of the week rather than daily
  • an average week features 2 easy runs, 1 interval run, 1 long distance run and a speed test / progress run
  • most sessions run for 45 minutes or less
  • prompts when I open the app telling me when my next run is scheduled
  • the ability to pair runs you've done with a particular day of the program.
I've found it easy to stay on track with the program because of the flexibility of those days off and also the mix of durations of each run.  My previous approach of aiming for the same distance daily did leave me a bit over it all over the last few weeks.  I use a treadmill a day or two each week and can pair these runs to planned ones in my program.  I usually use my treadmill time for the easy run days.

Auditory cues as you run prepare you for the next interval with a 30 second warning of what's up ahead.  At the end, you get a hearty congratulations for completing the day's run.  What you ran is then compared to the planned run in a table I've shared above.

It's still early days but having my week's running set out for me in realistic sessions like this has helped pull me out of my slump.   I'm feeling more excited and less obligated to run each day and if this translates to better speeds then BONUS.  It's all about running better and not necessarily harder as I've begun to learn from my new running 'coach'.

Do you use an app to help you with your chosen form of exercise?


  1. Legend! Can’t wait to see how you go.

  2. I admire anyone who runs reguarly. I do use an app for my walks but mainly to track distance. I'm thinking that I need to find another challenge to train towards as my morning beach walk is a flat 5kms return & not at all challenging - except for the getting up early part.

  3. Good for you. I used Strava but it just seemed to make everything up so I stopped worrying about it. My husband uses it so it might just be my stupid phone. I hate my phone.

  4. A girl after my own heart SSG and I use Map My Run as well. My friend and I are currently training for The Bloody Long Walk 34km which we hope to run. Keep going you are doing well!

  5. Good on you. My daughter has recently taken up running and she tracks her progress similarly. I would love to be able to run. #TeamLovinLife

  6. Sounds like a great app SSG! I wish I could go running, onstead I stay home with the boys while hubby does his runs. An old knee injury prevents me from doing anything too vigorous like that.

  7. Hmmm.... what is it they say about the importance of planning?!

    I'm all for smarter and more efficient exercise and used to read a lot about how to work better rather than longer or harder (doing interval training etc).

    I'm not a runner. I'd love to be and have tried the Couch to 5k program a few times (years ago when I was fitter) and just didn't ever get to that point that I enjoyed it! Go you!

    And I'm fairly certain the wardrobe / outfits must help in some way! #teamlovinlife

  8. Good on you for persisting with your running! I tried running - couch to 5k but it's not for me. Lung capacity is not good and my hips started to hurt. I do use apps to map my walks and also for yoga. It's all about finding your *thing* that you enjoy. I love my pilates, yoga and walking! :-) #TeamLovinLife


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