Ok, ok…I know you’re saying, “Where is he? He said he would do the Running Blog, too.” Does he not care anymore? Is he lying in a ditch somewhere dealing with pain caused from running that would kill a small animal? Well, no. I’m just a procrastinator. A running procrastinator though. Chin up. Forge ahead and all that.
Kim to answer your question, which I’ll recap here:
Rick... if I measure out a mile, and see how long it takes me to do, with running and walking, what would that tell me? I personally am more into time goals right now than distance. It's easier for me and seemingly more useful, to be able to say, I can run for 15 minutes right now. Because, my goal is strictly weight loss and then after that, weight maintenance. SO speed and distance don't seem important -- it's the length of time I'm moving for. Eventually the intensity will have to come up, but right now... 5 minutes is intense enough to nearly kill me!
I think the distance is important in creating a routine. Especially on those days when, “waaaaah…I just can’t do it today” (but in fact, you have to. Heh) If you have a set course/path you run, then even on the crappy days, heck, you could walk the whole thing, and you have a tangible, physical space to deal with as opposed to, “Y’know I’ll just run for 7 minutes today, then walk on home. Pretty soon it’s easier to miss days altogether.
Ooooh, boring personal story. I was stationed at a military base in Korea that had a flightline (runway, if you will) on one side and the rest of the base on the other. From my dorm to around the flightline and back to my dorm was 10K. For a lot of personal reasons that are totally irrelevant here, I was mad about being stationed in Korea and vented that anger by taking up running the distance around the flightline. The flightline itself was a restricted area with a dirt road around the perimeter which is where I ran. That was important because I could not just give up half way around, say fuck this (and I promise there were many a time I wanted to), and just cut across and go back to the dorm. Once begun, I had to go the distance. So very early on, it became a time issue rather than a distance thing. It took well over two hours initially to complete the distance, but relatively quickly, a couple/three months it was down to an hour.
So what I’m saying is that once the distance aspect was taken away I could focus on the time, which of course takes care of the speed. Oh, and the pounds did actually fall off. About 25-30pds worth over those months. Of course I had a huge distance (10K) involved on a daily basis but the greater the distance the greater the return.
I think this is a clever (if not downright sneaky) way to improve time. If you’re armed with a cheap digital watch that has a stopwatch function on it, and you start the clock with the first footfall of your run, the time just naturally grows shorter with each time you go the distance, because you want to get it over with more quickly. I guess that is what I would ask you to try. Looking at it from a time (not just running time) perspective. The average person, barring any kind of illness, or condition that would otherwise slow them down, walks 5 miles a day. That’s every average person, on average walks an average of five miles in the course of an average day’s time.
I am doing the 10K thing again because I found that it works for me, although these days I have my cell phone which is a real temptation when I’m out there and I wanna say, well, you know, and have somebody just come get me. Not really, but maybe.
I hope this answered your question.