The day before I left for San Diego was a day to pack and do laundry, but not in that order. When I was finally done with those things I took the boys to the pool. It was a super hot day and I needed to workout and they needed to get out of the house. It was late afternoon, early evening by the time we got there. I jumped right in and started swimming laps. Because was my first workout since camping I decided to take it slow. A constant pace, no sprinting, no pushing boundaries, just a smooth consistent rhythm to get me back on track, to get my blood flowing and my heart pumping and my muscles remembering what exercise is all about.
I swam for an hour. No real pauses or breaks or big pushes or bursts of speed. It felt good. I got in a rhythm and my mind began to wander. I synced up with the repetitive motion and was able to loose myself in the action. It was nice. And while this happened I had an idea: What if my goal in exercise was not to get faster, but to go for longer?
Now I am just brainstorming here. I could be wrong, but hear me out. Years ago when I was running a lot and I was in great shape, I was jogging slow and steady on the treadmill and I was logging longer and longer times each day. It just happened naturally. I didn’t track pace or distance or heart rate zones or anything, I just ran until the point I was tired and then just a little farther. I think I topped at 99 minutes of steady jog (at which point my treadmill just turned itself off). I felt amazing. Again, I wasn’t focused on speed; no sprints, no races, no improvement tracking of any kind besides the amount of time spent on the treadmill.
Which that brings me to now. I have been so focused on how hard I am running, how fast I am getting, how much better I have to become, and maybe, this whole time I have been focused on the wrong thing. Maybe, I should be looking at the amount of time, not the distance. I have been finding that while I am getting faster, by the end of the run I am hating it and its even harder to run the next day.
So, this is my new plan of action. I will keep my workouts at a steady pace I can maintain for the entire workout, and slowly increase the amount of time of each workout. That is where I will put my efforts, instead of trying to be faster, I will focus on going for longer.
We’ll see if that works better for me. It sounds right in my head, and it makes sense that I would need to do something a bit different than the norm. (that is my sweet spot). Anyway, I hope it helps. It certainly felt good on Monday while I was swimming.
137 average bpm