Just last week, for the first time in a long time, I completed a long run (one lasting more than an hour). In fact, it the first time in years that I completed one without the Galloway-recommended walk breaks.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Galloway method of taking walk breaks every few minutes of running. It’s probably the thing that kept me running long for so many years relatively injury-free.
But I must say that I missed running without it, something I didn’t know I missed until I tried it again. Because it made me realise how just running felt. How raw. How animalistic.
I felt like I was running for running’s sake, not because I had goals I wanted to reach.
There was one more thing that I did for the first time in a long time: run with music. For this run, I brought my trusty iPod Shuffle along. It wasn’t something I had intended to do, but because I noticed my motivation to run flagging more than Lance Armstrong’s reputation (I kept asking myself, “do I really need to run this? Could I skip rope for a long time and substitute it for the long run?”), I thought it might have been a good idea.
Cutting long runs short wasn’t entirely out of my area of expertise.
I’d previously sworn off listening to music while running, thinking it was (a) distracting and “impure” – “real runners listen to their bodies, not music”; and (b) dangerous – running deaf is almost like running blind. But I thought it was worth experimenting with again (and some people think it’s actually good, so that’s good), and if I kept the volume low and was extra vigilant along vehicular roads I should remain relatively safe.
Besides, this was a gift from the missus. And it was nice to bring a part of her (by association) along for the run (somewhat like why you wouldn’t want to wear a serial killer’s sweater, only in this case I would want to bring along the gift).
Before the run, I did a search for some nice workout songs. You couldn’t imagine how excited I was when I found that there were websites that had the BPMs (beats per minute) of songs and even had the recommended running speeds the songs were good for. If I’d known this was available I might well have had reintroduced music into my runs earlier.
Unfortunately for me, I can’t stand running with my phone so streaming running music was out of the question. But fortunately for me, I’d already had plenty of songs that were of running-music-ready, and so I loaded these up into the Shuffle and made my way out.
I must say that the Jog.fm 5 minutes per kilometre playlist was close to perfect. Other than a couple of songs that had starts that I felt were a little too slow, most of them matched my cadence and attitude and I blew my recent training personal bests out of the water.
If you hadn’t tried it (or like me, gave it up a while back) I say bring it back, and go on out for a personal best.
Three more weeks to my second try at IPPT Gold, and I’m really excited.