Since I last posted about my efforts to train to run a 10k during The Daily News’ Press Run on Sept. 13, I’ve logged a total of 10 miles of running. That’s pretty lame, I know.

Still, I scored a major personal victory when I packed my workout clothes and actually used them at a work convention in Corpus Christi last weekend. (As some of you suggested, a change of scenery helped improve my run).

But I’m struggling to find the time to run. Sounds like a weak excuse, but consider that at 5:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I’m getting an intense cardio and muscle workout at Island Boot Camp

On Tuesdays and Sundays I hit weights at the gym. I like the benefit of weight training and want to do more, not less. On Thursdays, I take the day off.

On Saturdays, I wake up about 5:30 a.m. and make the trip to my father’s retirement community in Champions Forest. Why so early? It’s an hour-and-twenty-minute trek. My father likes to go out for breakfast. We spend most of the day with him. Then we run errands, and then return home.

We make it back to the island about 4 p.m. and, this might sound a little whiny, the last thing I feel like doing is running.

How do I add more running without subtracting my other workouts?

One way is to double up, I suppose. On Sundays, we’ve started running from our loft on 22nd Street downtown to the track at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

We do sprints around the track about five times — running as fast as we can for about 40 seconds, then slowing down, only to speed up again — and then running back to Urban Fitness downtown, where we work out with weights for an hour or more. The interval training at the UTMB track is supposed to increase my speed and endurance in an efficient way.

Another option is to run after work. But I’m a firm believer in getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. I usually get home from work at about 6:30 p.m. On the nights before boot camps, I do my best to head to bed at about 8:30 p.m. That’s two hours to prepare and eat dinner, unwind and go to bed. Squeezing in a run would cut into my sleep time. Between work and working out, my social life is nonexistent.

For me, getting sleep isn’t just an indulgence. It’s the key to good health. Study after study shows that skimping on sleep accelerates aging. Who needs that? Getting only five hours of sleep is bad for the brain, bad for the body and bad for skin.

I know a lot of fitness enthusiasts who skimp on the sleep, but there’s too much evidence showing that’s a really bad idea and can even hinder performance. And it might work for 20-somethings, but it doesn’t work for me.

So, I’m trying to figure out how much running I need to do a week for effective training. My husband argues that high intensity cardio we get at boot camp counts as training for my 10k. But I think my issues with running are very much mental.

I need to run more to convince myself I’m a runner.

I’m thinking that I’ll have to run Thursday mornings and just make Saturday my off-day, although it would be nice to have one evening when I’m not dashing off to bed before it’s hardly dark.

I could also add a run in on Wednesday night, when I don't have to get up early the next morning for boot camp.

Or, I could pull up my socks and run on Saturday evenings, which I might enjoy.

I’d love to hear from runners about how many miles they think I should log a week and whether they do other workouts and manage to sleep.



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(2) comments

Kevin Lang

Laura, it sounds like you're getting in plenty of cardio-activity, and it seems like you are working out frequently enough and long enough. I'd use those Sunday sessions to incorporate your distance training. Your boot camp training is probably adding enough cardio intervals.

At this point, you're just training for 10K. With everything else you're doing, if you're getting in one run of about 30 minutes or so and another of 45-60 minutes, you're going to get the mental training you need. If you're still worried about a possible mental block, you can look for an opportunity from time to time to squeeze in another 30-40 minutes of running another day during the week.

One suggestion for the Sunday runs is to perhaps find locations around the area that offer varied scenery and terrain. For example, the Seabrook trails and the Kemah Bridge offer good training routes. I don't think TxDOT allows training runs on the Causeway, though. Training runs on the beach are nice, too. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a nice breakfast as a reward.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I will certainly give that a try. I heard there's some great scenery around Seabrook/Kemah for runners and bikers. Am completely on board with the treating myself to breakfast idea. Nice incentive!

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