Which isn't a good thing because we are at the front of the season that brews the Perfect Storm that leads to crappy running and inevitable weight gain. All the elements of the storm are swirling around me:
The everpresent darkness in winter time - which makes it hard to get outside and run safely and usually forces me onto the dreadmill,
A lack of time - it is hard to find more than 20-30 minutes at one time to run due to all the holiday, work, family things that need to be done,
The fattening effects all those yummy Christmas cookies and holiday meals and
All the while juggling my healed yet lingering quasi injury which is still causing me to temper my workouts and "manage my risks".
I have been noodling over this issue the last few weeks, trying to be proactive in finding a solution before my thighs and butt need their own zip code. And good news - the solution found me. I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting on my son's doctor, leafing through an old Oprah magazine (Sept 2007) and there was a fantastic article of the benefits of interval training. I couldn't find it online - but I found one that provided a similar list of the benefits. When I came home and leafed through the recent Runners World magazine and then RW.com, I found yet even more reminders how good it is for us. The basic benefits are that you lose more fat, faster, and with shorter workouts. These little buggars burn fat AFTER the work out! The added cherry on top for me is it makes the treadmill seem less boring and torturous - as long as I don't fall off.
Before I have to succomb to the dreadmill due to our first snowstorm, I hit the trails yesterday to give it a go. Since I don't have a watch - remember I am a very low tech runner - I used the telephone poles as a guide. I did intervals of flat out for 2 poles and slow run for 2 poles between my warm up and cool down. Not as scientific as the article suggested, but it was a good way to start out and get the feel. My legs loved the change - it was nice to run "fast" - and I was done in 30 minutes. Changeis always good (remember: It is one of the natural laws of running ) - as this article reminded me of all the types of running workouts that can break up the 'yawn' of winter dreadmill running.