Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yesterday I talked about some things you need to do to be active while decreasing the change of injury. Before I knew about the science of the warm up, I noticed that when I went full out without warming up I would be winded quickly. A strong memory is playing tag as a kid. You stand around and then bolt as fast as you can, you tire quickly that way. Then after a few times of bolting you all of a sudden feel better and can go much harder and much longer.

I've found that for me warming up takes just about a mile of brisk walking or slow easy running. Then I feel the sweat starting and the effort gets easier. A lot of people just starting out never get to the warmed up stage. They will swear that exercise is just to hard. If you never get to the warmed up stage you would think that way.

Ok on to today's topic. Once you are warmed up you need to exercise hard enough that you get your heart rate up, I don't use a heart rate monitor but a lot of people swear by them. What I do is just do most of my exercise at an effort that is challenging but that I can do for as long as I want to. Then sometime during the exercise I'll go full out as hard as I can, race pace.

The amount of time you spend at full intensity will determine how long you need to recover from the effort. If I just do a few 100m full out sprints during a walk then I'm fine for the next day's workout. But if I spend several miles at a hard effort then I usually go easy for a couple of days after. It's during this intensity that you tear down your muscle tissue to be rebuilt stronger with the rest.

Without this intensity/rest cycle you don't improve as efficiently as you can with it. If you are just wanting to walk briskly and comfortably for distance like the marathon you don't need a lot of the high intensity, you need more long slow distance, (LSD), but you do still need some intense efforts to get your muscles strong and capable of doing anything you want them to do.

Think of the walking/running just like it was lifting weights. If you just lift the same amount of weight every time you will get toned to a point and then you won't progress any further in strength. You have to get comfortable with one weight and then go to a heavier one to get stronger. Intensity in your walking/running is your heavier weight.

Training on a treadmill once in a while is good for monitoring your walk/run intensity. You have to be firm with yourself sometimes. If you are having a "dragging your butt" day then an easy speed can seem harder, that's when monitoring your speed on the treadmill is good. I have those once in a while, which is a good indication that it's time for a couple of easy days.

Thanks for reading.

Intense Panda

1 comment:

FunWalker said...

Thanks for the reminder

We all know it's doing it that counts. Hummmm would you think it might be the reason my first mile is always the hardest! LOL