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So, back to jogging [Sep. 28th, 2008|07:21 pm]
After my swimming pool access ended, I ended up taking about two weeks off, and on Thursday decided to try jogging again.

Kind of.

One of the things that bothered me about jogging was that, I realized that my standard jogging speed was about 5mph. That's, well, "pathetically slow". More importantly, I realized that I wasn't really pushing my body very hard.

There's a lot to be said for doing pleasant exercise; it's a heck of a lot better than doing none! But I thought I was jogging along at 6, maybe 6.5, miles an hour. 5 isn't much faster than a fast walk.

One of the things I wondered about was, okay, so I'd have to work a lot harder to jog faster, right? But what would it feel like? If you've ever seen Rocky, you've seen how it's supposed to go in popular culture... you go out and try to run a great distance, and you end up winded and feeling like crap, but eventually, you get to your training montage and *bam*, you're running the entire distance by the end of it. But that never matched my experience. I can't run long enough to run to exhaustion once a day, and then expect I'll improve as time goes on. Plus, we ordinary humans don't get training montages to take us through the boring parts quickly.

The big question I had was about the effort. What did it feel like?

This is a hard thing to explain, but it's like, if you're running, you're expending a certain amount of effort, and as you run longer, that effort increases as you get tired. So, did you keep feeling the effort (but felt more able to expend it) or did you find that the effort seemed less than it used to, or what?

Swimming gave me a chance to test that out. I did some sprinting in the pool... swimming as hard as I could, for as long as I could. I never got to test speed (was I going faster for the same effort?) but I did get to test how I felt.

When I started sprinting, I was able to do about a minute and a half, and was in "kill me now" mode. So, I tried doing that five times. It wasn't easy; I had to stop swimming at times to breath (I was using a snorkel, and couldn't breathe in through the snorkel fast enough to stop feeling oxygen deprived).

After a week, things had changed. I was in "I hate this" mode. I don't know if anyone who hasn't been depressed understands this, but there's a humongous difference between "kill me now" and "I hate this". You can get through something you hate; you just toughen up, remind yourself you want the results, and do it.

So, how about jogging?

I started at 1:15, 75 seconds. I could do five intervals at a running pace. I don't know how fast I was going, but I was definitely running. Today, I did six intervals at 1:30, and I have a bit of an exercise-headache. I've avoided "kill me now" entirely, but I definitely have a bit of "I hate this".

I've started to think that there's nothing wrong with comfortable exercise. I'm still strongly of the opinion that the comfortable, happy exercise that you do is much, much better than the nasty, grueling exercise that you avoid. But I've also decided that if you're not willing to get uncomfortable, you'll never really break out of your current comfort zone. And while I don't mind thinking of being able to jog five miles an hour for an hour or more, I'd also kinda like to be able to jog 7 or 8 mph for at least a half an hour.

[User Picture]From: hopeevey
2008-09-29 03:09 am (UTC)
"I hate this" was totally where I was at doing pushups today.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2008-09-29 08:36 pm (UTC)
If you jog 8 mph for half an hour, that's four miles in 30 minutes. I call that running.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-09-30 02:40 am (UTC)
Well, yes... back in Jim Fixx's day, I was taught that 8 minute miles was the dividing line between jogging and running. (I have no idea why they wanted there to be a dividing line, or who the "they" was that wanted it, but there it is :-).)

So far, though, the best I've ever done was a half hour of 7 mph on a treadmill in 2 minute intervals (2 jogging, 2 walking), so I have "jogging" locked in my head for what it is I do. I'll be willing to change that if and when :-).

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