Playing at Running

One of the things I like about tapering is the letting go of my strict regime of miles and intensity – where every run is planned out and has a distinct purpose, and where there is definitely no running in between formal “run sessions”.  I actually remember a time in my “olden days” of training when I could do miles of hard intervals, but couldn’t run for a bus without hobbling as I needed 15 minutes of specific warming-up to get my tired, achy body going (I was in the best shape of my life – ha!)

With two weeks to go until my marathon, I’ve taken all mileage pressure off and will do one mini-interval workout and a small tempo or two before race day.  I know that less is more at this point.  Which leads me to what I can actually do with my running fitness when I’m not exhausted from running!

On the weekend I decided to run around the indoor track and do various drills and strides just to shake things up while my son played soccer on the infield.  Soccer was a bust for him (a bit shy) so I suggested he run with me which he LOVED and so did I!  I don’t even know how many laps we did because I wasn’t counting – we were just having fun.

Other ways I “play” at running:

  • leave my watch at home and disregard pace and distance
  • make a running date with a new (or pregnant!) runner purely for the conversation and let them dictate pace and distance
  • “run” with my kids.  This could turn into anything, really, but if I’m wearing running shoes and tell myself it’s my “run” I’m way less likely to feel begrudged by having to look up from my magazine and move my butt off the park bench when I’m called into action

In university we used to play at running in other ways.  One of the most famous was the Beer Mile .  Chug a beer, run a lap (400 m) x 4.  I became quite good and somehow still own the women’s world record.  And NO, that’s not how I play now.  I’m retired from that.  At least until I have to re-set a winning record – it’s been safe for over 15 years.

There was also an event called “the naked run”.  Nothing more to comment on about that and sorry – no pictures.

Bottom line: after all the time you’ve put into training, it’s good to enjoy your fitness and find ways to have fun with it other than just proving yourself in a race.  And if you just can’t quell your competitive instincts, fine – win on the dance floor.  We’ve all been there!

Have fun 🙂

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