or TV "SHOW HOLES". Now that the “On To A Half Marathon” Training Plan has served it’s purpose and you prepared for and hopefully run this distance, you will spend about 2 weeks (or more) recovering. WHAT’S NEXT? I tend to feel a bit empty after I’ve finished a training plan and run my challenge race of the year. The feeling is comparable to the famous “show-hole” that’s been made fun of in a TV ad lately.
But both running- and show-holes are nothing to laugh about (not much anyway); they can be serious periods of let down. What’s worse is that they may both appear just as the summer begins, a time many of us associate with fun and enjoyment of the outdoors. YES, we should be happy to relax in the sun and not have every day planned out weeks in advance. But lack of SOME structured fitness fun can lead to anxiety about exactly how to enjoy these “carefree” days. It’s an effort to come up with a fresh new plan daily or weekly, and with no plan, it can be disappointing when no fun, exciting, or even mildly awesome activity was experienced. The worst perspective comes at summer’s close when there’s no memory of summer doings that would help you write an elementary school report about vacation happenings.
EarnedRuns has THREE suggestions for filling a summer running-hole:
Streak Running: This running option will be covered in a subsequent post, soon. A big advantage is that it takes minimal planning. Essentially it involves running 1 mile every single day, anywhere and anyhow you choose, to cover the distance. A "goal" streak can be of any duration. EarnedRuns suggests a streak that extends through the summer; after that who knows?
Train For a 5K Race or Race Series:
For those of you who have already been running regularly for fitness at least 2 days a week, training to run a 5K race should not be much of an increase in effort or time AND it will give purpose to your running all summer. Not too much, but just enough! You might look ahead and pick 1, 2, or 3 small out-of-the way competitions that won't require massive planning because there just aren't as many runners to make for difficult race logistics. This option will also be covered in a subsequent post, soon. The training period is not prolonged, from 2-6 weeks, depending on fitness level. A 4th of July race in a quaint setting is within your reach!
EarnedRuns Run/Walk Across America: Memorial Day, May 30, to Labor Day, September 5:
An EarnedRuns itinerary will be provided (free download) with the 3,630 miles route across America broken down into segments. It is adapted from a bicycle tour itinerary offered by TrekTravel and published on the company's website. Their website has interesting information about the part of the country that the cyclists will ride through and near each of the days of the bicycle tour. You might decide to sign up for this if you cycle!
The EarnedRuns "trip" differs in several ways; most importantly, you won’t actually run or walk this distance! Participants will choose how they wish to “scale” the miles (1 mile actually run or walked = 10, 20 or more miles on the map itinerary). There will be a scale chart with 1:10, 1:20, 1:30; 1:40, 1:50, and 1:100 mile breakdowns from which to choose. These options are presented so that persons of different abilities can participate alone or together, each using a different scale. Hopefully this will work well for families, with children using a different scale than adults, as needed (it may be parents who require the highest scale mile handicap!). Rather than "days", the EarnedRuns tour is broken into "segments" that can be run or walked over one or more days. Two to three segments of varying length are scheduled each week, Monday-Friday (like a work- or school-week), leaving summer weekends unscheduled.
This activity provides a simple visual way to follow, using a route across the United States, the cumulative distances covered by running or walking over the days of summer. It is scaled in a way that covering the actual distance is not required. It offers a structured method to stay fit by running, walking, or a combination of the two efforts, with the GOAL of virtually "crossing" the USA from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans, along the northern tier of states. With children this fitness activity can be expanded to include an educational component. The geography and history of the lands “traversed” can be explored according to interest and age. It’s a VIRTUAL run/walk event that is only as strenuous as desired by each person on the “journey”.
The ITINERARY WILL BE POSTED SOON. A link to the DRAFT PDF is provided (click here). This is a first effort, so there will be some bugs to work out on the go.
Back to "SHOW-HOLES". For filling them with other media forms that won't keep you indoors and sitting down, try AUDIOBOOKS. You can listen as you run or walk across the continent! Otherwise, check out recent movies you’ve missed or classics you’ve always want to see, but do this AFTER the sun sets and you're tired from all the fun exercise of the day.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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