My Stretching Partner and I

JoshNellie

I’m certainly no expert on stretching, but one of my favorite ways to keep the legs moving after a good run is going for a walk with my dogs. It’s hard to want to do much of anything on tired legs. It’s also hard to resist a dog’s stare and wagging tail that greets you when you walk in the door. After tonight’s run, my dog Nellie and I went for walk, which helped her stretch her legs after a day in the house and it helped me stretch mine too.  It was a win-win really!

Spring has sprung here in Minnesota and the warmer weather is certainly welcomed for spending more time outside. I’ve been able to get three good workouts in during the last five days – two outdoor runs and a brick on a rainy day at the gym.

You might be wondering what exactly a brick is. In triathlon talk, a brick is where you practice two of sport’s three activities in succession to help prepare not only your muscles but also your mind for that weird feeling you get transitioning during a race. For example, after biking many miles, your legs are quite confused when you hop off the bike, rack it in transition, and immediately start running. It’s definitely a challenge to run when all your legs want to do is pedal circles. I can remember each of my T2 transitions from last year’s races. If I didn’t have my bike to lean as I jogged it back to the rack, I probably would’ve tumbled immediately after the dismount line. So, with all that being said, I spent 35 minutes on the bike at the gym and immediately went into a ten-minute run on the treadmill. My legs felt surprisingly good making transition, but then again, the gym bikes aren’t quite like the real bikes one would ride outside and the treadmill isn’t quite like actually running. It still makes for good training though, I hope!

Here’s the details on my two recent outdoor runs:

Monday

  • Distance: 3.04 miles
  • Total time: 24:40
  • Average pace: 8:07/mile

Friday

  • Distance: 2.90 miles
  • Total time: 23:17
  • Average pace: 8:02/mile

I’m quickly approaching a sub eight-minute mile and not far off of the seven-and-a-half-minute miles I averaged during last fall’s training runs. For further context, at this time last year, I don’t think I had even started running yet. Looking back in my Nike+ Run Club app (that app wails by the way!), my first run of 2016 was at the end of April with nine-minute-plus miles. I used to think keeping track of all these running activities might be silly, but now I see the value in being able to track progress. Luckily the app makes the tracking part easy.

Trinona is only nine weeks away. I’m happy to be ahead of the game compared to last year. I also know now that April is here, it’s time to pick up the pace. My goal for next week: get back in the pool!

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