Boot-camp on Saturdays and soccer games on Sundays had cut my weekend running for the past 2 1/2 months. Soccer is a running game but it’s not a steady consistent run. It’s stop, start, run fast, jog, stop, start, etc. for 90 minutes. Sure my fast-twitch improved but I’m a distance runner and to be able to run longer, you have to, well, run longer.
And with work schedules and kid schedules my Tuesday and Thursday runs had been cut to only 30 minutes. I guess you could say I’d shifted into the Maintenance Phase – doing enough to maintain some fitness but nowhere near race or event ready.
I know many runner’s forums or magazines talk about the Maintenance Phase but I can’t recall ever really spending much time in MP. I’ll admit, I enjoyed the shorter weekday runs and the weekly soccer game gave me a chance for speed work but by mid October I was starting to miss my weekend runs; the trail runs and the long, hilly, harder than I expected runs.
So the first free Sunday since September, I hit Phoenix Lake. Just an easy 4 1/2 mile run up the road to the trail and past the lake towards Shaver Grade. No Garmin to check, no watch to dictate my time, just a nice easy run.
That run lead me to increasing my runs the following week because if I had 30 minutes, surely I could squeeze in an extra 15 minutes. This past weekend, again, I hit the trail and went a little farther.
So this further supports my stance on time and exercise. A little is better than nothing. And when you have more time, do more.
If I had just skipped my runs altogether (too much to do, 30 minutes is nothing, 2 days a week won’t help) I would be starting back at ground zero. And that, we all know, sucks.
Now go run!