12 of 52: Treadmill Time Machine

It’s not that kind of time machine

I did not travel to the past and warn my younger self about all the mistakes I would make. I’m mostly fond of them and they do serve a purpose. After all – without them I would not be me. Besides – the treadmill isn’t that kind of time machine anyways.

I call it a time machine because strange things happen to my sense of time when I’m on it. It’s random. Sometimes time will fly by. Other times I swear that I’m four dream levels down every hour in real life takes two and a half years! (That’s an Inception reference just in case not everyone loves that movie as much as I do.)

Last week, I worked in some moderate speed towards the end of the run to fight some boredom and after thinking about it I thought I would try a more structured approach with longer intervals this week.

The Run

The PLAN was basically 3 groups of 3 mile ladders, where the groups themselves looked like a ladder. See this dream within a dream thing actually related to my run. Well – it related to my plan anyways

  • Warm up – 2miles. LSD (Long Slow Distance) pace.
  • Ladder 1 – Faster ladder (3 miles) –
    • I knew this group would feel easy (so early in the run) but make the rest of the run more challenging.
  • Ladder 2 – Slower ladder (3 miles)
    • This was supposed to be an active recovery from the first ladder dropping right back into LSD paces.
  • Ladder 3 – Faster ladder (3 miles)
    • This is where I really expected to suffer – especially mile 10 but I figured it would be doable especially since I would have just come from three miles of LSD pace.
  • Cool down (2.1 miles)
Scrawled out a few minutes before getting on the treadmill. Seemed reasonable at the time.

No plan survives contact with the enemy

What Actually happened was completely different. I don’t exactly remember what (this is what happens when you wait two weeks to write the report) but I do know two things:

  1. I am not in good enough shape (this week) to follow that plan.
  2. My foot pod and watch suck at figuring out how fast I’m going on a treadmill. I need to investigate how to pull data directly from the treadmill.

So at the end of mile 5 (the first ‘faster ladder’) I was a lot more winded than I thought I would be so I started to modify from there, sticking as close to the shape of my plan as possible – but with slower paces and some walking. I walked for almost a quarter of a mile after mile 7 thinking it would help me reset and run the last faster ladder as planned. I did help me pick things up, but I continued to run out of gas more quickly so my faster intervals got shorter and shorter.

Now – it may sound like this was a disaster, but here’s how I feel about it:

  • My real goal was to work hard for as long as I could, spread out over a long distance. I did that.
  • Even though it didn’t go to plan I feel like the experience improved my fitness overall.
  • Also – I didn’t hurt myself. I haven’t been running enough during the week or doing enough cross training to really have any expectations.
  • I’ve only been running 13.1 every week so realistically, that’s what I can expect – to be able to run 13.1.

Given all of that, I have been watching my 13.1 time get slower and slower while I work the same or harder and I’m not really anxious to find out what my “natural” 13.1 time will be after a year of no training so – I’m starting to focus my energies more on more intentional training. Especially now that my life and my schedule are starting to look more like a deliberate life and less like an episode of Pigs in Space. (Think carefully before clicking that…)

BONUS – I can now go back to this workout in a few weeks to see if I’ve made any improvements. I’m starting a new virtual training program tomorrow that includes core/strength training, cycling, and running workouts. I have no doubt that this will help me.

This was by far my slowest half of the 52 so far but it was still a good run.

Next Week: Eternal Winter Six Hour Run


  1. There are a few things that will happen on every run. Some will be amazing, some will feel like torture. But in the end just remember every run is a blessing! The not so good one’s make you appreciate the so called bad runs. Glad you realized you need to run more than 13.1 once a week to see improvements. Can’t wait to see how adding weights, core work and cycling will help your running.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Good entry here. Good luck with your training plan. Let me know if you need anything. You have a lot of friends who want you to succeed (that are also coaches) consistency and deliberate training will be a good winning combination:) see you on the trails!

    Liked by 1 person


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