Now that I am starting to be able to run more without having any pain (YAY!), I have started thinking what my next step will be. My whole philosophy since early February has been to increase my run intervals until I am at the point where I am no longer walking.
But now I'm not so sure.Part of me is wondering now if I should find a nice, comfortable run/walk interval and start increasing my distance.
I know. It's shocking to me, too! I always felt that I was only a "real runner" if I ran straight through the distance, perhaps stopping only to walk through the water stops since I cannot manage to drink and run at the same time unless I'm trying to give myself a shower. When I decided that I was going to need to follow a run/walk training program for the full marathon, I was really upset - but I knew that I didn't have the time to train to run the whole thing and manage homeschooling, etc. So I was cocky (won't erase it this time! LOL) and instead of following the program to the letter, I didn't. I rarely did the walking intervals during the weekday runs, and I extended the intervals on the long run WAY beyond what was prescribed. And my cockiness caused me to get injured. :(
Then I had a little bit of a revelation when I was doing the Fallen Heroes 5K back in March. I had planned to do a 1/1 interval, but I didn't stick to it exactly, especially towards the end. But I know I didn't go over a 3/1 interval at any time. And I finished faster than I had at my very first 5K where I ran the whole thing. I guess I'm a faster runner overall now, so even with adding in the walking, I can potentially still be faster.
SO, if the walking intervals will help keep me running longer by keeping my legs fresh, then what is the point of working to extend the interval at all? Why not just go ahead and start slowly adding back distance? If I extend the intervals, I'll need to stick with 30 minutes of running at a time while I do that. I will increase distance but it will be by miniscule amounts. By sticking to intervals, I can begin to run further sooner.
Now I guess all that's left is for me to decide what is important to me now. Honestly, the only real thing that bothers me is what other people will think of me walking during races. I know that's absurd, but some runners have a real animosity towards people who do walking intervals.
I'd love to get input from any readers out there. What would you do in my situation? Would you stick to the plan and work to build back into continuous running? Or would you work on adding distance now and keep the intervals?
And along those same lines... should I shoot for a sprint triathlon in July (run/walking the run portion) and THEN start to increase my distance or intervals. Or start now? What to do?! What to do?!