Friday, January 25, 2019

Run, walk and run

Pierini Fitness, circa 2004 - a long time ago!

Pierini Fitness has had an on again off again relationship with running the past dozen years.  And now, the relationship is back on again.  For how long?  Time will tell but there’s no doubt about it, running has its place in the middle-aged man fitness toolbox for those who want to reap its tremendous cardiovascular, mobility and self-defense benefits.

The cardiovascular benefits are without question.  A somewhat dated, yet still relevant, research done on this reported than “running is an excellent means of conditioning the cardiovascular system. It is a highly aerobic activity that utilizes both fatty acids and carbohydrates for energy. The typical runner tends to have a slow resting pulse rate and a high maximal oxygen consumption.”  Read more here:  Cardiovascularaspects of running

Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.  Since running is an activity of moving from here to there and since practice makes perfect, running, therefore, improves our middle-aged man abilities to more easily and efficiently move and, thus, be mobile.

The self-defense part may have you wondering and wanting to know more.  The best example is with a story.  Here’s one from a long time ago:  Run, run, run

So, what’s my current running curriculum?  Twice a week which will not resurrect me into a world-class middle-aged man runner but that’s not a goal.

Twice a week, consisting of a Sprint 8 workout one day and a run, walk, run workout the other day.  It’s a current running work-in-progress that I’ve recently begun to rekindle my past joy of being a middle-aged man fun runner.  How long will this last?  As with all middle-aged man fitness training and goals, time will tell.  I’ll give you updates from time to time, particularly if I’ve done something worth sharing.

Sprint 8 workout

So, what’s the Sprint 8 workout?  Pierini Fitness explained it here: 

Last Saturday, my workout was 8 rounds of 30 seconds sprinting and 90 seconds of walking recovery, done on a high school all-weather track.  The weather was amazingly wonderful for January, perfect for this workout. 

This is always a tough workout and that was my case.  For the fitness data geeks like me, here’s a statistical summary of my effort:

Mile pace for 0:30

These mile paces are the equivalent to sprinting between 120 and 135 meters during the sprint portion of the rounds.  This is pathetically slow compared to my past but I’m not complaining and am glad I was able to complete the workout.

Excluding a 2-minute warm-up and 2-minute cool-down, these 8 rounds took 16 minutes to complete. 

Here’s a snapshot of the cardiovascular demands of this workout:

There’s no doubt about it, a weekly dose of Sprint 8 training will help this middle-aged man ratchet his cardiovascular conditioning to the next level.

Run, walk, run workout
So, what’s a run, walk, run workout?

I guess the best way to describe it is a running workout done sort of like a “grease the groove” workout that was discussed in a Pierini Fitness post a few days ago about a pull-up workout.

I first learned about run, walk, run when listening to a presentation by running great Jeff Galloway.  You can learn more about this approach here:

Earlier this week, I did a run, walk, run workout for a long run lasting one hour.  What I did was run for 3:10 and then walk for 0:50 for 15 rounds, taking exactly one hour to complete.  It’s about the third time I’ve done this workout.  Initially, I started with 3:00 of running and 1:00 of walking and each successive workout I’ve increased the run time by 0:05 and decreased the walk time by the same time.

Since my running speed is a far cry from its former self, during this one-hour run, walk, run workout was for 5.78 miles, which is a slow 10:23 mile pace.  Undoubtedly, my distance covered will improve over time.  Interesting is that my average and maximum heart rate for this workout was comparable to the Sprint 8 workout, as shared above.

Consider adding running to your middle-aged man fitness toolbox.  Then, together, we'll be improving our cardiovascular conditioning, mobility and self-defense skills by a once a week date with Sprint 8 and a workout where we run, walk and run.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


michael said...

What do You feel is the least time per session that is beneficial for the walk/ run?

Pierini Fitness said...

Michael, I'll answer with 30 minutes and increase it from there according to your abilities and desires. Of course, your run time and pace, and walk time intervals, need to be customized according to your current abilities. For example, I started this one hour run with 3:00 run and 1:00 walk and have been bumping up the run time and deceasing the walk time by 0:05 as a progression. Someone at a lesser level of conditioning might start with 1:00 run and 3:00 walk, for example.

Regardless, the progression occurs by increasing the run time and pace and decreasing the walk time. It's a long progression journey for best results.

Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting Pierini Fitness and enjoy your weekend.

michael said...

Yeah, I've done this with Couch to 5k. Most times I only have 30 minutes max. I was never the runner You was, 2-3 miles at the most. I believe there are definitely benefits of 30 minutes of walk/run. What are Your feelings about how many times a week? When I do run, I like 3 times a week. I think too much of a good thing can be detrimental.

Pierini Fitness said...

Michael, I believe 60 minutes a week is a good number, but it doesn't have to all be in a single workout. How about 30 minutes on one day and 10 minutes three other days.

30 + (10 x 3) = 60 minutes, or any other combination to get 60 minutes. But, at the end of the day, something is better than nothing so 30 > zero.

Obviously, your entire workout curriculum must be taken into account and the other stuff you do contributes nicely to your overall cardiovascular conditioning.

Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting Pierini Fitness and enjoy your day.