Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Frog on the Treadmill

The other day while watching discussion of the sequestration on the news the analyst speaking used the anecdote about the boiling frog as a way to illustrate the possible effects of the sequestration. I've heard the story before and although I don’t like the idea of the outcome it really fit the point he was trying to make.

The story goes like this- if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will just jump out. However, if you put a frog into a pot of cold water and slowly heat it, it won’t think it’s in danger and it will be cooked to death. Gruesome, I know.

Random note: Wikipedia says that “a frog submerged and gradually heated will jump out” so that makes me happy.

Anywho, I have been thinking about the boiling frog anecdote ever since I heard it and today I decided to test out my own version. Instead of a frog in a pot of water I used a human (me) on a treadmill.

As you know, I have been fighting a cold which unfortunately screwed up the latter half of last week’s training plan. Since I am still a bit under the weather and my legs have been out of work for a while I needed a plan to shake out the cobwebs and get back to business.

I decided that maybe what I needed to do was slowly ease back into my running but in a way that would still allow me to push myself. So I opted for the ‘run myself cooked’ method. This isn’t rocket science or really anything fancy or creative. I just thought that the best way to get my ‘sea legs’ back was to start off at a comfortable pace and the slowly speed up, using such small increments that it wasn’t very noticeable each time I adjusted the treadmill. Over the course of two miles (that’s what was on the training plan for the day) I went from a 12 min/mile pace to a 9 min/mile pace. I ran my first mile in 11:45 and the second in 10 minutes flat. Although I doubt I could sustain a 9 min/mile pace for much more than a half mile or so right now it was nice to know that even while sick and after taking several days off to rest I was able to shake that all off and push myself for a bit.

And in the end I didn’t feel tired or cooked. I just felt happy. Probably leaps and bounds happier than a frog slowly being cooked to death that’s for sure.

I guess my point of all this is that sometimes in life we need to jump back into thing full-swing, guns blazing, take no prisoners- style but other times we are better off to slowly ease back into them and today’s run called for just that.

And even though it was a short two miles walking away from them feeling healthy totally makes me feel ready for tomorrow’s seven mile run (3 miles at HMP) in the morning.

How to you jump back into training after a break? Do you go full steam or do you ease back into it?