Sunday, January 29, 2006

Track running

No, none for me today. I'm taking a day off from everything except core work. I should be swimming, but I'm not. Tomorrow. For sure.

But Sooz asked in a comment about standard track markings and distances. There's a pretty good explanation here with photos.

I don't really know about all the track markings, myself. The track I usually use (pictured, a couple of weeks ago) is an unmarked asphalt-paved quarter-mile track behind our local small-town high school. I don't think the school has a track team - if they do, they probably train at the fancy rubberized track at the nearby larger town. This track seems to be only used by recreational walkers and joggers. I've only seen high-school aged people there once or twice. I use it usually once or twice per week.

The biggest advantage of this track is that it's one block away from our house. So even if weather is bad, I'm feeling unmotivated and lazy, as long as it's not a blizzard or a blinding rainstorm, I have no excuses for not getting myself out there for a few laps.

I used to loathe track running. Now I tend to use it for nearly everything under 3-4 miles. It sure beats the treadmill at the health club any day! What makes the difference for me is paying close attention to my split times for each lap around the track. I log my times fairly carefully (as well as recording them on this blog often) and compare my times for various distances from one season to the next. Now I find it fairly interesting and informative about my running progress.

One of the best parts of track running is when you can just turn your mind completely to other things and not think about running at all, just do it. That makes the time pass quickly. Many, many times I have wished that my swimming would get to that point, where I could just complete stroke after stroke automatically and effortlessly - but I'm a long way from that. When I'm in the pool I'm concentrating on the stroke itself all the time, one after the other, and constantly tweaking it.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Running outside beats the dreadmill anyday! That's awesome that you have an option so close to your house.

Keep at it in the pool. Practice makes perfect!