When I first started increasing my running mileage I was all about long runs and slow paces. I was not a fan of the short sprint style runs, and swore I would always rather run 10 miles at a slower pace than run 2 miles at a quick pace. Well, that’s changed. Lately I dread longer runs, and have been avoiding them at all costs. What I am loving are shorter speedier runs (speedy for me..think 8:35min/mi) and LOTS of spin classes.
After my half marathon in October I was going to take a running break. By this I mean a scheduled running break, running only when I felt like it. Then I thought about running another half on December 1st, so I started training again a week ago. I’ve found myself skipping mid week runs for spin classes and cutting my long runs short. I just don’t have the desire to train for this race…at all. I need a break from the schedule, I need variety.
I am still going to run the half (as long as I can get the day off) but I am going to just have fun with it. I don’t really feel like “training” so I’m not going to. Forcing a run is NOT a good idea, so instead I have been switching up daily workouts and it’s been a blast! I hope that by continuing to do cardio and shorter, speedier mid week runs that I’ll be OK during the half..if I don’t post for a week after Dec 1st come looking for me.
Call me crazy, but I am really excited to run a half without much training. I think my foundation is solid enough that I wont hit the wall…I hope. As for speed, I’ve been running 2-4 milers and pushing myself to break into the 8min/mile range. I don’t know why I stayed in my comfort zone of 10min/miles for so long. About 6 months ago I pushed into the 9min/mile range..and then that got comfortable too. Short speed runs are fun!
In completely unrelated news I baked the most epic dessert the other day, but cannot show you until November 16th. The Virtual Vegan Potluck is back and I’m so jazzed for my addition to the party. The entire “thing” was gone in one night (I shared with my coworkers haha.) Also, I’ve been working A LOT lately and haven’t had much time to read blogs, my lack of comments on posts is simply due to being busy! I still love you.
Q: Do you ever feel the need to take a break from certain workouts? I still love my short runs, and love all things running, but just don’t want to force the “long” runs right now! I’m A OK WITH THAT! Besides, I’m planning to run another half in March.
48 thoughts on “Variety is the Spice of Life”
kathy @ vodka and soda
variety is the spice of life! i had been lifting for so long that running the trails was a breath of fresh air and i was hooked and lifting sort of fell by the wayside! but now that i’m forced to slow down because of my knee (arrrghh!) i’ve been getting in touch with the things i forgot that i love – yoga and lifting again!! today i did arms (biceps and tris) and i forgot how much i love lifting and how badass i feel!
so i think taking a break from certain workouts is what we need. besides, when you train the same way, our bodies adapt so it’s good to work other muscles/train your cardio in other ways. i am not a distance runner by any means but i did the tough mudder (18K) with only 10K of running under my belt. but i did do insanity and all other HIIT cardio programs for a long time so my cardio endurance was already in good shape. you’ll do awesome for your half!
Davida @The Healthy Maven
Yup! I needed a break from almost all working out and am slowly making my way back right now. No running, no HIIT, most of my workouts consisted of walking or yoga. And it actually feels amazing. I’m starting to get an itch to get back into strength training though. No running for a while for me. Must gain back way more strength before I can do that. But sounds like you do have an awesome foundation so you’re gonna do great on the half! PEople underestimate the power of overtraining and sometimes less is more.
This is SO awesome! I’m stoked to hear how you’re listening to your body, doing what you love, and treating running as something to look forward to rather than a chore! 🙂 You are TOTALLY gonna rock that half my friend!!! And hopefully no pants pooping hahahhaha
I think your new training plan may actually be better for a half. They say shorter, high intensity intensity runs are more beneficial! I personally hate running fast so I don’t do them but the lower mileage and more cross training will keep your legs fresh too. I wish we had halfs in December that I could run! I’m dying to do one!
Hahaha “and shitting your pants in public”. I have never recovered from seeing pictures of the guy that ran a marathon a few years back and completely shit himself!
di @ life of di.
I totally agree. I have recently been taking 4-6 spin classes a week and am just getting burnt out. I want to start running again + Insanity a couple of times a week. I think it helps to stay motivated 🙂 I don’t plan on following a training program (half marathon) until January but hopefully I can get a 3-4 mile run in a couple of times a week to stay in running shape.
PS – You will totally be fine if you don’t train for your upcoming half. I’ve never really trained for any of mine and have made it through (granted, I’m much slower than you but it is still possible!) 😉
I definitely get in a workout rut if I do the same thing day after day. It gets REALLY bad when I go through a lifting phase because – for whatever reason – I lose interest REALLY fast.
Speedwork is my winter running survival tool! Treadmill running can get SO boring. Plus, it works! It brought me to my half-marathon PR this year! Good for you for doing it!
Life's a Bowl
I’ve taken a (longgg) break from distance running since the 3 halfs in the spring… Cardio has been the elliptical, bike, or walking + strength training. I needed a break, both physically and mentally, and it’s been glorious. Not to mention, it makes me WANT to run again!
Gillian @ That's G
I TOTALLY identify with that feeling. My relationship with running totally ebbs and flows — there are whole months where I only run when i absolutely have to and spin or do other stuff on the other days. I also think some of my speedier 13.1s have come when I thought I was undertrained (but probably was actually okay due to cross-training). Looking forward to hearing how your race goes!!
I think a lot of people lose their motivation with running after they’ve reached a milestone. It’s totally normal! And breaks are good mentally and physically, so good for you for just going with the flow~=!
I am alllll about not training for things.. hahaha you know me. I don’t have a schedule but I just bust out whatever I feel like. Best way to do it! I you will 200% will be fine for the half! You GOT THIS. I cant wait to see what you whipped up for the virtual potluck! mmmmm, you always have the best desserts.
hahahahahaha! that ecard is absolutely the best.. the latter half of the card speaks to me quite regularly 😀 I also just showed Dora your blog and she loves ya!
YAHOO I got the Dora stamp of approval!! That made my day.
yayyy Meg told me you two were running a half after the wedding and I was like OH LET ME POSTPONE MY SEXY HONEYMOON TO RUN WITH YOU LADIES… but then I realized it wasn’t in MI… so I will cheer you on in spirit.
I think it is awesome that you recongize running the same thing can get boring and maybe your muscles are like ‘hey i need variety lady!’ and you are doing other things. i love this pic of you with the sand. and you will do amazaing in any race you do b/c you are brittany and awesome and athletic and full of girly grit!
GREAT post! I totally agree – as soon as running becomes a chore, a break is necessary. Breaks have been absolutely necessary for me and I love switching up my running with spin classes as well! Looking forward to reading about your half once it’s done – I’m curious to see how it’s different from the one you trained for in October.
I don’t run, (can’t run actually) but I recently changed my workout style, too.
It started when I realized that when I workout I should actually, you know, WORK.
I used to just coast along. Comfortable. I was kind of obsessed with the distance I covered in the pool rather than the time it took me to do it in.
BUT now that I try and push myself, to work… I find that not only do I enjoy it (love/hate) it more BUT I am SO very okay with saying “I’m done” when I hit a point no matter how much distance I have covered. (I actually need to work on that because sometimes I am “done” after a shamefully short time, abusing my privelege.
I am glad you feel comfortable to go with what you want and do you re: training for that marathon.
OH yes, for sure. I have to change it up all the time. I get bored very easily and will go from running to Turbo to Bootcamp to TRX to Insanity and so on. The variety is what keeps me going!
Your sand heart is so cute. Seriously. After we go to Disneyland together, do you want to go to Hawaii too?? 😀
I can’t wait for the big reveal of your Vegan Virtual Potluck dish! I’m really hoping it’s dessert. And possibly with chocolate. But that’s just me dreaming; whatever you made is bound to be awesome!!
YES YES YES, let’s just travel the world together!! Oh and of course I baked a dessert..butttt no chocolate this time!!! In fact I mention in the post how ALL my past dishes for the potluck have been chocolate and this time I tried something NEW!
I’m all for traveling around the entire world! 🙂 And I’m SO proud of you for trying something new!! I can’t wait; I’m literally bouncing in my seat!
I’m actually missing running A LOT but I’ve been on a break so long I doubt it’s a good idea to start up again mid pregnancy. So I kinda speed walk on the treadmill. I’m sure it’s an awesome sight to see ;p
I’m loving that sand picture!
Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
I can totally understand not wanting to do long runs. Once I finished the half marathon I knew I needed a break from long runs as I had felt during training that the last few had been such a grind to get through and as well my physio said that I needed to cut down my mileage a lot after the race as I was having foot and calf issues.
Wow that is amazing you are going to do a half on minimal training, I don’t know if I would feel confident enough to do it but I admire you for it 🙂
Dang, I am way way impressed. I can’t imagine running a half marathon. I CAN imagine buying those cute shoes though, and wearing them around town while I pretend to be a runner 😉
You’ll be fine for the half marathon in December because your foundation is great. I have complete faith and in the meantime, keep getting your spin on. I’m going again tomorrow and I can hardly wait. Hurray for spinning. Endorphins! Adrenaline rush! Itty bitty bike set! Yeah!
I can’t wait to hear about and see your vegan dessert. I’m premature salivating already. 🙂
Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com
YES for that chocolate chip Garmin pic! Those shorter faster runs will MORE than help you in the half! For real. Every training cycle I do starts with shorter faster runs and builds in distance. Not to mention, your Brittany the Baller… you made it through a half with bee stings, I think you can handle a NORMAL 13.1 miles 🙂
I want to dive head first into those chocolate chips. And I totally feel ya- I can’t train the same way doing the same thing for too long!
Matt @ Runner Savvy
I run all year long, but switching it up always keeps things interesting!
Good for you! You seem to really be focusing on things that make you happy! Way to go. 🙂
GiGi Eats Celebrities
I shall send you an adult diaper prior to your race, so if you shit in public, at least… You will be the only one who knows!
You’re too good to me you know?? I prefer Depends if you’re willing to splurge some $$.
GiGi Eats Celebrities
For you – $ is nothing!
the longest race i’ve ever run is a 5k, so i can’t say much to that, but… you did inspire me to try my first spin class 🙂 i’m all signed up for wednesday at noon 🙂
AH, that is so exciting!!! THAT’S TODAY! I hope you have a blast!!
I definitely crave those breaks from certain workouts every now and again. I tend to get burnt out on things after I start doing them for quite a while. Surprisingly I haven’t gotten sick of spin yet even though I’ve been doing it for 6+ years every week now. That’s kind of weird for me.
I’m really glad you have been putting effort into the things that are making you happy! That’s the most important thing.
The Vegan 8
I laughed so hard at that running pic!! I go through changes all the time with my workouts…you have to keep it interesting in order to want to maintain it. Just this past weekend I did a totally new leg workout and it was so awesome, I’ve been walking sore and funny and had trouble sitting on the toilet. So I know it was a good workout! I love weights and resistance training.
Sometimes the best races are ones that you go into relaxed and not having followed the training plan to the letter for. Running should be fun!
Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
Sometimes when I plan my workouts for the week.. I don’t follow ANY of them. It really depends on how I am feeling and what I FEEL like doing.. opposed to what I planned to do.
Karla @ Finding My Fit
It’s funny. Growing up I hated running. Then in college I LOVED it. Ever since my full marathon I have pretty much hated running again. I did do a half back in may with Tyler that was fun–but cause I was running with him. I, like you, don’t enjoy the TRAINING part of distance running.
I am trying my hardest to get my arse back into running now that I’m doing CrossFit instead of just lifting. I want to do the Chicago full next fall but being that it’s a chore to get me to run more than my 2 mile for my PT test I have a long journey ahead of me…. but with all the stresses I have coming up in next year regarding relationship/army/moving/etc it may be just what I need again to clear the head 🙂
kelly @ racesrepsramblings
I hear you on the break from certain workouts… yes ma’am… sometimes all you need is that variety. Props for listening to your body!
kudos to you girl for listening to yourself and switching up your workouts! I agree, forcing a run isn’t a good idea. Spinning is such a great source of crosstraining. and one of the things I miss most about my gym in Australia. I’m sure you’re going to rock your half!
Kristina at damntenpounds
Running just for the fun of it is what makes me fall in love with running all over again. Every now and then I need to take a training break with no garmin and no planned mileage. Training can get so tedious otherwise. If you’re dreading long runs, then it’s probably a good idea that you’re taking it easy and switching things up. In the end, it will make you a better runner. I bet you’ll be super speedy and refreshed for your half in March!
Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body
I am looking forward to that recipe, I will have to check out that virtual potluck! I can’t imagine planning on running another half after just finishing one. I love the first 2-3 months after a half when I am no longer training and just running for running. I think it is great that you are doing that!
Good for you for listening to yourself and not forcing yourself to do long runs when you want to do shorter ones! It is also quite inspiring to me as I haven’t been able to run for over two weeks (and so missing it!!) due the plantar fasciitis I’ve developed and was a bit nervous that I’d be too out of shape to run my half in January. But this post reminded me that perhaps it’s an opportunity to just have fun with it! Not go for a new PR or anything, but to just relax and take my time. 🙂
So excited for you that you’re going to do another half already!!! I think that you’re going to rock it no matter how you train! When you’re going in to enjoy something, you can’t lose 🙂
You rocked your first half SO HARD, I have such high hopes for your second one!! I hope your injuries go away STAT!!
I love your attitude and perspective on your upcoming race. Good for you on listening to your body & not training hard if you don’t want too. You’re young, you got plenty of time to PR at another if you feel like it 🙂
Rach @ This Italian Family
You went to Hawaii in 2009?? I want to know more about that trip! We are talking about going there sometime. 🙂
I’m excited for you that you are just going to have fun with the race! I think that will be so great! And I’m excited to hear all about this amazing dessert!!
Melissa @ Al Forno Mementos
You are crazy. haha my friend just did a marathon without that much training .. I don’t know how y’all can do it! I can’t even do a 5k without training. *sigh*
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