Running tip #61
Yesterday, I drew in the snow during my workout … not a lovenote (^) but a series of hash marks to count to 12. Often on a Sunday evening, I try to come up with short-and-sweet workouts to dash off before dinner. I let the terrain and my mood determine what I run, so last night I opted for a 25-second stretch of gravel road that ended in a field of snow. My plan was to use each 25 second burst to work on my form (or, rather, to reinforce my already-good form from 40 years of competitive running). After the first few sprints, with jog back to start recovery, I realized the cold air and lack-of-oxygen from anaerobic work might cause me to lose track of how many I’d run, so I drew vertical lines in the snow after each interval to keep count.
On not-so-snowy days, rocks may also be used for counting. Start with as many rocks as you plan to run intervals. For instance, if you are doing 8 X 700m, then you’ll need 8 rocks. After each 700, toss a rock aside. Later in the workout, when you are oxygen-deprived and rapidly losing your ability to do simple math, you will know how many intervals you have left by glancing at the (decreasing) line of rocks.
p.s. Warning! If you happen to be a young mother with a mischieveous kid waiting on a park-bench as you run round and round each loop, that line of rocks may mysteriously change from 4 to 5 after you thought you were half-way through.