I have a tendency to go dark from my run group in late winter – early Spring. It’s not a running funk, but more of a reset. At first I didn’t think it was intentional, but I’ve realized that I need time to decompress after a hard Fall season of racing. I can get through Advent, Christmas, New Year’s, and then I tend to hibernate for about 6-8 weeks.
Enter Nike Run Club app.
It’s like a running BABYSITTER. I LOVE IT. Download this app, and you have access to hundreds of workouts from long runs, speed runs, meditative runs. Each run you download is led by a coach and/or famous runner. The coach talks you through the warm-up, makes you press pause so that you can get in all your dynamic stretches, and then counts you down to the start of an interval. While you’re running an interval, the coach gives solid reminders to keep your shoulders down, find relaxed breathing, focus on form, etc. It’s positively fantastic. I don’t have to think about ANYTHING except when to run and when to recover. And because it’s through an app, it’s all effort based–loosely. For example, I recently did a workout that fluctuated between mile and 5k pace. Now, I very well KNOW what those paces SHOULD be. Am I there right now? Not really. So, instead, I ran at an 8/9 effort level and a 7/8 effort level, respectively. So, I ran for the fitness level I’m at now, not in 6 months.
One of my favorite runs I did using the app was with the Bowerman Track Club (see my previous post on fangirling over Colleen). The Bowerman women all had something positive to say each time I started a new pace. The workout flew by!
If you have a running coach, you know that his/her main goal is to give you a plan and analyze the results. But, this was like having an expert runner right beside you giving encouragement along the way. Even though I wasn’t in my run group, I felt supported on the solo run. It’s buying me some time before I rejoin my friends, and I’m not losing my fitness during my winter/early spring hibernation.