How Fast Is Too Fast

I follow a blog and read this post last year, then got sick and wasn’t able to incorporate it until now:

I was intrigued, but knew that as it was lined out, there was no way I could do the whole thing in one fell swoop. So in true Cristy fashion, I adjusted it to where I felt like it would be manageable for me. I swear, I adjust more workouts that other people create! I scheduled it as more of an interval workout. I included my five minute warm up and cool down on each end of it. The final task looked like this:

And then last night I attempted it.

I should preface this next section by saying that I have a REALLY old treadmill. But the thing I like about it opposed to the shiny new treadmills at the Y is that they have “quick buttons” for incline and speed. 0 – 10 on incline, 1 – 10 for speed. The Y has 2, 4, 6mph quick button options for speed, and only up/down arrows for incline. So this particular workout would require a LOT of tap-tap-tapping while I’m trying to concentrate if I did it at the Y. In that respect ONLY, my treadmill at home is better.

I started off with my five minute 3.5mph walk at 0 incline. Easy.

The timer hit 5 minutes, so I pressed the Incline 10 first, then pressed “4 +++++” to get to 4.5 mph. The first 15 seconds weren’t bad (15 seconds is about how long it takes for my treadmill to raise to the 10 incline). Now, 4.5 is a really, really slow, comfortable running pace for me. But I was gasping for air by the time my minute was up. I couldn’t hit that 0 incline button fast enough. Still gasping when I pressed “4 – – – – -” to get back to the 3.5 recovery interval.

Six mph is FAST for me. I struggle with 6mph on a flat surface. But on a 5% incline, 6mph is HARD. I was gasping before the treadmill got to the full incline. I believe I was making audible noises as I was running. That was FAR more difficult than the 10 incline at 4.5. I was happy to get back to my recovery interval.

Repeated the 4.5/10 with similar results (read: cursing) as I did the first time.

And then here comes 6.5mph at 5 incline. I hit the 5 on the incline first, knowing I’d have a couple seconds to hit “6 +++++” to get to the speed I needed. Thirty seconds into this interval I was struggling more than I felt was safe, so I hit the 6 speed button to drop the mph to a less frenetic level.

And then recover.

4.5mph at 8 felt damned near easy. For a minute. But that didn’t mean I was going to forego my water break. I dropped the treadmill back to 0 & 3.5 mph before I stepped off to get my water (the nightstand is on the other side of the room from the treadmill so there isn’t a closer spot to set my water).

On the second section I didn’t even TRY to do the 6.5. I went straight for 6mph and the 4 incline. I had firmly decided that anything over 6mph was going to have to be done on a flat surface until I could build up a little more endurance (and confidence) to do anything differently.

Came to the 19 minute segment and knew there was NO WAY IN HELL I was trying for 7mph at a 4 incline. Nope. No way. No how. Was.Not.Happening! I set it for 6mph and didn’t even feel guilty about it.

Felt confident on each segment going forward. A little too confident perhaps. I saw the 7.5mph on the second to last interval and scoffed at the very idea of it. But then? Then I noticed it was at 0 incline. Certainly I could do 7.5 on a 0% incline for one minute. I mean “they” say that you can do anything for a minute. (Side note…”they” are assholes.)

So. With my incline firmly set at 0 I hit “7 +++++” and off we went.

Did I mention that my treadmill is old?

Yeh. I learned that at speeds faster than I’m capable of running, my instability makes the belt on the treadmill hiccup. Or the treadmill is just old and it hiccups on its own. Every four or five steps there would be a hesitation in the treadmill belt, which cause d completely bizarre and uncomfortable gait. But I was DETERMINED! I was going to finish that damned minute if it killed me. I was flailing about – my arms flapping up/out/sideways with every hiccup of the treadmill belt. If I was lighter, I may have just taken flight. This is not an inaccurate replica of me last night on my treadmill.

When the minute was up I hit that 4 so fast, but as I “minused” down to 3.5 it felt like I was in slow motion. My arms and fingers were not working together and I struggled to hit the buttons. I had to step onto the rails of the treadmill so that I was steady enough to lower the speed.

But I did it. I did not look pretty while I did it. But I did it.

As I walked for my five minute cool down I just began laughing. What a ridiculous thing for me to do. Silly enough that I’ve got it once a week on my workout schedule.  Because, of course I do. Although, I did adjust the speeds down so that 6.5 is the top end.

Maybe one of these days I’ll be fast enough to do 7.5 without dying.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s