In the spring of 2010, I trained for and ran my first half marathon. Ran the whole thing. I was so proud and promptly stuck a "13.1" sticker on the back of my car. (Terry nixed the sticker that said, "I Don't Go All The Way". Probably a good call.) It was fabulous. I looked good and felt good, but after the race I had no desire to continue running the distances I had been training with. Plus, it was HOT outside.
I spent the following year running a few races with poor results and I couldn't quite land on what it was I was looking for. I'm not a competitor and I'm never going to be a fast runner. I'm fine with that, but if not, then why run for that purpose. And really, I just want to be fit.
I started thinking back to a time when Terry and I traveled to Hawaii. At the time I was running about two to three miles four or five times a week with my friend Holly. I was in the BEST shape I had ever been in. And we didn't even run the whole time. I would wimp out after about 5 min and she would graciously walk for a few then we'd pick the running back up again. I am taking into account that I was eight years younger than I am now, and age does affect, but there seemed to be something to the starting and stopping that worked for me.
Then I remembered an article I read wherein it was explained that if you raised your heart rate and lowered it throughout your workout, you would burn 30% more FAT calories. Honestly, I don't know how this works so please don't tell me why that is all wrong. I don't care, because I've changed my running habits and am losing weight and inches like I did a decade ago. (I was eating so much to keep up with the crazy calories I was burning for half training that I didn't lose a pound. I was hungry!)
Now I go out for an hour three to four times a week. I start walking and usually after about a mile, I feel like running. I run until I feel like stopping and walk then run then walk...you get the idea. I so still push myself. Most of the time I get into a five minute running and two minute walking cool down cycle until I've reached an hour.
So far, it's working like a dream. I'm not nearly as hungry or exhausted after my workout and most of the time I can throw some weight training or lunges or something in afterward. And I've lost a few pounds and inches (those inches are way more impt to me now than pounds).
If you are struggling with your workout and want an easy change this might be worth a try for you. Not to mention it seems to be much easier on my knees and feet. That's always a good thing!
Happy Running/Walking/Cycling or whatever you do~