With the bike it’s revolutions per minute – use a cyclocomputer or count every time your right foot completes a revolution. Easy peasy. With swimming it’s stroke rate, for that I have a thing that I put into my swim cap that beeps – it’s entirely possible that this will drive me to distraction but until them it makes it easy to keep the predetermined stroke rate. With running, it’s all about pacing which is…more involved.
Up until now I haven’t had to do this a lot – mostly it’s been about running a specified distance as fast as I can, or doing intervals of running and walking for a prescribed overall time or distance, or trying to run for a length of time. Now I have a workout each week that asks me to run a series of half-miles at specific paces. In theory this should be very easy – I run with an old phone using an app that tracks distance and pace so I just look down and see what my pace is and adjust accordingly.
In practice, it might as well be wizardry – I run in my neighborhood which has plenty of uneven sidewalks, also, those brown balls with spikes on them that fall out of trees look like they would just crush under your feet but they don’t, as my shattered phone screen can attest, and it turns out that without a stage, spotlight, and audience I’m not that graceful so it behooves me to watch where I’m going. All this is a long way of saying that when I look at the app to check my pace I end up slowing down. Then as I try to adjust my pace I end up going too fast, then too slow, then inevitably I switch from from decline to incline and start the whole process over again.
It’s possible that this will be solved by switching from the app to a GPS watch instead of using the app, or just with practice. I continue to surprise myself with the number of things that I am bad at that are related to this journey – comfort zone shmomfort zone. The good news is that the running is getting better and so, I imagine, will the pacing. The important thing, as I’ve learned, is to just keep moving forward.
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