Progression Runs & It’s Science

The theme of my runs the past 2 days was: If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.  I hope you know that song?

To backtrack a little first… So as I mentioned on Monday, I went to St. Louis this past weekend with my family to be there for my brother’s engagement.  This meant moving my long run to Friday morning, and then essentially taking Saturday & Sunday off.  I did manage to get in a 3.2 mile easy run on Sunday morning, but for the most part, the rest of the 2 days was spent in the car and barely moving around so my steps were limited.  Combine that with the fact that I wore really un-supportive flats/boots around all day Friday – Monday.


So when I got to the treadmill to do my run on Monday after work, my calves were like tight bricks.  I recalled when training for Boston last year that this happened at least 2-3 times and always on a Monday.  Because the weekends are when I was most likely to wear crappy shoes around for long periods of time.

The plan for the day was to do a 6-8 mile progression run.  I figured I’d do it on the treadmill so I can set my paces.  I came up with a pacing strategy on the fly and it involved changing the pace every .25 miles, which meant I couldn’t just cover up the screen with a towel and judge my time/distance off of how many songs have played.  The little plan was this – .25 miles at each of the following:

7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.3

7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.4

7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.5

and etc… for 3 more miles.

So it was just a very gradual progression, but got faster each mile as I was supposed to.  I had to get off the treadmill to foam roll in the middle of the run because my calves were so bad – especially the right one.  It was like I couldn’t even feel my leg and my hips were doing all sorts of crazy things to throw off my stride to try to figure out why my right leg wasn’t working.  The 2nd half felt a little better after the foam rolling, but my no means good.  I couldn’t even tell the differences in pace because I wasn’t tired, just in a weird “pain.”

Technically, I ended up with a 6 mile progression run, but wasn’t thrilled with the results.

Yesterday, I planned to run outside in the AM, but then changed my mind at the last minute to go to the treadmill figuring I could try to do the progression run again.  Technically, every time I run on the treadmill is a progression run because I always start slow and get faster.  Whereas outside it’s just a free for all.

So I did it again, but this changed my pacing plan to coordinate with my music, like I usually do, in the following pattern.

2 songs @ 7.3, 1 song @ 7.4, 1 song @ 7.5

2 songs @ 7.6, 1 song @ 7.7, 1 song @ 7.8

2 songs @ 7.9, 1 song @ 8.0, 1 song @ 8.1

1 song @ 8.2, then .5 mile fast (between 9.0 and 9.5)

So it was pretty similar, but I think more of a defined progression than Monday night.  At the slower paces, the songs don’t match up nicely to a certain distance, but once you get above 8.0 it’s pretty much science that 1 song = half mile.

That’s enough science, numbers, and paces for your eyes today, though.  Let’s talk about more fun stuff, like this cup from Starbucks:


The 2 items of note are that (a) people really have trouble spelling Colleen and (b) Starbucks is still going strong with the holiday drinks and it’s February 2nd.  They just keep selling them after the holidays until they run out and I’m surprised I haven’t been denied a Gingerbread Latte anywhere I’ve asked for one yet (which is either at the Starbucks near my condo or the one near my office, so it’s a small sample size.)

But the name thing…I get that sometimes they spell it wrong on purpose because it’s funny and it’s a marketing tactic to get you to insta’ it and snap it to your friends.  But I also really think a lot of people try to spell Colleen in good faith, and just epically fail.  I wish I had started a collection of pictures of the variations I’ve gotten, so consider this the first one and expect an Instagram collage soon. <–Also, follow me on Instagram.

I guess Starbucks is actually the extent of my fun this week so far.  And The Bachelor, but I just watched alone this week, so not as much excitement.

What spellings of your name do you get on Starbucks cups (or elsewhere)?

Are you able to run on the treadmill without covering up the screen with a towel?  I sure can’t.

2 Thoughts on “Progression Runs & It’s Science

  1. How is Colleen actually that hard to spell?! I guess I can see “Coleen” instead of “Colleen,” but it’s not like you name is, say, Caila, and people spell it Kayla (just to pull a totally random name out of thin air. Hahaha. Everyone was saying this week’s episode of the Bachelor was boring, which I do not understand at all. The dates were boring, I guess, but as far as outside-of-dates drama goes, I think this was one of the best episodes yet this season.)

  2. Whenever I’m on any kind of machine at the gym, I prefer to cover up the screen. It can be kind of torturous to watch the seconds tick by!

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