Treadmill v. Outdoors

To be or not to be … er… we’re finally experiencing Spring-like weather in Chicago and race day (Shamrock Shuffle) is 23 days away. I’ve been running inside on the treadmill for my C25K program for the past few weeks and have debated taking the run outdoors and hitting the pavement. Im scared tho. I like how my treadmill is consistent and provides a timer and some nice fans sometimes and tv. Whereas outdoors, I have to rely on myself for timing and entertainment. Also, when I run outside, I usually get itchy. Does that happen to anyone else?? My legs start burning and it gets so uncomfortable and all I can think about it hosing myself off.

I have figured out how far I would have to run to complete my 8K in my neighborhood. Basically, if I run to the local Jewel and back, thats 5 solid miles. I’m still terribly nervous though because I’m only on 5 min jogs, 3 min walks and don’t feel that my endurance is high enough to start actually stretching to an outdoor/5K run. Maybe I’m just doubting myself.

Yesterday, I started 5 min jog, 3 min walk and it hurt. I started with  a 5 min walk, then did a 5 min jog and the first stretch actually blew by fairly quickly. I was pleasantly surprised. Then I got to walk for 3 min which allowed my heart rate to slow down a bit and catch my breath and then back into another 5 min jog. I was struggling on the second 5 min jog but got thru it telling myself “What’s 2 more minutes? Push through!!” Then I had another 3 min break.

My third 5 min jog freakin hurt and was hard so I stopped at 2 min, walked for 3 and then went into a 5 min jog, walked for 3 and then ran the last 3 minutes. At least I made it through and although I alternated back and forth, I made it through 20 minutes of actual bona-fide jogging and completed 2.5 miles on the treadmill in 36 minutes. I’m not at the 15 minute mile yet, and I need to get there before race day rolls around on April 10th. Hopefully the more I’m able to build my endurance the quicker my times will be. It’s hard not being a natural runner 🙂 Hats off to all those that complete half marathons and marathons!

Do you have any tips for switching things up and running outdoors?

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