Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Pavlovian Response

Last year when I first started running, I downloaded an app, UltraTimer, that let me set in my own running program. I could put in a 5 minute warm up followed by run/walk intervals of any lengths that I chose. It was great as I moved from 2 minute running/1 minute walking up to a combo of 4 and 5 minutes running with 1 minute walking breaks. As I ran more and more, I relied on it less, walking when I needed to and running for as long as I could. I eventually got to the point that I could run a full 5k without any walking breaks.

I’ve been away from running for a few months and I’m easing myself back into it. That means that I’m back to doing run/walk intervals till I build up my stamina again. So I set up my UltraTimer and headed out. When each interval finishes, you have the option to set a sound to play, that comes up over any music you might be listening too. I have mine set with a car horn beep when it’s time to run and a group of people sighing a big long AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh when it’s time to walk. I never in a million years expected to have such a Pavlovian response to sound! Even if I was have a great running segment, had found my stride and was enjoying myself, the second I heard the AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh I would break stride and start walking. And the same would happen with the beeping car horn. Even if I hadn’t recovered and was still huffing and puffing, I would start to run.

I need to be more confident and learn to listen to my body instead of some pre-programmed designated running time. I bet I can go longer and farther on my own, but I’m limiting myself to what the timer says right now.

Do you use a timer when you run? What apps do you use?


  1. I use the couch25k for running but I use just a cheap ol' interval timer app for my elliptical intervals. I personally (keep in mind i've never been able to run like you) think that it's good to ease back into stuff. You don't want to push it too fast just because once upon a time you could do it. I'm struggling with the "don't rush it" thing myself. I want to cram 4 days of c25k in instead of 3 just so I can get there faster but I will have to see how the first 2 weeks go. I don't think it's a bad idea to stick to the set intervals, but if you feel like you can go longer, run through one of the walk segments. It honestly can't hurt either way, just don't overdo it! :D Good luck and glad your getting back into it!

  2. Glad you are getting back into running Andy! I think you should listen to your body though, but don't push it! You can do anything that you put your mind to!