I’m halfway through my half marathon training. I’m up to 7 miles on my long run days (either Saturday or Sunday). It’s fluctuated between reasonable and very cold here in Minnesota, so I have been training on the treadmill for the last two weeks.

I used to be a fan of treadmill training. No wind resistance. No incline. Climate control and Apple TV. But after training outside, I’ve realized that the treadmill is more difficult. It forces a constant rate, and therefore tires me out faster. For distances longer than 2 miles, I can really only run at a 15 minute pace (3 miles per hour) without taking breaks. Outside, my body paces itself. I slow down a little when I’m tired, and speed up a little when I’m feeling good. I run between 10 and 12 minute paces (5/6 miles per hour) outside. I don’t feel any more tired unless I’m running up a hill (but this is to be expected).

It’s hovering at 23 degrees F today. I think I’ll still train inside today, because even when I ran outside at 27 degrees F, I felt the air’s toll on the lungs afterward. Last Sunday I ran 7 miles inside and the lungs felt fine. If it had been prescribed, I could have ran 8 or 9. It felt that okay. So the training is working.

The first 2 miles have always been the hardest for me. My brain is still adjusting to the fact that I’m running and it’s going to be like that for a while. Now that I recognize that they are the worst part, I just push myself through them and it get’s easier, or a least my body perceives the work as less strenuous.

I’m not looking forward to the 7 miler today, but I’ve got a couple hours worth of podcasts waiting in the queue! I listen to the following while running: Invisibilia, Radiolab, This American Life, and Serial (when it’s current). I’m your basic NPR snob. I’m okay with that.

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