I’ve been keeping my runs under 10 km for the last few months. The reason is two-fold: I’m back on the Vibram Fivefingers and not eager to repeat a stress fracture; I’ve been trying to keep a flexible schedule for work and life, and keeping my runs short (as opposed to a 20+ mile training run) to save time.
As a result, I’ve had to become a lot more efficient. I noticed when I ran on the beach in Dubai, it was such an effective core workout I was completely wiped, and not just because of the dry air and blazing sun. Although I don’t have access to a long stretch of beach in the middle of Texas, I’ve tried to modify my workouts to fit the mold of what I believe a natural runner should be.
What am I doing? Incorporating short sprints, about 30 seconds or 200 meters, in the middle of my runs. I noticed that when I just did regular long runs without pushing myself, I didn’t exactly lose weight or increase my metabolism. It’s only in races and during interval workouts that I increase my heart rate significantly enough to improve my fitness level. I’ve also been trying to limit myself to one big meal a day in the early afternoon rather than enjoying a huge breakfast after a long run.
Maybe I’ll crash and burn on this schedule, but for now, it seems to be working. I’m down to 170 lbs and feeling strong when I’m hitting the road.