Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Breaking in NRC - a preliminary app review

I got soaked at the first school drop off this morning but luckily, I was wearing running shoes & shorts rather than my office work clothes. After dropping the round of 5 kids, I decided to just go for my scheduled #NRC #run (since I was dressed for it and already in need of a shower).

I've been skeptical of the new Nike app update...I guess I got really comfortable with Nike+ and it's quirky ways. Let's face it, change is tough.  And we are less tolerant of it when it's unexpected.  Admittedly, I was kind of grump about it at first.  "Where are my trophies?"  "How do I add photos with the mile stamp on the bottom?"  "How can I just push to Insta or Twitter?"  "UGH! Why? Nike, I have no time for this!!"  "and what is this feed?...who is reading this, who are these people?"  With all the chaos in our daily lives, it's nice to have that one thing you know what you can expect from. #thanksforthecurveballNike 😂

Anyway, being my glass half full kinda self, I decided I'd kick the tires on this thing & start a "training" program. I throw the air quotes out there because I'm not really training for an official race (although, I have a marathon friend that I sense will soon be coming around to sell me on running one).  What I AM doing, however, is trying to build my endurance (ahem, speed really) so that #cardio won't be so miserable for me.

I'm smart enough to know that I despise it right now 'cause I suck at it. Ha! The stronger & faster I get, the more I want to run. I've been down this road. 😒  It's a hard road but I know what's on the other side.

So, I started a training program with the Nike Running Club "Coach". It lines out weekly schedules of runs to help achieve those goals . I'm on week 4 and it's pretty slow going. I put in a long timeline so I guess it thinks I'm a total beginner. I'm fine with that.

**Here is the link to their official page that has all the deets:  From the Horse's Mouth ;) **

The schedules include benchmark, tempo, speed, recovery, long runs and rest days. I haven't followed it EXACTLY because most of the runs thus far are too short. They can be great for gym warm ups but as a stand alone workout, not enough.  I generally run minimum of 4, albeit slow, especially in the hot, humid, never ending Houston Summer days.

So today's (hopefully Part 1 of 2 #wod ) was a series of 3 runs. Two catch ups & today's scheduled.  I figured they are all short enough that if I added them together I would get a good workout and still achieve the purpose of each run.

1- 15 minute Benchmark Run -  7 min warmup, 3 min hard/fast (I was at 7.2 pace!) and 5 min cool down 

2- Recovery Run - 1.5 miles easy run

3- Speed Run - 400x4 w rest in between

Total mileage: 4.5

The runs have spoken cues which are a nice guide as to when to speed up & slow down, a cool feature for sure. I'll be able to quickly see progress in my benchmarks week to week. And it I think the program has a way of taking your performance to customize the future runs as far as providing a target pace. I'm excited about that.

As far as the other questions I had above, I figured out how to do all those things but there is still a bit of a learning curve as to when the photo option comes into play.  I think at one point, I ended a run and it didn't let me go back to add a photo.  Baby steps, grasshopper.  

Change is uncomfortable but I sense these updates are the beginning of many more.  I can tell that the coach feature is more robust than it was before.  There are other features that I have even yet to try, I will log on to their website to learn more.  The "Find Your Fast" program looks cool, even has Spotify Playlists for different Tempos.  I may have to jump to that after this program that I am on. :)

Stay tuned to see how this all works out! In the mean time, I will leave you with this that I found on the Nike page that I really liked:

1- We are all Meant to be Runners.
2- We are not Just Runners.  We are Athletes.
3- Every Run has a Purpose.
4- Respect Every Workout. Fear No Workout.
5- Embrace Your Weaknesses.  Then Erase Them.
6- Measure Success in as Many Ways as You Can.
7- We Believe in You, Even if You Don't.

Cool, huh?  I'm a fan of that. :)

Happy running all!