The Conversation at the Gym:
Terri B.: [running on treadmill]
Treadmill Buddy: "What are you doing?"
Terri B.: "Running. And walking. Mostly walking."
Treadmill Buddy: "I mean, why do you switch between running and walking so often?"
Terri B.: "I'm doing intervals."
Treadmill Buddy: "Are you training for something?"
Terri B.: "Um. Yeah." [this sounds better than admitting I can't run for more than a few minutes at a time yet]
Treadmill Buddy: "Wow! What are you training for?"
Terri B.: "Life."
- Begin with a relaxing walk.
- Up the stress level by walking faster.
- Up the stess level further by running.
- Go back to a fast walk.
- Alternate between running and a fast walk; this puts a stress on the cardio system that is followed by a rest.
- Repeat for about an hour.
The back and forth of stress and rest builds and strengthens the system and trains it to recover more quickly from the periods of stress. Eventually you find that you can extend the periods of stress and decrease the periods of rest all while recovering very quickly from the periods of stress.
Reflecting on this recent conversation, I can't help but think I'd spontaneously stated what my gym workouts have really been about. Yes, I am training. Training for that series of intervals that I call life.