Friday, March 5, 2010

Back to the Gym

As mentioned in my previous post I’ve been recently experiencing the trauma of transitioning from running on a treadmill to running outdoors. I had expected that my body would be somewhat resistant to the change, so my original plan was to battle through for a couple of runs until my muscle and tendon conditioning caught up with my ambitious training regiment. However, after what happened last night I’m thinking I might have reevaluate my approach.

Let me set the scene for you… it was late last night. I had finished my Chamomile tea and was feeling sleepy so I changed into my flannel Batman pajama’s (with the footies of course), donned my nightcap, and entered my bedroom chambers for good nights rest.

I climbed into my most comfortable bed, complete with bunches of billowing blankets and pillows a plenty, and settled in under the sheets. I let out a deep sigh and prepared myself for the warm embrace of deep soothing slumber.

…But then, just as I was drifting off, I noticed a slight feeling of discomfort in my lower legs. I twitched slightly, trying to shake it off, but that only seemed to amplify it.

“I must be laying in an uncomfortable position” I thought to myself as I turned onto my side.

…And thus began the multiple hour fiasco of me tossing and turning in my bed trying to attain that just barely out of my grasps feeling of leg comfort. Yes, my friends, I was dealing with an acute case of RRLS (Runner’s Restless Leg Syndrome).

Not sure how many people out there have experienced RRLS before. For those who have, you have my deepest sympathies… If you haven’t consider yourself lucky… And if you’re not sure what RRLS is here’s a rundown for you.

RRLS is a special case (extra special since I made it up) of the more encompassing medical condition called Restless Leg Syndrome (as seen on TV)… I first encountered it when I began training for my first marathon back in June of 09 when my mileage jumped from 6 miles a week to 25 miles a week… For the first 6 weeks of training I spent just about every night tossing and turning to no avail trying to find that perfect position (my wife will testify to this… and she had the bags under her eyes and bruises on her shins to prove it). Eventually my body adapted to the training but those first 6 weeks were a nightmare… I’m talking about a serious case of the Jimmy Legs (John Stewarts moniker for RLS)!!!

I thought that RRLS was behind me, but now it appears to have reared it’s ugly head again… and so I must decide what approach I’m going to take to rectify it. The way I see it I ultimately have to pick between two unsavory choices: I can either power through and keep running and deal with the consequences of a broken sleep cycle, potential injury, and a grumpy sleep deprived spouse OR I can temper my transition to the pavement by heading back to the gym and taking a more calculated approach of slowly weaning myself off the treadmill*…

After tasting the freedom of outdoor running, the idea of returning to the treadmill is not exactly palatable but the proposal of powering through until my RRLS self-corrects is pretty much out of the question (if I value my marriage that is)… So there you have it… looks like I’m heading back to the gym for one last hoorah!!!

*Funny enough, after writing this post I found an article in this months Runner's World where Jeff Galoway details a plan for transitioning from treadmill to pavement. His plan starts with going outside once the first week you start the transition and running a minute, walking a minute, etc... Then you slowly build from there. I figure at that rate I'll be running fully outdoor just in time for next year winter!


  1. I actually never knew that there was a transition that needed to take place...I always just jump right back in. Maybe I will be more cautious! I love the outdoors!

  2. How funny, I just got through reading that same article. If you are running on the treadmill for 30 + minutes, Why would you need to do a run walk program, especially at a 50/50 rate? Jeff Galloway is not the Father of Know All! Oh, and I love how RW Magazine contradicts the weight lifting ordeal. Check it out. page 27 and 60. page 27 says to left less weight with more reps, and 60 says that lifting less weight with more reps to get toned is a myth? Later in the page 60 it says to mix high and low reps. Can they make up their mind. Thats why what I read, I just take it as it is. Last year, I just started to do 1, then 2, then 3 days outside like that. SAME mileage, but started out with the lower mileage runs outside to reduce impact. Just use common sense. Dont need RW acting like the Runner's Bible. As far as the RRLS, I have had it. I just get up and stretch some, and that usually helps. Take care.

  3. you are always good for a laugh. keep up that galloway treadmill-pavement training!