I’ve already told you that several members of our family recently took up jogging; I posted about it here and here. The way that the Couch to 5K program is set up is called interval training. Interval training is a structured series of workouts that alternates lighter exercise with more strenuous sessions in gradually increasing increments. It is designed to be quite challenging and provides relatively fast improvement.
It’s also very hard. For the first 6 weeks of the program – the time during which we alternated walks and jogs because we weren’t yet able to jog for extended periods – I couldn’t help but feel that there was a strong parallel between interval training and labor pains.
Here are some of the ways that came to mind while I was working out:
- Every time we’re ready to go for a run, I can’t wait to start. Once we start, I find myself wondering: “WHAT WAS I THINKING? THIS ISN’T FUN!”
- It’s all about the breathing.
- The breathing often sounds the same, too.
- The intervals are like contractions, and you find yourself counting down with dread to the next intense interval.
- Psychological signposts are strikingly similar – Stage 1: Hooray! We’ve started! Stage 2: Wait…this is hard. Not fun anymore. Stage 3: I CAN’T DO IT!”
- The coaching sounds the same: “You can do this…just a little longer…You’re doing great!”
- It generally gets easier with practice, but…
- …sometimes it’s much harder than you expect.
- Sometimes you know why it’s harder, and other times there seems to be no rhyme or reason.
- It feels so good when it’s over.
Is this analogy just not working for you? I also think there is a striking similarity between childbirth and death. Which analogy makes more sense to you?