Want to add running to your week?
It’s cheap. It’s easy. You can do as much or as little as you want. You can go alone. You can make it a social event. You can drag along a donkey. Anything goes.
Endurance is important even for roller derby, and most of us don’t get enough of it. I am not always good at derby, and everything in my life seems to be a work in progress that is never ending, but I know endurance. I’m the queen. I like finding a pace that I can keep literally all day. I like slow! My heart rate drops into the 30’s when I sleep and my blood pressure is highest when it’s 106/65. Good endurance is a huge health benefit for you, makes you stronger, less injury prone, and your knees can’t be blamed if you build up the muscles around them by, you guessed it, derby.. And running. Did you know that the pounding from running, when done consistently, actually makes your bones stronger? Yes it does, I swear I am not making that up!
Now ask me to sprint away from the blockers I worked so hard to get around, and I’m lacking. But we can also work that into our endurance. Ask me to block an entire game though, no problem.
Also, it can make passing 27/5 a breeze (along with good derby form and crossovers!). If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
The basic idea of getting started is to just get outside and do it. What do you do now for endurance? Five minutes? 20? Nothing?!! Start with that number and add weekly to it. Try not to add more than 10% a week (and yes I realize 10% of 0 is zero, don’t make me smack you). Some of you will go overboard, and if you do, you’ll be sore. And that’s ok - just remember that if you want this to be a life habit, you need to get your body used to it slowly so you don’t hate it immediately.
So for this endurance blog, I’m going to focus more on the running, because I’m a runner, but there’s plenty you can do if you’re not.
If you can run for any distance, start with that. If you’ve not run in a long time or never, start with being out there for 30 minutes. Walk to warm up your body. If that takes 5 or 10 minutes, do it. When you start your run, start with 2 minutes. Run SLOW for that 2 minutes, then walk for 1. If you have light poles on a street you can use those instead. Run from pole to pole, then walk to the next, run to the next, etc.
Work up to a 5 minute run with a 1 minute break. Next work up to 10 minute run with 2 minute breaks. Repeat.
Basically, anything goes. My goal is to get you out there. Run for 2 minutes and walk the rest. I don’t care. Just start somewhere. And build on it. Push yourself, see what you can do. Run for 10 extra seconds after you think you can’t run anymore.
Now, the where.
So here we are in Ridgecrest, with these great trails in our backyard. The Rademacher Hills. There are miles and miles of trails and dirt roads! Start with a hike. Instead of walking the entire time, run all the downhills. Work up to power hiking the hills and running all the downhills and flats.
Alternately, to work on those sprinty skills, run the hills hard for 30 seconds or more if you can, then slow jog 30 seconds, and alternate. And jog the downhills easy. There is so much FUN to be had on hills! :-P
Don’t forget we live minutes away from the southern Sierra. You can literally run from here to Canada, or Mexico.
Other fun to be had:
Mountain Biking & Road biking. You can do it all in the same areas that you can run.
Skating! What could possibly be more fun than roller skating for endurance for… roller skating! Asphalt trails exist around town. Get some outdoor wheels (Rolling Rat Skate Shop - yes that’s me!). Try about 5 miles at first (about 30 minutes at a good clip). Then add some. When I trail skate and not mess around, I comfortably skate about 10 miles in an hour. Once you get comfortable, make it a speed session. One minute skating at max speed, two minutes slow skating. Work your way to two minutes fast.
Trail skating (skating on asphalt trails) will help you with your quick feet. It will help you learn how to roll over obstacles, like that crack in the apex of the track, and it will build your confidence on skates.
Just run/walk around your neighborhood. Don’t want to get your shoes dirty? Don’t like the asphalt trails combined with wheels on your feet? Just go outside and run. Move your body to get your heart rate up for a sustained period of time.
As a last alternative, there is always the machines at the gym. ANY endurance will help you. If you get bored on one, do them all. The idea is to be consistent. Something you'll want to continue as cross training for derby.
Who knows, maybe I’ll see you signed up at the next half marathon. I’ll be the one running with a donkey…
💚Rat Sass 🐀