I am training for my first full marathon, which is about 3 months away, and have chosen to follow a plan that has me running 6 days a week. So, when I got down here, I wanted to get into the routine of running (almost) every day as soon as possible!
My options are: outside on the roads, outside at the park, or on the treadmill
– Wherever you go, there they are
– Different stuff to see
– Can change route on the fly
– The cars will run you down and kill you, if the buses don’t get you first
– If you don’t get killed by the cars, the sidewalks might get you. I have actually fallen twice already since I’ve been here. I need to be careful (and to stop dragging my feet)! Both times, I fell in the exact same spot, and it wasn’t even a broken bit of sidewalk. Those, apparently, I have been watching out for. It was just a little spot that went up at the edge of a driveway that I didn’t see. The first time, I broke my phone and had to replace it. Good thing it is a cheap prepaid one! The second time, I skinned my knee. Ouch!
– I don’t know my way around that well
– No bathrooms (see below)
– Paved loops, no cars
– Lots of people out
– Open and in use early
– In one park, you can buy pipas (coconuts with straws in them) if you get thirsty. Or a Costa Rica jersey to support “La Sele”, of course.
– The one without drinks for sale has an approx. 400m flat track
– No bathrooms. There just aren’t a lot of public bathrooms around here at all. People wait until they get home. But when you’re running, that can be easier said than done, especially if you have a lot of miles left. In one of the parks, there are no bathrooms at all. In the other one, there are supposed to be 50-cent public toilets, but they have been locked and there hasn’t been anybody to take money. I did find a random bathroom not too far from that, not sure if it’s supposed to be open to the public.
– Can get hot/rainy/etc
– Longest loop that I have found is 1/2 mile, can get monotonous
– Sometimes bikes, random dogs, municipal workers, etc will block the path.
– Smooth running surface without killer cars, dogs, or sidewalks
– No sun or lightning issues, and they may have a little bit of AC (although they keep their doors open, and I suspect any cooling comes from the breeze)
– Can buy smoothies
– Bathrooms! Clean ones even, with seats and toilet paper!
– There are standard and metric treadmills, handy for speed workouts measured in meters
– Spendy. In the mid-$40s per month
– Limited hours, especially on the weekends
I have mostly settled on the gym, when they are open. It’s about 0.8 miles from my house, so I use my run to and from the gym as my warmup and cooldown, so that when I get there I can just hop right on a TM and do the rest of my workout or my easy miles, depending on the day. (Usually with a bit more of a warmup)
I’m happy to report that starting on my second day here, I have been able to get all of my scheduled miles in! I know that won’t be the case the whole time I’m here, since I have some big events that will probably take me away from running.
But the whole philosophy behind the plan that I’m using is that you build up your ability to run the full marathon distance by being consistent and putting in daily mileage. The runs are shorter and in many cases less intense than what you might see in a “traditional” marathon program, but it apparently works because you’re putting in solid mileage almost every day. So if I were to skip days, I wouldn’t get the advantage that the plan was designed for, OR the longer runs that I might be doing with a traditional plan.
So I am happy to have figured out a system for running, and running consistently, that has worked for me so far. I’ve fallen into a nice pattern of running just a little bit after breakfast that seems like a good routine.
Next week, I am even signed up to run a half marathon that will be taking place here! I am looking forward to it!