Zoning IN, Instead of Zoning OUT

After the incredibly food-heavy weekend, I was feeling not so fantastical… but I knew a nice and hard workout would fix that problem.

I skipped a tempo workout last week because it scared me. 3 w/u miles, 4 mile tempo, and 3-mile c/d.

Yikes. It kind of scared me today, too, so I did my pull-up and push-up workout.

3 sets of 4 chin-ups, 4 walk-the-planks (in pull-up hand position).

Then 2 sets of 3 chin-ups, 5 walk-the-planks (pull-up hand position).

Then 5 sets of 12 push-ups with the pull-up bar on the ground. I still find this freaking hard, but I don’t want to do push-ups first because I want to save me energy for the pull-up stuff.


After my upper body stuff, I somehow mustered up the courage to do the tempo workout.

I walked to the gym.

Started on my 3 mile w/u at around 8:34 pace (7.0 mph).

Three tempo miles at 7:30 pace (8.0 mph).

Last tempo mile at faster than 7:30 pace (8.1 mph to 8.4 mph)

3 mile c/d at faster than 8:30 pace (7.0 mph to 7.6 mph).


That’s right. 10 miles in just over 80 minutes. All with 0.5% incline.


Here’s the interesting part about the run. I didn’t have music, and during the tempo, I only had a TV in front of me to look at from time to time (during the w/u and c/d, I was able to read Competitor magazine).

All I did was ZONE IN on the run. How’s my form? Am I picking up my knees/toeing off completely? How’s my posture? Are my shoulders up by my ears? Is my jaw or fists clenched? How’s my breathing?

Usually when I trained, I would want to zone OUT. Music to play over my hard breathing. Thinking about other things to get my mind OUT of the run.

Then during the dinner before the CIM in December, some of the super fast runners in my running group (RUNNING ADDICTS, WOO HOO!) were saying that they actually zone IN to their running.

“Interesting.” I thought.

Now that I am actually applying that, I have seen some nice improvements, especially during these faster training runs.

The only time I’ve been using music is in the last few miles of a race when my energy is starting to flag. It gives the extra boost. Plus, I heard that the energy-boosting effects of music go down as time goes on… so if you listen to music at the beginning of a marathon, it won’t really give you “the boost” in the second half…

… or I could have read that wrong… but I’m way too tired from the workout to go check the facts, hehe.


I hope your day was blessed 🙂

Do you absolutely require music when you are out on a long or hard run?

Do you use music in races?

6 responses to “Zoning IN, Instead of Zoning OUT

  1. That’s really interesting. I’m going to try zoning in tomorrow and see if that helps. I’m trying to build speed right now so maybe it will make it go by faster

  2. I’ve been cutting back on music while running and just using it for longer training runs and races. I do love to zone out though!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s