Every Tuesday and Thursday students in PE have to complete a run of the PE staff’s choice. You do warm-ups, you go out and run, and then it’s time to go change before you have to go to your next period. But now, as curriculum is changing and technology is evolving, so are PE procedures.
On the Monday after midterms, the PE staff introduced all students enrolled in the PE course to a new privilege that came with running. Every student is allowed to bring their phone along with headphones into the gym, and carry them while they run.
Immediately I was thrilled. Rumors had been floating around that there was a possibility of students being allowed to listen to music while running and now they had been confirmed. Most people find it beneficial to listen to music while running because it takes their mind off the task at hand.
But what is not as pleasing is the task we now have to perform after the run is over. Once you finish your run, you have to fill out a log that includes the date and which run you completed that day, as well as the time you finished or laps you did. You also record how much effort you put into the run on a scale from 1-5. And to wrap it all up you write a paragraph reflecting your performance and perceived effort, how your body felt during the run, and your realistic goal for next time.
When we have our phones to use them for music we are prohibited to use them for any purpose other than that, music. This is because PE teachers expect us to use this time for physical education. Using time towards the end of the period to fill out this log takes away from the time that we could be using to perform physical activities. It defeats the purpose of PE — that it is solely for physical education and being active.
But filling in this log also takes away from our personal time. The first day we logged our running experience was the Tuesday after midterms. By the time it took to explain the whole process, do warm-ups, run, and fill out the log we had only two minutes to change. This may seem like a decent amount of time, but not when you have to walk from the football field to the girls locker room. The walk alone can take more than two minutes.
This log is also supposed to help you see how you can improve on future runs. But I know that I generally put in the same amount of effort on every run. And if you run and comfortably finish with a time that qualifies for an A, why would you need to improve upon your time?
The runs you complete are supposed to get easier every time. But a lot of students are also athletes. I am in shape and so are many other students. So running under two miles twice a week will not help to make these runs easier, let alone the logs that are supposed to help you to improve your running time or number of laps.
This brings me to ask one question — will anyone actually use the information in the logs to work to improve their time on various runs? It may be beneficial for freshman because they will have this information to build upon their sophomore year. But the for the current sophomores, it will be hard to use this information, especially because we are starting this process over half way through the term. We won’t be running the same runs as often as we have before, so it will be hard to compare our previous times and improve because we don’t have them.