I managed to get out today for a lovely run. Due to various things I missed my midweek run, so the last run was that hard 4 mile slog on Monday. I have worked out the length of all my long runs leading up to my half marathon, and today was 9 miles. After a lovely breakfast (Dorset cereals simply delicious muesli – it is indeed delicious- and half a banana) I planned my route on www.mapometer.co.uk and then headed out the door. The weather was lovely; it was quite breezy which is usually nice as it cools you down, it was also a little bit overcast to begin with but about half way round the sun came out and it was lovely. This time of year is such a nice time to run; there is blossom on the trees, daffodils by the roads, plus I pass a lot of people (walking dogs/ cycling/ walking/ running) and people are always much more friendly when the weather is good. Lots of “hellos” today!
When I got home I had the other half of my banana and a lovely nak’d Apple Pie bar (they are soooooo tasty- full of cinnamon and apple and other good stuff!) plus lots and lots of water!
Later on this afternoon I am going to make a chocolate birthday cake- I will try to remember to take a picture.
Beginners starting out
So while on my run yesterday I got to thinking about when I first started out running. Just under 2 years ago I signed up to do the Race for Life, and decided that for myself I wanted to run it. I had done it before and walked the course, raised money and so on. But for myself I wanted to see if I could run it, having never been a runner before. I am sure I am similar to many other runners in that I didn’t like PE at school (although I was active, doing cycling, tennis, walking and swimming with my family and friends); I even walked the cross country when I was 11 as I found running so hard. At secondary school I was the person who “filled in” at sports day and did the ones that no-one wanted to do (shot put anyone?). I am not including this for sympathy or anything like that, just to show you where I started really. I followed a training plan which I cut out from a magazine (not even sure which magazine, Zest maybe) and followed it to the day. It involved 3 runs every week, and I stuck to the plan to the letter, getting up at 6am some days to have a run before going to work if I knew I could not fit it in the evening. Each week the first run would be hard (the first plan was to run for one minute and walk for 1.5, and by the end of the first minute of running I was gasping for breath- I have since learnt to pace myself!), the second one would be ok as I knew what to expect, and the third run would be great as I would know for sure that I would be able to complete it. Then the following week I would worry about not achieving the new distance, and be so proud of myself when each week I would manage it. I had given myself a few extra weeks so that if I needed to repeat a week then I would have the time, but in fact the training plan was great and to my amazement I made it. I was so proud of myself for completing the 5K (3.1 mile course) in around 35 minutes without walking once!
I did think that I would train for the race, do the race and then stop. But I had found that I really enjoyed running! I loved to load songs onto my mp3 player and head off with music to listen to, and my thoughts all to myself. I kept up running all through the winter, and now cannot imagine not getting outside and enjoying the fresh air.
For anyone that is tempted to start running I would say go for it (with Doctors permission etc)!
Below is a simplified version of the training plan that I followed:
Each week do 3 runs.
Week 1 Run for 1 min, walk for 90 seconds 8 times = 20 minutes
Week 2 Run for 2 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 7 times = 24.5 minutes
Week 3 Run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 6 times = 27 minutes
Week 4 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 4 times = 26 minutes
Week 5 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute 4 times = 24 minutes
Week 6 Run for 8 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 3 times = 28.5 minutes
Week 7 Run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute 3 times = 33 minutes
Week 8 Run for 15 minutes, walk for 1 minute 2 times = 23 minutes
Now you are ready to run a 5k race!!!
Monday 5th April
After my long run yesterday I didn’t know if I would manage a run at all. I had jobs to do in the morning, plus some work this afternoon. But the weather has stayed fine (well, if cloudy skies and lots of wind is fine) and I won’t be able to run again until Sunday, so decided on a short one this afternoon. It was hard work! I managed 4 miles but why is it that 4 miles when I am tired is harder than 8 miles when I am rested?
Anyway have had a shower now, and am looking forward to dinner and maybe a peanut banana cupcake later on.
Sunday 4th April
After breakfast I got ready for my long run (as I am training for my second half marathon in the summer). I had planned 8 miles and took a nak’d cocoa orange bar with me in case I needed a snack. It looked like it was about to pour, so I was not sure if I would make the whole route or cut it short. I have a loop which is around 6 miles; I was planning on running to the 4 mile mark and then re-tracing my steps, but having the option of only 6 miles if the weather turned awful. As it was the weather was fine; sunny at times, cloudy at times but it didn’t rain. I managed the run in 89 minutes which I was pleased with as 11 minute miles is a good pace for me to maintain for that time. Once I got home I had a trek mixed berry bar (as I didn’t eat my nak’d bar en route) and spent the day pottering about at home (in the kitchen making cupcakes) and in the garden. Even managed a walk after dinner, although I am feeling very stiff now!
Saturday 3rd April
The weather had forecast rain, including thundery showers (and before I have been caught in a hail storm and didn’t want that repeated), so when I woke up and saw that it was dry I decided to go for a quick run around the block. I managed 3.5 miles in 35 minutes, then home for muesli and a shower. Of course it didn’t actually rain all day! I could have taken my time and had a long run on Saturday! Oh well. Instead I did some gardening and went for a walk- making the most of the good weather.