As a non-runner, fitness alone is definitely not enough to see me through this and I know at some point, I will have to face up to the reality that running 5-7k and running 21k are different beasts.
There are six months to go, with a cricket season inbetween and the potential for injury is (at my age...) an ever present threat. So here goes...I am going to have to do 8k, 10k, 12k and build from there. Can I actually run that far? Really? While I don't officially have a target time in mind, I want to do ok...
So Friday night is a gym night, so why not preface this with a run? Time is against me, so realistically I only have about 50 minutes, so a plan is for a run, some off road, some hill, some roadside. Estimate of 8k...let's see how we go.
Never realized how muddy fields were, and the first 2km are hard... 13 minutes...next km is all uphill, so after 3km I have taken 19 minutes and been struggling. From there, something clicks, good pace, uphill and down and I realise I have found my pace. A Km in 5m 45 is perfect and the rest of the run goes well. Home in 47:28 and done the 8k I hoped for.
I can do this.
First 10k under the belt.
Really happy, body felt good, breathing ok and the splits again showed my slowest km was the first. That was the only one over 6 minutes, last one was 5.40, which was pretty much my average. Progress...Enjoyed it today, pain free, no issues with breathing or stamina, the troublesome glute was fine. I know i need to strengthen my left calf as now and again I get a sharp pain in it, but that’s ok.
Gels...don’t know much about them, but reading up on long distance running made me investigate SIS products. Ordered a load online and took one with me today. Carbohydrates and Electrolytes (must be good, as REM wrote a song about them) I am still working out what I can and can’t eat before a run, but am finding before setting off, a protein flapjack is good, some sugar for the quick hit and some slow release as well. Too much food bounces around so less is more for me. I took one of the gels with me and had it at the half way point. Not sure what I was expecting, a Popeye style surge of energy? Red Eye impact? No. Nothing immediate, but as I ran from 6-8k, I felt no dip in my energy levels, so much so that the pace I ran was maintained and I did feel I could have gone further comfortably. First impressions are good...As my watch vibrated to tell me I had covered 10k, I was just 300m from home, and the time on the watch read 58:45. I don’t know how fast proper runners run this distance, but feel pretty happy now that I have found my pace, found a stride pattern that works. Just two short weeks ago, I ran my first 5k in over half an hour, a long way to go, but progress is happening.
Same run as last weekend. Struggled for the first 5k, uphill and into the window, slow, painful, not enjoyable at all. All clicked into place at the 6k mark and the last 4k were, this is going to sound wrong, well...pretty comfortable (if not quite 'easy') Again the splits would back that, first 5k exactly 30 minutes, but the second half in 27. Much better than last week. Am thinking this 10k is quite a good one at the moment. The route (see my Instagram www.instagram.com/greatnorthrungraeme ) is such that most of the run is along the A59, and to be fair, not many people run along this section (between Northcote and Clitheroe for those of you who know the geography). This means that the likelihood of meeting someone else is minimal. It also gives the added joy of a lovely burst of wind whenever a lorry hurtles past! A couple of days rest.
So, what are my targets and aims here? Currently still number 1 is staying fit. Number 2 is getting faster. I feel like I could do the run now with a couple of really well planned weeks of training, but the competitive edge of me has kicked in. It's all about faster now...always doing PBs is great and at the moment, every run improves on my PB...as I've never run before. I am aiming to go sub 55 minutes for the 10k soon...then maybe aim for 50. When that happens, I'll mix things up, do some shorter 'sprint' runs, try to get 2 miles down to 12 minutes, along with getting some 12, 14k runs done building to a 16k at some point in the not too distant future. As for a time for the run...not setting that goal yet, too far away.
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