As I mentioned in my last post I’ve started running twice before in my life. Both times I followed the Couch to 5k program from start to finish, and then continued running for a little bit but eventually tailed off at some point and simply stopped.
So what changed this time…
This time I used strava from run one. I’ve never recorded my runs before and have just ran for a set amount of time, so it was really interesting to learn about my pace and see my monthly distance increase as I went along. When I got my Garmin watch and was able to quickly glance at my pace throughout the run it really helped to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself too hard and keep those easy runs easy.
When I started running last year Zebby was 8 months so was able to do 30 minutes of slow running and walking as long as he wasn’t pulling me along. As a young cocker spaniel he was full of beans so really needed a morning walk before I went to work, therefore running in the morning fitted our schedule nicely as I could give him as much exercise by running with him as I could by giving him a walk.
It was only a few weeks in to my running when I went along to my first parkrun, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that quite a few people were doing intervals of running and walking as well. Getting a time for a 5k course each week gave me the motivation to keep going along, especially as my times were improving quite quickly at first. I also discovered the joy of going along to different courses and learnt about the different parkrun challenges, plus the t-shirts you get for reaching certain milestones.
A few of my friends also got the parkrun bug and together we enjoy going to different courses as and when we had time. Plus not forgetting the 2 people who got me in to parkrun in the first place. Running with friends really spurs me on and it has become a fantastic chance to spend some quality time together just chatting.
Once I realised I could get round a 5k in a not-so-bad time I started signing up to the occasional race which really gave me a boost to keep training and helped me to feel proud of my achievements so far. Bling collecting can become quite addictive, although not great for the bank balance.
Having a training plan really helps me. Although I continued running once I finished the C25k program I ended up just muddling along for a little while with no purpose to my running. I’m a goal driven person and needed a distance or race to aim for and therefore a training plan in order to get there. There’s plenty of free training programs online and I’ve learnt how to tailor my own plan for my needs and routine.
Along with all of this perhaps I’ve just been more determined this time for some reason or another. On those days where I just feel like doing nothing the thing that still drags me out of bed is knowing that if I miss one run I’ll then miss the next one and before I know it I’ll be back to sitting on the couch, eating chocolate, feeling like a slob.
Knowing I’ll lose my fitness if I stop helps me to keep going, as I feel better now than I ever have before and I don’t want to lose that.