Discovering running this year has been part of rediscovering myself, challenging myself and what I am capable of. Running to music, with no music, when I am tired, it is hot, wet, windy, in the middle of the night, at dawn, sunrise, dusk, about every time of the day now I come to think about it (this is mainly due the the fact I work night shifts)
I started at a personal training group Step Into Life (SIL) on the 31st of March this year. I love this group; at SIL I have made some excellent friends there who helped me settle into the new area and encouraged me and supported me in my fitness goals. (An extra big thank you to my good friend Dean who introduced me to SIL and many of the people there)
Why all the back story on SIL, well SIL was how I started running properly, and was part of the reason for my success. I was speaking with our Trainer Dave last week (Dave btw is amazing and always knows how hard to push me) and he reminded me of the goal that I made when I joined in March. One of my goals was to was to run 5km without stopping by the end of the year. My first SIL session involved running, and I couldn’t make it anymore than 300m without stopping to walk.
Dave provided me with the best running advice I have ever received. He told me to run really slowly at a pace that I felt I could keep up, and not run out of breath. He went on to explain that this way my body would get used to the action of running and over time I would go further and get quicker, but I would develop stamina in my legs and lungs. This totally worked for me. In the past i have tried Couch to 5km programs where you walk, run, walk, run etc. This didn’t work for me as I went to fast and didn’t give my body the time to develop the lungs and legs to this new way of moving.
The day after my 1st SIL session on April 1st, I went back to the same path (a 2km circuit) and ran the whole way… Now looking back “ran” may be a little strong a term, slow jog (or sl-og) may have been more accurate, and at 10min per km, I had been walking quicker on my daily beach walks. But it was a start, I made it without stopping and to me, then, it WAS Running.
Things progressed quickly from there, by the end of April I was running 4km a few times a week and had taken 1min 30sec off per km… On 1st of May I ran my 1st 5km… And set a new goal to move towards completing my first 10km…. But more on that another time…
The point of this blog entry is that when people ask me how did I start running (and I do get asked this a lot), I answer very slowly and by not comparing myself to others.
I could actually walk faster than I was running when I started, Yes everyone could have been looking at me and thinking – WOW that woman is slow… But focusing on that wouldn’t have helped me achieve MY goal…
Focusing on my improvements, being consistent, committed and not giving up even when it was hard – that is what allowed me to build on my fitness and crack my 5km goal well before I thought was possible ( BTW Dave told me when I set that goal that I would be running further than that by the end of the year – and he was right! )
Till next time, Lin xox