Sunday, 15 February 2015

I did my first 10K run in thirty years, and other training highlights

The title say it all :-)
I ran ten kilometres this morning!
- although "run" might be overstating it a bit - "a slow jog" might be a better way of describing it!

Either way, 10K is 10K.
I had set myself a target of getting a 10K run in at least once a month from February onwards, and here I am having done it already :-)

My "best" times aren't exactly spectacular either, but here they are (up to now, lunchtime on the 15th February 2015) anyway (times taken from my various Strava runs, not just today's effort!):

10K - 1:12:45
5K -  34:07
2 miles - 23:08
1 mile - 10:25
1K - 5:59
1/2 mile - 4:22
400m - 2:04

Progress will be marked not by what these "best" times are now, but what they be by the start of June 2015!
I will post updates as we get closer.

So, how is the weight loss going, I hear you ask?
Well, the figures speak for themselves:

A slow, yet clearly noticeable, downwards trend in my weight since I began my 2015 exercise program.
Not exactly a rapid loss. like those promised by the latest "fad" diet program, but I am sure you will agree that there is a slight downwards trend.

Just as importantly, however, I am getting a bit fitter.
Even in the short period of my training program, I have speeded up quite a bit.

My first run of the year (indeed, my first proper run for years), was slow and exhausting.
It was a 1.1 km run with a pace of 7:46 per kilometre.
I came home sweating, panting, and exhausted - ready for a lie down!
Yet this morning I ran 10.6 km with a pace of 7:20 per kilometre.
So I am going faster and further than a month!
I was a bit sweaty, but not so exhausted after the 10K run as I was after the first 1K run.
That's a lot of progress in just a month!

For those that are wondering about how the cycling is going, then always remember that I am a cyclist doing a bit of running to support my cycling, not the other way round :-)
I did my first (metric) half century last Sunday (the 8th Feb 2015), and I did it on the hills of The Chilterns with snow tyres fitted.

All this training, apart from the pleasure of just getting out in the fresh air, is to provide the fitness I will need for this year's BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride.

So here is a breakdown of the training I have done so far:
17th Jan - short 1.1km run to get me into running again
18th Jan - a couple of short runs, one with my daughter (who ran faster than me!)
21st Jan - laps up the hill in the town centre
24th Jan - a short 2.7km run in the afternoon, then the first 5K run I have done for about 15 years
25th Jan - 11k on the bike, including a hill near where I live, then a short evening jog

26th Jan - a quick lap before lunch, then I walked to work, and jogged home after the end of my shift
27th Jan - back on the bike, with a few small hills in the town after work
28th Jan - a few more small hills on the bike after work
29th Jan - more of the same
31st Jan - a 12k ride around town after work, pushing me over 250 km cycled for the month,
1st Feb - a 30km ride in The Chilterns, with 308m of climbing (ride report)
2nd Feb - riding up the small hills in town after work again
4th Feb - fitted the snow tyres. The extra little bit of effort in my daily cycling to work and back all adds up to some extra training.
5th Feb - some small hills in town with the snow tyres on the bike
8th Feb - the snow-tyre half-century I mentioned earlier (ride report), with 584m of climbing
11th Feb - an aborted 10K attempt. My right knee wasn't feeling good after about 2k, so I cut the run short. No point being a "hero" and injuring myself this early in my training regime. Later that day, with the knee feeling better, I went for a short faster run, coming back panting and sweating like a dog :-)
15th Feb - Finally did that 10K run, Started off real slow for the first few km, and taking smaller steps on the uohill sections to protect my knee. I got round in quite good condition, with no injuries, and more miles left in me.

Of course, I have done lots of other little bits and bobs, and I walk about 20 miles (32km) a week connected with my job, so I am not exactly a couch-potato, anyway.
Indeed, so much has my running improved in the last month that I no longer count a quick jog around the block as a "special" training event - it is just a quick jog around the block :-)

For anyone looking for tips, I can offer only these:
1) Pace yourself - start off short and slow and work up
2) Don't injure yourself by "overdoing it" - don't be afraid to cut short training sessions if things don't feel right
3) Stick at it - Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. Better to train a little each time for a lot of times that to have a few "mega-sessions"
4) Start early - don't start training for an event the week (or even the month) before. I am training now (Feb) for cycling events in June!
5) It feels less awful after the first couple of weeks - if unused to training, it is HARD at the start. After you have been doing it a while, it gets easier. Why is this? Is it just confidence? Actually. your body changes, and muscles start to grow bigger. The running gets less exhausting and you get less out of breath for the same speed and distance. For cycling, the hills seem a bit easier, almost as if you have a bit of a tailwind. There is a hill near here (just about a Category 4 climb) that I tackled on 1st January 2014 - I just about got up it, and came back home exhausted. I don't ride that hill too much now, because it is ALMOST TOO EASY. So in just a year I went from "almost too hard" to "almost too easy". That's because my body changed, and the right muscles developed, and my heart and lungs are fitter. You can feel that effect too!

Train well!

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