Sunday, 29 December 2019

The Joy (or not!) of Running

After a reassuringly well-fed Christmas, it is time to think about the upcoming year (2020).

So I hit the streets earlier today.
Wearing a groove in the pavement (sidewalk) again.

Just a basic "background" run - 3-and-a-bit miles (5km).
Nice and slow.

Not trying to set any records or impress anyone, just trying to get round without injury.

I chose a "target pace" of 7.5 mins/km (12 minutes a mile).
That's the "Cooper" pace (a reasonably measure of the difference between "health" exercise and "sports" exercise - the "Cooper Test" is to cover 1 mile in 12 minutes on the flat) - but of course I was aiming to keep it up for three times the Cooper distance.

Did I enjoy it?
Well, as many folks say, the bit just after finishing is the best ;-)
I wasn't running flat out, and I could have gone faster, or further, or both.
I was mostly thinking about stuff while plodding along - work, family, riding my bike, you know the score! The time went fairly quickly as a result - technically this is called "disassociation" running, and is useful for getting up basic fitness. Gives me time to think ;-)
Of course, 30 minutes is enough for many folks (me included!) to start to release those exercise endorphins ("Runner's High").
But there is also the satisfaction of knowing that if I can run a slow 5k, then there should be a good few years left in me yet (I turned 55 earlier in 2019, and have already exceeded the lifespan of one of my grandfathers, and I don't have that long before I exceed the lifespan of the other!).
More on that in another post, perhaps!

Today was about getting back into regular exercise.
For the last 5 years I have done something "fitness" on New Year's day - even when I broke my shoulder in 2016, I still put a weary, one-handed, 10 minutes in on the cycle trainer in the garage.

So I was "saving a bit for next time" (3 days time).
And, to be honest, that is how effective exercise works - it is not occasional "heroic" exercise, it is regular "sub-maximal" exercise.

Anyway, enough of the chat - at the top of the page is the data (captured with my Garmin Vivoactive HR and a separate chest HR belt (chest HR belts are more accurate and more sensitive to rapid changes than the wrist type of sensor, such as that in the Vivoactive HR).
It is also on Strava here.

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