The smug answer is “just run” unfortunately like most things in life it’s not that easy. In fact, once you have made the decision to start running and have a concerted effort at it, those early runs can be the hardest runs you ever do.
So with that in mind. Go slow and I mean slow. A common mistake is to start running and after a few hundred meters it feels easy so you naturally increase the pace slightly. Then you find your lungs burning this pain seems to increase because most people who start running are doing it at as a New Years resolution and as such it’s usually cold ( sorry Southern Hemisphere people) the cold gets deep into those tubes and it stings. Then the legs start to feel heavy and sometimes you get a searing pain in one of the shoulders. You stop and that was horrific. You do the same thing the next day hoping this time it won’t be so bad however, it’s worse. Those heavy legs are stiff from yesterday’s efforts. A lot of people give up because the harsh reality is as I said at the start is running or starting to run is hard.
So go slow and stay slow. So slow in fact it will feel too easy. It needs to stay that way for at least a week maybe two. If you want to walk then walk. Paula Radcliffe the current world record holder for the women’s marathon often walks when out training on her slow runs. So don’t ever feel like you are being lazy or not doing it “right”.
I have started and restarted running numerous times over the last 20 years. Unless you are the most dedicated person in the world then this starting restarting is going to happen. The principles still apply start slow and stay slow.
Below is a running schedule for beginners. Like all these things they are not set in stone and should simply provide a framework for you to use. Life will get in the way of your running but don’t let it stop you in your tracks. Just start from where you left off.
Click here to download the schedule.
Feeling Self Conscious
If you’re a bit embarrassed to go out running and worry what people think then always remember you’re the one taking control and doing something positive. If you have a friend that’s willing to go out on a few runs ask them to join you. Ultimately though you want your runs to become imbued in your everyday life. This feeling of self-consciousness will simply wear off after a few runs when you see how much you are left alone.
The date of my first marathon in 2017 is 12 weeks away from the 1st of January. So I have to start…..now! I use these long schedules as a framework to base my training around. I have learnt over the years that I cannot comply with the schedule exactly because life will, of course, get in the way. I am going to catch a cold in those 12 weeks or some sort of injury. Something will get in the way and I will miss sessions. I don’t try to catch up by doubling up on a session, I pick up where I am and carry on.
Below is the basic framework of my schedule. Although this is a 16-week plan, I have been training and will continue to train throughout December anyway. On some of the days off, I will cross train with some swimming sessions and circuit training. I’m at the stage where I need to rest between runs because of fatigue and general wear and tear.
I’m looking forward to a great start to the New Year.
This has to be the perfect weather for trail running in. It’s cold, no wind and the ground is slightly frozen. After work, the sun is about to set and I managed to squeeze in a quick 3 miler. It may have been short but this is one of the best runs I have done this year.
- This Month – 65.4 Miles
- This Year – 550.3 Miles
Training for the Kielder Forest Night Marathon started today. I have been reading about training at different paces to enable targeting specific muscle groups. I have largely ignored this to my own peril. That ignorance becomes evident whenever I do any sort of endurance race or training. Finally, the penny drops.
So today I went for a slowish plod around the Alwen Dam. Probably one of the most enjoyable runs I have had in years. There is a massive hill at the halfway point and I cruised up this. Usually, I would be blowing out of my arse on this incline. I know I have to mix the runs up with regards to pace but I am my own worst enemy and a complete hypocrite when It comes to training advice. I can talk a good game but I never actually do it. So this hopefully is the start of a more focused and smart training.
I thought the title of this post would make a good name for a film about someone coming to the end of a bad stomach illness layered with something about relationships etc. However, here in the UK the nip is in the air and the cold days just about creeping in. I kind of look forward to the winter in a way. I enjoy running with my favourite beanie hat because it keeps the earphones firmly inside my huge ear-holes. There are less dog walkers. I have nothing against dogs it’s the walkers.
Most of all I’m looking forward to the night races that are becoming more popular these days. I have a race booked in the Lake District in December and more throughout the winter season. Running at night with a head torch on in winter is bliss. If you haven’t tried it yet please give it a try.
- This Year 460 miles.
- This Month 7 Miles
The Half Marathon I did 10 days ago really wiped me out. I have never needed that much time to recover from a race ever. Just a part of getting older I suppose. Looking back I could have done more longer runs.
So now I have few races planned but nothing to long. I am taking it easier and laying off the long pounding over several days. Thoroughly enjoying training again with the pressure off.
I had the pleasure of spending 7 days in Kefalonia last week. This place is the largest of the Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea. It’s also hot in July.
I packed my running kit with the intention of running every morning. I drank to many cocktails. So I woke up when it was to hot and no wind. I took the easy option of jumping into the clear, cool, blue waters of the sea and swam. But I did manage 2 runs. Both of these were brutal.
I felt OK for about a mile and then the heat would just drain my energy.
The scenery cushioned much of the pain and I was in heaven running along the coast of this beautiful island.
There are times when running is just plain grim. Usually when you first start out or after an illness and post Christmas. I find running hard most of the time but every now and then you get gems like the run I had on Sunday.
We went for a 7 miler on the trails in the hills of Llangollen near a place called Llandegla where I sometimes take my mountain bike for a spin. Late afternoon on a Sunday evening after an already great weekend this was by far the best way to put and end to the…..well……weekend.
I still found it physically hard but the environment puts all that to the back of the mind and I can honestly say this is the first time in ages where I have run with a massive grin on my face. The post run buzz was great and enhanced even further when I got home after a nice hot shower to find a really good glass of red Italian waiting for me to saviour.
Sometimes running can be heaven.