A little running smuggery . . .

I know I usually leave these running updates until Friday, but I can’t.   Not today. 

Why?   Well, because I’m so bloody happy, that’s why!

If you’ve been reading earlier posts, you’ll know I’ve had a bit of a crap time over the last couple of weeks.  I’ve not done very well, repeated one week of runs because of poor performance and generally been a bit despondent.  There was never really any threat of me stopping doing it, but there was a frustration that I seemed to be failing at the speed of the course.

Even last friday, I was planning to come up with “intermediate” runs to bridge the gap between the 8/5/8 structure of Week 5.2 and the 20 mins non-stop 5.3 run.

I’ve always been very unsure of myself as far as fitness is concerned which is probably why it’s taken me so long to actually do anything.  I always get incredibly stressed before a run and weirdly, I get chest pains.  They’re on the wrong side, so it’s not the heart; it’s simply my uncertainty causing stress pains but that’s by the by . . .

I had a look on youtube for running videos, found a couple and was horrified that my posture and running technique was pretty much 100% wrong. The way I moved my arms, they way my hips stayed facing front, the angle I was running at…. everything.  How disheartening.

I also had a busy weekend and didn’t get a chance to sort out intermediate runs so when I was getting ready for my run this morning, it occurred to me that I didn’t actually know which run I was going to do.

I thought “Sod it” and went for the dreaded week 5.3.

I changed my posture, arm movement and angle of run, went very slightly slower (or so I thought –  theories about that in a moment) kept an eye on my breathing pattern and bloody hell!   I did the full 20 mins!  I also got my breath back within 3 minutes.   When I started, I ran for 2 minutes and it took 8 minutes to recover,  What a turn around!

Now.  Theories.

Firstly, success or failure in running is pretty much all in the mind.  The more you think about failing or how you’ve never done it before, the more you’re likely to not do it.  Blank out.  Keep your thoughts on the finish line. GO!

Once I stopped thinking “I’ll never do this, it’s too much too soon” and got into the mindset that simply said “breathe in, left right left right, breathe out, left right left right . . .” and not “oh god I’ve only done 3 minutes, I’ll never do this . . . oh got that’s 17 minutes left”, things were much easier.

Secondly, the biggest change was the angle of run.  The video I watched suggest that you should lean forward slightly from your ankles wile running.   I gave it a go and realised that this is precisely what happens when running up hill.   I’d always been surprised that running uphill was easier than expected and much easier on the knees.  That is simply because you’re forced into running at the  correct angle.

It took a bit of getting used to on the flat and I sometimes found myself lurching and stumbling a bit, but it makes a huge difference.  I thought I was running a little slower in order to pace myself for a longer run.   It felt slower, but with the new posture, motion and angle, Nike+ informs me that I did my fastest kilometre and mile today.   I’m guessing I was running more efficiently.

Go me!

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so amazing after a run.  The sense of achievement was astonishing.  But god I’ve never sweated so much in my life!

Going on todays run, I seriously believe that week 6.3 (25 minutes solid running) is achievable. I would never have believed that even 3 weeks ago.



3 thoughts on “A little running smuggery . . .

  1. What a great post! My next run is 2.2 and still, I dead 5.3 every time I look at my schedule. I’ve also found that running a slightly different route or in new places helps stimulate my mind and stop negative thoughts. 🙂

    • I’m far from an expert, but my best advice would to take it as it comes, but don’t overdo it. If you don’t think a run has gone that well, do it again until you are happy. At the end of 5.3, the podcast even suggests that if it hasn’t gone well, try the whole week again. There’s no shame in it. The point is that you’re trying to get fit. You’re not going to do that by overdoing it and giving yourself an injury through over-exertion. 5.3 is scary, but as someone who is… um… “large” and hasn’t done any exercise for nearly 30 years, given the training and the willingness to go back where necessary, it *is* achievable.

      And such a buzz when you get there! it’s worth it just for that!

      I sound like such a zealot 😀

      Good luck!

  2. I think I was feeling even better about completing week 5 than I did actually completing the 5K. 20 minutes? That was the most intimidating one looking at the schedule, and to have pulled that off was incredible. That was well better than a mile. It was like once I could do that, I knew I would make it to 5K. Congratulations!

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