Well my 12 weeks of training officially got under way last week and it was all about getting the km’s in the legs!
I’ve been running consistently for the past six or so weeks (just me, my iPod and an early morning) with the occasional 10km thrown in on the weekend, but I’d never had as much fun running as I did this past week. You may ask why? Well here’s my secret tip and its simple – I joined a running club!
Don’t get my wrong there’s nothing wrong running by yourself, however for me (being that little bit competitive and ambitious) I felt I needed a little extra challenge. It’s not just about “running with people” – it’s about finding a group of people that challenge you to keep up with them. There’s a range of runners, all at different levels, and it didn’t take me long to work out where I fit in and who I was to keep up with (trust me, it’s not the same pace that you’d run by yourself, it’s harder!). There’s also those extra few that take off and are miles ahead, and you envy them, but what fun would it be if you had nothing to work towards?
Not only was I challenged from day one, but I’ve also learnt so much about my training and the do’s and dont’s – I felt like I was the new kid at school asking everyone 21 questions! How to train, what to eat and what not to eat (and you’d think I would know about nutrition being a professional athlete? How very wrong was I… I’ll save this for my next blog), when to drink and how much, types of training methods, running times and split times, what gadgets to buy, and I’m sure the list will continue to grow each week! I won’t share everything at once (I have to keep you interested somehow don’t I?) but I will say the most important thing for anyone wanting to run a marathon (or any other type of running goal) is the importance of a well planned and structured program. Its been through my running group that my program was written (by the guru himself, thanks Mark!) and I’ve quickly learnt that training for a marathon isn’t just about long distance running – there’s hills, intervals, shorter runs, and of course the long ones! It’s important to build strength, speed, and endurance – so that by the 32km mark you don’t conk out! Here’s a glimpse of what this past week looked like for me:
Monday – 3x 1.6km with 3min recovery
Tuesday – 12km (easy)
Wednesday – 1x 5km (time trial) + 3x 1km
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 10km
Saturday – 16km (30sec – 1min slower than race pace)
Sunday – Rest/Recovery
Total km’s run: 50.8km
Not only have I found a great bunch of people to run with but I’ve also loved the early morning runs – 5am wake up calls and 5.45am start times. You might think I’m a little crazy but there’s nothing better than running in the dark, watching the sun rise, getting a good work out in, and then know you have the rest of the day to tackle life. And what makes it even easier is knowing that you have 15-20 other committed people doing it with you!
If you take anything from my blog today it’s to go out and join a running club. It’s cheaper than a gym membership, you’re guaranteed to be pushed out of your comfort zone, you meet some inspiring and wonderful people, you witness the sun rise, and you keep learning new things about yourself and about running!
I confess, I’ve already made a rookie mistake but hey, you live and learn! (I’ll explain more next week…)
Anyways there you have it – one week down and eleven to go… I look forward to sharing more next week, but for now please remember to keep those donations coming through!
“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” – John Bingham