Epic Fail – Beyond 5k

Ok, so a couple of weeks on from last report. There is only so much you can say about running or training and very much of it is monotonous.  But I have settled into 3 30 minute run a week for the last 3 weeks, I think i am now on week 14.  So I guess we get to the stage of dropping the weeks and just say I went for another run, or another grueling week of 5K training.

But lets recap on whats been achieved.

I have gone from doing no running for years and years, to running non stop for 3o minutes three times a week.  I have completed a 9 week training course, in time and on course. I successfully ran my first 5k parkrun, and since have done one more properly, and tailran, well tail walked the other one. I also completed an orienteering course in my best time of the year, a direct result of the training as I ran for most of it. And I have progressed on from the end of the course and continued running regularly since.

So all in a very successful achievement and probably one of my achievement I should be proud of. So lets concentrate on the  positive. I AM doing very well!  I was very pleased I completed the whole 9 weeks without having a fail and i was very lucky not to have poor weather, although it is the spring/summer over here at the moment.  But then you need a little blip to make yourself stronger.

So last saturday, I had one. On taking part in the parkrun (which is two circuits of Hereford Racecourse, I FAILED by stopping at the halfway stage!  It was a very warm morning, and it was like running towards a fire, but I think my reason for stopping was certainly psychological and not physical. like my fried Laura( on the NHS podcast says) the main problem with this sort of thing is your own mindset. And as I have mentioned before I am still really looking for the driving force to keep me going on. So anyway, in a way I’m glad I failed, I’ve done it once now so I just have to pick myself up and get back on the horse! I will just make sure on Monday I will be back out there and complete the training as required.

With the training having moved on now, I am carrying out the further NHS podcasts – stepping stores, speed and stamina. Currently last week I did the stepping stones podcasts. THis involved running at 3 different speeds  although i couldn’t tell the difference

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Beyond 5k

So a couple of weeks have gone by since I completed c25k and now the work really starts.

One issue I seem to have is motivation. Before I had the goal of running the Parkrun but having achieved that now I’m struggling to convince myself I still need to run or I still can benefit from running.  I’m sure everyone of you out there has gone through this and got over it, but I think this may be my biggest pscolgical barrier for me to contend with. Drawing on my experiences this is the time I  decide there is no benefit to continuing and i give up, but perhaps now is my hour and i will get through this and conquer new heights.

I have run 2 park-runs so far ( this post maybe delayed before its published, so it could be more  by now), and they will appear on my strava account and I must say the second one was a little different from the first. As I have continually told you over the 9 week training period i took it very slowly and i was interested in seeing that my speed during the first parkrun was exactly the same rate as my training speed.  Since finishing the 9 weeks course I have trialed some “intervals” during my normal 30 minute run. Still using the week 9 podcast, I would use the 5 minute markers (when Laura says you’ve done 5 mins/10mins/15mins etc) to do a “sprint” of 20 paces, then settling back to my normal speed. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. So during my park-run on 9th July I plodded on round as normal until i met a group of slower runners! and I had to up my speed significantly to get past the group. After this my pace obviously suffered a bit, but i eventually got back to my usual pace. Some of the runners caught and overtook me and I still got lapped as I completed the first lap. Then towards the end i got caught by one person who literally overtook me and then couldn’t maintain the pace. I decided at that time i wasnt going to be over taken again as I approached the finish, and stepped up my pace again, this time knowing i would be able to recover at resting rather than running pace. I actually beat my time by over 2 minutes so all in all a good strategy. And although i felt shattered it only lasted for a couple of minutes. The other big difference I noticed was later in the day and the day after my legs didn’t seem to ache the little niggles they normally did and my muscles seemed to ache more in unison.  So a good overall result I thought.

We will get to see how good it is because next week I have a proper orienteering event to go to, so will use the tracker and hopefully be able to run all of it, and should get a decent time. Perhaps this will re ignite my motivation to keep on with it while i locate another solid reason for carrying on.

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All things come to those who wait

And here we are, half way through our final week of training for #c25K the couch to 5k training program that is world renowned. Even the  BBC  have jumped on the wagon, with their make your move scheme where they have their very own version of couch to 5K  you can pick your favourite running buddy instead of Laura ! 🙁

But anyway back to the challenge, I have found this week to be much more easy and enjoyable, whether this is because I am running so slowly or whether its my body adapting to the new regime I’m not sure. But physiologically I’m on a high, with the sight in end ( even perhaps the other way around)  and the weather looking good for the park run at the end of the week, things cant get any better can they?  I’m using the camera more too, so no doubt we will have a video or three up on youtube by now. So you may want to see them here.

Well 2nd run over and now its just the big one left on Saturday. Everything is feeling good, still have one or two little niggles but I guess that’s going to be par for the course for a while.

So good luck with all your training and lets see how we get on. The other thing I have to give consideration to is, what next? I plan to carry on running the 3 x 30mins per week, I also need to get the cycling going, as that hasn’t materailised at all yet nor has the strength and flex. So I have to sort that out soon. An interesting fact with all of this, out of the 24 runs I’ve done only a couple have been mildly damp and I havent had a “wet” run yet at all, so these will all be new experiences over the coming weeks.

I think I will look to increase my run lengths as the idea is to become better at orienteering and those events are going to increase to 7 -10 K for me, currently I seem to run about 5k on them, so I can see an increase of nearly 100% as I tackle longer courses. One of my concerns is I don’t become a running/training geek! So should I look at my diet!!  Hell, No! well not yet anyway. I will look at fueling for training and races etc, such as drinks and high energy food but I still need to be a normal runner and not go too over the top yet.

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Time Flies!!

Well here we are end of week 8 #c25k,

This one seemed to be the hardest for me, but mainly from a mental point of view. I seem to have little niggles in my body such as aching legs in various places and dodgy knee and although these as such don’t prevent the running they have tested my motivation and discipline  towards this scheme.  But I am still on track having missed no running session and the home straight is literally in sight now. I really only have 2 more training sessions and they are only 2 minutes longer that my current weeks tasks so all should be fine.

There are only 2 more sessions because, if you remember back here  this was all going to culminate in a parkrun 5k on the saturday of week 9. That is still very much on the cards, so hopefully next week will be easier as it’s not much more of a step from here and the motivation of doing the run at the end of the week will keep me going.  I  have planned a celebratory meal after the run, and this involves the family so should be a good to encourage me not to give up.

Looking back at this, being on the eve of success I look at this being the first real planned and executed scheme that I will have followed through and successfully completed. I’m sure there are others but can’t really think of them currently.  Needless to say this is going to be a very significant milestone in my future life, and is getting me excited at the future and possibilities I am considering. One blip is still my organisational skills at bringing on board the strength and flex training that doesn’t get done and the cross training  on cycling that still hasn’t come on board.  But from week 10 I’m planning to take up cycling as the main training process and demote the running to twice a week to keep my hand in, although I hope to do more parkruns as well.

I have to think about putting my training together into a video for others to watch and try and inspire one or three of you to get out there and start running, or even take up that great sport of Orienteering, for which all this has come about.  So quite a bit to do and think about, plus work, family and life!!

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Way to go

Phew, so again I find time running away from me.

On week 7 having done the 2nd run on couch to 5K  (#c25k) the NHS live well podcast training scheme to get people of all ages back into an active training plan. Although as I have found out c25k is an international scheme and is followed by probably millions of people throughout the world at anyone time. Then there are those who drop out and re capture the desire to continue later , and those who go through it and are inspired  to carry on or even up their game and get involved in further training.

So let’s catch up with some thoughts of my own. I am now running continually, I have got past the part run, part walk stage of training and for the next 2 weeks there will be just 3 continuous runs per week, just like really runners!! Hang on a minute, Laura (the woman on the podcast) says I’m really a runner already!!  So perhaps I should change my mind set and view myself as such.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog,  I went through the program to about week 4 and then started looking at youtube videos about people doing week 5 and 6 and I got the idea that most people saw week 5 as the make or break time. I seemed to sail though, but perhaps that was cos I had been warned. I am finding the psychological side a little harder at the moment, although I have complied with the training all the way, no unexpected stops or repeats of runs or weeks. I don’t really seem to have had injuries. Perhaps I’m not running fast enough? But that’s the thing, you can go at any pace. I did wonder if I should do this whole course again after completing it, but with the aim of running faster, but i’m not so sure now. I think there are better ways to build up speed than repeating this one. I have got to the stage where I wont just be stopping in 3 weeks, I have the goal of doing my first Parkrun on the saturday of week 9, and I have an interest in cycling so I am thinking of another couch to… but on the bike to continue my training after week 9. I also mean to do the strength and flex courses associated with this course, but with family and work finding the time is getting harder. But perhaps a re hash of my life may allow this to happen. But back to life after #c25K,

My aim is to do the cycling course over 9 weeks, and put two runs a week in to the regime as well. I seem to think I will need 2 days of complete rest each week and this will only allow for 3 cycling and 2 running days.

Other thoughts to this regime are that I don’t really seem to have had an injury, yet, lots of little niggles and a couple of stitches, but I set my mind to run through them and I seem to have done just that. Even to taking up Laura’s offer of a fast finish on the runs of week 7, just for that last minute, hasn’t caused too much trouble. Although I do feel like I have run this time. So with my last run coming up tomorrow, which is a saturday I have options of when to go and where to go.  My last run yesterday was actually my first “wet” run. I have been lucky up until then. But I had a bit of rain to contend with for the first 10 mins or so, and was running on wet tarmac (too wet to go on grass), but its like the thought I keep having, until I get to a stage of “failing” I don’t know how I will cope with it. So I need rain and injury and exhaustion to test my resolve to pick myself up and dust me down and get back on the training. Many times in my life I can happily plan for things and prepare myself and the “ground ahead to do things, and sometimes i can get on well for sometime, before disaster falls and I stop or give up whatever it is because it is what I am like! Actually recently, and not connected with this training, I have realised a lot about myself and my frailties and short comings, I think that’s what kids do to you. as you see yourself in your children, not little kids bullying me or poking fun 🙂

So all in all an interesting stage of my life and personal development, yes even people my age can still learn things, in fact I guess many older people will say, “Wait until you get to my age, then you’ll understand!”, so I guess in reality you never stop learning. Some of these things would have been good to know a while back, but would I have had the maturity to learn from and adjust myself to make things better at a younger age. Have I got the ability now!

Time will tell….

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