I haven’t run consistently for a really long time. Months really. While it’s been cold and dark I haven’t really missed it and my lungs have definitely thanked me for taking a break from running in the freezing air.
Now that the weather is getting warmer and brighter I’ve been feeling ‘the urge’ far more often. I love my gym and PT sessions but there’s something about Spring that makes me want to lace up my trainers and get outside. I’ve also signed up to the Nike Women’s 10K with a group of women from my gym. We’re going to be training once a week together on a Sunday starting in a few weeks time. The trainer leading the group has asked us all to make sure that we can run 5K before the first group run.
Now on paper 5K shouldn’t be an issue for me, I’ve completed two marathons after all. But in reality months of not running have taken their toll on my running fitness. When I was training for the London Marathon last year I trained using a run/walk method which is my preferred way to approach a half or marathon distance. But I want to run the 10K without stopping so I also need to get my body out of the habit of stopping to walk every 5 minutes or so. These days I may be able to squat my own body weight but running non stop for more than about 10 minutes presents me with quite a challenge.
So I’ve gone back to basics and started all over again, treating myself as a beginner. I decided to start off on the treadmill at the gym, mainly because it’s a good way to keep my pace under control and consistent. I started off with a 20 minute run at a very comfortable pace and have worked up from there. I’m not concerned with my speed at the moment, I just want to get my legs used to running again.
And they’ve reacted pretty well so far. My hip flexors have been quite tight for the couple of days after but so far there’s been no sign of the hip pain that plagued me last year. Long may that continue!
I’ve got myself up to nearly half an hour consistent running now so I think it’s time to take things outside. it will be harder to judge my pace and it will feel more difficult to begin with as my legs adjust to running on a different surface. But it’s time to leave the safety of the gym and get back to running the streets of London – these legs are ready!