I had signed up to the Great South Run last year but I broke my foot in August which seriously impacted my already-a-long-shot training schedule.
In January, I decided that I wanted to start running again. Definitely NOT as a New Year resolution, as I think that’s a load of tosh.
I wanted to make sure that I didn’t try and go in too much too quickly, so I decided to follow the Couch To 5K plan.
If you don’t know of it, it is based on simple and slow introduction of run/walk intervals with the end goal of running 30mins without stopping. All in a 9 week program.
It’s almost universally recommended as it stops you going all out too soon, injuring yourself and quitting.
Now, the first thing to keep me interested in something is for it to be a challenge.
I wasn’t super fit by any stretch but neither was I super unfit and I simply found the early stages too easy. So on January 11th I started at week 5 and it didn’t take long to rediscover that I really enjoy running.
I get to listen to some awesome music, run a quite pretty coastal route and of course there is the “runners high” which gets better and better each time I beat a previous record.
The progressive nature of the c25k program really worked well for me. I need to see results or I get bored quickly. Seeing my distance and times increase with each session (I use Runkeeper to track my stats) was the best motivation I’ve ever encountered.
I’m finding it incredibly difficult to take rest days and I’m always reading online articles about training schedules, methods and crazy success stories (this is my favourite coach to IronMan one).
On February 20th, I completed the final 30 minute Couch to 5k session and could consider myself a “c25k graduate” (I promise not to use that phrase again).
Three days ago, I went out for my longest run in probably 15 years. I ran just a couple of hundred yards shy of 10km in 1hr 5mins.
You can’t imagine how pleased I was with that.
Now, I know that is certainly no earth shattering pace but now I at least have a target and unofficial PB to chase down.
As I pulled out of last years event, I’m already registered for the 2010 Great South Run in October. I also signed up for the Marwell Wildlife 10k at the end of May, giving me 10 weeks or so to work towards a sub-1hr time.