I have to start running. That's what I told myself as I get into middle age. I've lifted weights for a few years now but as I age, my body keeps telling me that wasn't enough. I've also read a lot of good things about running and cardiovascular, and overall general health and I knew that having a regular running regimen would, at least, help make me feel healthier.
When I started all I did was try and run fast. Well, I was only able to run for 30 seconds on my first attempt so I knew then I had to take it slow. But as I rack up the hours and kilometers, I still keep trying to go faster and more often than not I do get injured and sometimes just feel sick. I would take days or weeks, sometimes even a month or two to recover from a previous run because I exerted myself way too much.
It was obvious I wasn't as fit as I thought I was even though I go to the gym at least 1-2 times a week. At this point I knew that giving it your all every single time is not the best way to go. And I started reading about training regimen and that athletes would actually run easy most days and do their hard or high-intensity runs in-between those easy runs.
Taking it easy
Old habits die hard. So even though I knew I had to take it easy, it was still difficult to adjust to an easy running regime. It's also due to ego, running at a slower pace than the others just don't look good. I'm supposed to be progressing by improving my running times every single time right?
I had this mindset until... I hit the proverbial wall. For some reason my mind and body was having a difficult time going beyond 5 kilometers. I wanted to run longer and with farther distances but my mind won't let me, probably due to my body telling me 5k is all it can do.
So as part of my New Year's resolution thing, I wanted to run a 10k during the first quarter of the year. And I figured I am only going to be able to do that if I run at a much slower pace, possibly even running at 8-9 minutes per kilometer. When I started running, I ran somewhere around 7 minutes per kilometer so this was a bitter pill swallow, something I must do if I want to enjoy my newfound hobby. And let's face it - I'm no professional athlete so who cares if I run slower?
I'm close to running a 10k and running at an easy pace of > 8 min/km. It's good and my recovery sessions are not long due me running easier. Hopefully it stays that way.
Follow my running adventures Strava.