This morning I ran, for the first time ever, well... in 20 years, a 10 km distance. Not too shabby for someone that 12 months ago could barely run 30 seconds before running out of breath.
I'm barely a beginner runner and I want to share my learnings in the hope that they will help fellow "fatties" that want to start learning this magic art of running.
Preparation, patience and... patience
I've been going to the gym regularly for 7 months now and I always run before going to the machines. I usually do 2-3 Km, sometimes 5 Km and couple of times I did 6 Km. A 5 Km usually takes 30 mins. I've also lost a bit of weight in these 7 months so running got easier over time ;)
And, at the beginning of this week, I decided that I should challenge myself a bit: run 10 Km by the end of the week :) On Thursday I finished 5 Km in under 29 mins and my legs were pretty tired. So I only did 2 Km in Friday and took a break on Saturday.
6.30 h of sleep and one strong coffee later I'm ready to run. The plan was to run 10 km at 10 km/h and go for 1 hour. Simples :)
Wall no 1
I've hit the first wall just after 2 Km (12 mins in). It wasn't a physical wall: the task at hand was beginning to look daunting. So the music went a bit louder to let it go.
Wall no 2
40 mins and 6.5 Km in, I was in uncharted territory and started to tire. Again, the music helped a lot.
Wall no 3
The last 1.5 Km were pretty strange. It was getting easier to run and, whilst I felt pretty tired, my mind was racing - excuse the pun :)
Felt magic to cross that 1 hour / 10 Km mark and "Cool down".
Here are some tips that helped me
- have a (rather personal) reason to do it
- tell someone that you are doing it: my daughter knew I was attempting 10km that morning and couldn't just go back saying I couldn't do it. It was NOT an option!
- pick a list of tracks that are familiar - this will help to make the run feel familiar. You'll need some tracks that don't make you think - your mind must stay fresh and not get tired from having to comprehend the tracks. Audiobooks are probably the worst thing in this scenario...
- when in trouble, just keep running. Trust me, your legs can go a long way - it's usually the mind that gets tired.
What's next for me
As part of this week "challenge", I've also registered but a 10k race in September in London: Run to the Beat. I'm sure going to run some more 10k's before then - and at least couple of them outside.