It’s Not a Sprint…

…or so I keep telling myself!

My apologies for not responding to comments as quickly as normal.  I’d like to say it was because I’ve been away on holiday to some exotic destination but alas no.

I’m currently training for a half-marathon and it sucking more of my time than I ever thought possible.

Last Saturday I completed week six of an 11 week training schedule. It’s getting enormously tough now.

Mind Games

My mind is doing that old game of telling me I don’t really want to train, or that it would be much nicer if I just took a day off as I could always catch up.  Or worst still my mind is filling me with dread when I’m actually on my run so I’m almost convinced I’ll not reach the desired km length.

Well blow that.  I’m still going and I’m not giving up.

I’ve not written about the training as I appreciate it will be exceedingly boring for some.  Actually, it’s exceedingly boring for me.  I’m doing most training on a treadmill which before you tell me to shake it up with some outside work I do, but it’s not as easy.

Indoors I can don my headphones, listen to some music and on more than one occasion scare the neighbours with my singing.  When I get fed up of that I switch to some German lessons to improve my knowledge of the language and hope some of the words I diligently repeat stick in my head while at the same time pray the km are moving faster!

Outside it’s more about not being distracted.  I find the slightest thing can either speed me up, slow me down or just stop me altogether.  On the whole I tend to go faster outdoors and it wears me out quicker.  I should probably practice my pace but I’m too busy concentrating on getting the km’s completed.

There are two camps when it comes to training, those that like to be outdoors and those that tend to stay on a treadmill (like me).  People are very different in their reasons for doing either, or bits of both.  I’m pleased to say that both have their advantages and disadvantages but in the end it comes down to you and what you prefer to do and how you like to train.

Reasons to Train

Having said all that I am once again learning a few new things myself with all this jogging about:

  • I’m in a routine of exercise.  Three times a week, without fail.  Once again exercise is more than just a habit, it’s a way of life and I like that feeling.
  • Nothing short of euphoria is gained after every single run.  I’ve either completed a longer distance or a distance in a shorter amount of time.  Small wins are making me very happy and it can’t be beat for feeling good about yourself.
  • I’m learning how important time management is.  Nothing is stopping just because I’m on a schedule.  Work, partner, Mouse, shopping, and general day to day commitments are still happening and it’s up to me to make sure I don’t let anyone down.  That means being uber organised.  Having said that it’s important to cut down or cut out anything unnecessary, which is one of the reasons I’ve cut down blogging.
  • I feel even healthier and fitter than I did this time last year.  While it’s great to eat loads while I training I’m still very mindful of what that means but in actual fact when you put this much effort in to be a runner you really don’t want to jeopardise it with crap food so eating healthier got a lot easier.  I make no excuses for eating Nutella though as it’s a great pre/post snack with nuts or fruit.
  • The plan I’m following has allowed me to gently increase my distance.  There is no quick way of getting to the 13 mile mark unless I want to head to an injury.  It’s frustrating at times but it’s working so I can’t fault it.  I’m building up stamina and strength to carry me to that 13th mile.  Patience is a big learning curve with an activity that makes you move quickly!
  • That jogging is elevating stress.  Unfortunately other things go on in life which you have no control over but jogging I can pound away with my feet and by the end I’ve had time to think through any issues I may have, any conversations I’ve had and any decisions I need to make.  I don’t set out to use jogging in that way but on more than one occasion it has happened quite subconsciously and I’m happy to let my mind wander about.
  • This is a challenge of distance and endurance, not a weight loss exercise.   Carbs are my new best friend at the moment and exercising so much means I don’t even need to worry about my weight.  My body is telling me how health(ier) I am and it feels good.
  • I’m already thinking about my next challenge…

If you’re thinking of taking up jogging then go for it  If you think you can’t jog forget that because  you can!

I couldn’t jog for more than 2 mins early last year without stopping.  Just last week I ran solidly for nearly two hours.  2 mins to 2 hours, in one year.

Everything and anything is always possible.  There are a million and 1 ways of doing all sorts of good things, you just have to decide to start.

Any questions – please ask away 🙂

_________________________________________________

Cover photo courtesy of Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCullough

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8 responses to “It’s Not a Sprint…

    • Apologies for my delay in responding to you.
      There are two main things to take on board when starting something that works for me…start it slow and take one bit on at a time. So regarding yoga, make it a priority one day a week (to start with), and keep that date. And on that date complete just 10 mins, then build it to 20, the make it 2 days a week…so on and so forth.
      The important thing is to start is so small that it would be incredibly ‘awkward’ not to do it 😉
      Good luck. Will look forward to hear how you do.

  1. I really needed to read this. I have a problem with sticking with my workouts long term, I always get SO into it for months and I have such high expectations and then for whatever reason, I just stop. I haven’t worked out in months! It makes me feel so awful about myself, but reading this really did help, I’m going to make a list of all the reasons I love to exercise and how much it has helped me. And also it’s nice to hear that sometimes other people struggle like this too 🙂

    • Exercise is like that. Unless you’re following a plan or building up to something then it’s very hard to maintain doing it every day/week just for the sake of it (unless you absolutely love it, in which case you’d never think of having to do it because it just becomes a habit). When you’re writing your list of why you love to exercise, don’t forget to list why you are doing the exercise i.e to get fit, build muscle etc. Have something specific in mind as that really helps me, and may help you too 🙂
      Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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