If you don’t already know, I have a love-hate relationship with running. The hate part began 2 decades ago when I did basic military training in the South African Air Force. Running has never been my thing but I have always secretly wished that I could run. Like just run non-stop for a mere and insignificant 5km. The love part is where running (or run-walking in my case) helps me clear my head and process things. At the end of a run I always feel rather strong, but it’s also the exercise the improves my fitness level the quickest.
When I started my weight loss journey, my biokineticist wanted me to run 30 minutes on the treadmill daily. Oh my word … I think I almost died that first day. Needless to say that there was no running involved but my chest was on fire and my breathing was heavy. It was complete and utter torture. Thinking back my speed on the treadmill was a 4. I started doing parkruns with my husband and kids. Time for my first 5km was more than 60 minutes. I have however had slow but steady progress over the last year and now run on the treadmill with my speed setting at 8 and I can complete a 5km in 38 minutes. It’s all about progress and not perfection, but I’m ready to take my running to the next level. So I a 12 week program and my blogger friend suggested a running app that gets you to 5km in 8 weeks, so at least we have choices.
A Few Pointers to Keep in Mind
- Safety First
- Don’t forget to start with a 5-10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up before every session and end with a 5-10 minute brisk walk to cool down.
- After cooling down, take the time to do some stretching.
- Easy run – comfortable pace, where conversation with walking partner is easy.
- Moderate run – you might be left slightly breathless.
- Moderate run with hills – a moderate-paced run that includes about 3 to 4 hills of 300m each.
- Fast run – make a concerted effort to maintain a fast pace.
- Repeats, tempo, hills, strides – speed-work sessions.
- Strength training – not essential for you to finish the 5km distance, but it has tremendous benefits, both for your running fitness and your health.
- Cross training – not essential, but makes your training programme more balanced.
- Rest – a vital part of any training programme when your muscles increase in strength
So while running is an internal and mental battle for me, 2018 will be the year I overcome this and the year I run a 5km non-stop. 1July 2018 Im coming for you.