So as previously identified in my post rethinking of activity for assignment 1 I am learning to run. So this past week has seen me start learning to run. I decided to start my learning about running by trying to ascertain the best way to go from walking to running. I took the advice of my 7yr old and started with a google search (apparently that’s where you go to find the answer when you don’t know it), I used the search terms ‘learning to run’ and came across several websites with a variety of advice, the common theme was to start running at intervals and most suggested a time interval eg. walk for 5min run for 2 min, walk for 5min, run for 2min etc.
I also looked at my schedule to work out when I could fit in a couple of training sessions. My schedule is such that I can’t get out to run in daylight hours so as much as I hate gyms I decided the best thing to do was get a gym pass to enable me to train during the week when it is dark. So I went in for my first training session.
Now as I mentioned gyms are not my favourite place and neither are treadmills but I needed to try this interval training that I had been reading about so on the treadmill I hopped and off I went with my walk for 5min, run for 2min etc. It didin’t last very long, i felt really uncomfortable running on the treadmill, i thought that I was going to trip over, it felt like my shoes were gripping the belt of the treadmill a little too well, after a few attempts at running (each getting shorter and shorter as my anxiety grew higher and higher) I gave up running and just continued walking until I had done 5km. This first session was an evening session after a long day so perhaps I found it difficult because I was tired, or maybe I need to lift my feet more when I run on the treadmill.
I decided my next session would be an early morning session to see if perhaps my difficulties in running were related to being tired. I did manage to run a little further this time but the discomfort and anxiety were still there so again I gave up running and walked until I had done 5km. I then went to work for the day and interestingly I felt great all day. I am thinking that even though it’s hard to get out of bed, mornings may be better for me than evenings.
I managed to organise life and got out to do an outdoor walk/run with some of the others completing the Multi-Stage Kilometere-a-thon (MSK) on Saturday, it wasn’t quite an OMG o’clock start (ie before 6am) but it was pretty close. It felt great to be outside and walking in a beautiful spot (Sydney’s Bay run). Again I tried my interval strategy and was going quite well, the running felt good, the anxiety wasn’t there and I didn’t feel like I was going to trip over my own feet. Physically the running was easier, until the temperature dropped and it clouded over (about 5km in to my 7kms). At this point I started to feel cold and my muscles felt like they were lead, they didn’t want to move and running became harder and harder. I let myself walk more than I would have liked but pushed myself to run the last 1/2km.
I have found that running for me is mentally tough (at least at the moment). On the treadmill I am constantly battling with myself to keep going, telling myself that I am not going to trip over and embarrass myself in a room full of people, trying to manage my anxiety. I find that the distance and time seems to go slower at the gym than when I am outside and that adds to the mind games. Running outside is mentally challenging in a different way, again I have to keep telling myself to keep going and that “I can do it” but that’s hard when the legs are burning from running up that hill (because there is no way to avoid the hill), or because my weak muscles are starting to get tired. Interestingly for me it seems that my legs want to give up before my lungs do, I need to look into this.
So basically that is my experience of trying to action some of the things I read about in my google search. I have discovered that I need to do some learning on the tech side of things. When I was looking up how to run I realised that I am not sure how to make life easy for myself and follow some of the blogs and webpages, that will be my focus this week.
If only running was as simple as my 3yr old tells me it is.