Since my last post having reached the half way point of my half marathon training I’ve tried to apply a more positive and determined attitude to my adidas miCoach workouts. Sure, the app tells me what pace band I need to run in but I choose at what point in the band. It was time to push for the top of the bands instead of taking the easy option of sitting at the bottom. My determination has been rewarded with a great sense of achievement. Not only have I put some of the doubt about my pace behind me but I feel great!
I managed to average 8.5 minute miles over 5 miles on Thursday and today I hit the height of my training so far: 10 miles in the Oxfordshire countryside, averaging 9 minute miles. Not quite race distance but race pace none the less.
Up and out by 9am on a Sunday morning; going easy on a Saturday night with only two cans of lager; some will question why I do it.
It’s not just because I want to feel fit and healthy. It’s not just because I want to eat whatever I fancy (more on this in a moment). Both of those are great. It’s not even because of the social aspect of running – I do most of my running alone. The realisation dawned on me this weekend. The reason is a simple: achievement.
The feeling I get from seeing the results of my efforts is awesome. I like the simple equation of hard work in, achievements out. Looking back, it’s pretty much what I’ve done since being at school. Obviously, that was academically; I wasn’t sporty at school. The thought of running did nothing for me.
It’s no wonder that someone who craves achievement takes inspiration from watching a summer of sporting success: Wiggins winning the Tour de France, Team GB breaking all medal-winning expectations and now the Paralympian’s are at it too. It’s hard to explain how but it really helps drive me on to my own running success, despite my goals not even being in the same galaxy as our sporting stars.
Now, more than ever, I’d like other people to feel that inspiration, the pride, the achievement. I’ve got a few extra-curricular irons in the fire that may help me on the path to this new achievement. I’m also determined to double my efforts at work to show my colleagues that we can get the same great feeling from work achievements too. It’ll be a wonder that I’ll have any time left to run but I’ll find a way; I like my food too much.
That brings me nicely back to my earlier mention of food.
In true Jerry Springer style, here’s my final thought for all of you who wonder “Why run?”.
In just an hour and a half I burnt over 1200 calories. More than enough to enjoy a guilt free chippy tea!