Those of you that have read my blog for a while know that I love running. You’ll also know that I love running so much, I love to help other people learn to love running. Well, Tuesday night is the night I lead a small band of new runners to improve their running.
With the end of the year approaching, it’s a good time to reflect back on your achievements over the past twelve months and an opportunity to think about your aspirations for the next twelve. I look back fondly over 2014 and peek excitedly towards a challenging 2015.
I’ve been a little quiet recently because I’ve been a little busy. I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions but back in January I set myself a goal for 2014 and last week I achieved it. The goal was running related but nothing to do with a distance or a time. This achievement would be longer lasting!
My Juneathon continued today with Day 3 of the Kinetic Revolution 30 day running technique challenge but not until after I’d clocked up 7km with the running group I lead.
I feel a little guilty for picking planking for my Janathon activity. It seems a bit of a cop-out compared to running every day. Or cycling or swimming. I had to be realistic; running every day is tough, especially when your body is not used to it and you’ve had a niggle. It would have been foolish, and demotivating, if I had set out trying to run every day of January. My priority was getting ready for my first foray into the coaching side of running. In less than two weeks I shall be leading my first group of people who want to run further through Run England Cogges running group.
So with running for Janathon discounted, I needed to find something else. It’s bizarre to think how inspiring and motivating a bunch of strangers, who you’ll possibly never meet, can be so I didn’t want to miss out. I decided to pick planking instead. I needed to work on my core and it would only take a couple of minutes a day so would easily fit in.
After my dip in performance on my midweek post-run plank I decided I’d plank before my long run today. I’d progressively worked up from my 1m 02s first effort on Day 1, with only a couple of days missing a PB, and I had the 2 minute mark in my sights.
As always, mental determination is such a big chunk of sporting and fitness success and whilst the last 15 seconds were tough I held on to hit 2m 04s – exactly double my Day 1 benchmark.
Plank duration: 2m 04s
Improvement on Day 1 benchmark: 1m 02s
Janathon planks: 12 out of 12
Plank streak: 12
There was no time to bask in the glory. It was time to hit the road for my long run. The target today was to get out there for an hour at whatever pace was comfortable. I hadn’t run for an hour since late November and was conscious that I needed to test my general fitness ahead of starting my running group. I needed to set a good example!
I needn’t have worried. The biggest issue with my 6.5 miles was trying to get my hands warm having left my gloves at home! It was great to get out in the fresh air and I soon got into a comfortable rhythm that allowed me to cruise round in 59 and a half minutes.