Friday, 8 February 2019

Happy New Years! Running ahead.

As a follower of Tibetan Buddhism I get two new years - the Western January 1st, and Losar. This week has been Losar which we’ve celebrated over three days, the 5th, 6th, and 7th February.

Having a second new year is quite useful for having a look at how the resolutions are going. I have been working on my weight and fitness levels - not exactly new year resolutions, but an ongoing process. I can highly recommend the NHS Couch to 5K programme. It is organised over a 9 week period with 3 runs a week. It starts very gently with the longest run in a session being 1 minute, alternating with walking. There is always a 5 minute warm-up walk at the beginning and the same length warm-down walk at the end, but they do not include that in reckoning the progress of the activity. The actual activity period that progresses running ability is 20 - 25 minutes.

I started Couch to 5K before Christmas on a small trampoline. I was a bit nervous of my knee, having suffered an injury previously and felt it would be gentler on a trampoline. This went well and I got up to 25 minutes of continuous running. I was aware that running on a trampoline was not the same as running out and about, however, and decided to take my newly-acquired stamina out to Heath Park. So I started Couch to 5K again in the new year. There have been ups and downs, and my knee did play up for a while, but today I ran the first run of week 4 of the programme. The session for today (in minutes) was run 3 / walk 1½ / run 5 / walk 2½ / run 3 / walk 1½ / run 5.  This means that today was the first time that a ran for longer than I walked: 16 minutes running and 8 minutes walking.

16 MINUTES RUNNING!! How did that happen!

I don’t think I have run for that long ... possibly ever! Certainly not since a teenager. I know its not much in terms of real athletes or marathon runners, but for an almost-pensioner who’s just started jogging, it feels like a real achievement.

I have to do this same run twice more and then next week the schedule goes weird. The runs are all different lengths, ending with a non-stop 20 minute run in the third session. Will I really be ready for that by next week? I don’t know, but there is no rush. I’m perfectly happy to repeat weeks until I feel ready to move on. It is exciting!

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