Today was the first 5K run of my new training program in preparation for a Race For Life 10K in five weeks time. Although I was really looking forward to getting a decent run in after a month or so of walking, I was a little bit concerned about how I would cope with running again. After my last two recovery runs, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in my running fitness, and it wasn’t good.
However, today was about getting out there again and going the distance. It didn’t matter how slowly I ran or if I had to stop and walk for a few minutes. I just needed to do 5K.
When it comes to running though, even training runs, I really don’t like stopping and starting. I know that there’s nothing wrong with it and that it’s a good way to build up endurance but, even though my legs need it sometimes, my head doesn’t like it. So, in order to give myself permission to stop, I decided to start my run on the streets where I would have to stop for traffic rather than on the promenade where you can pretty much keep running for as long as you like.
I started off at what I thought was a fairly slow pace, but when I checked my Garmin it told me that I was going a bit too fast for an easy run. I tried to slow down a bit and take my time and by the time I reached the seafront, I was doing between 6:30 and 6:40 minutes per kilometre, which is much more in line with my natural 5K pace.
Although I felt pretty relaxed throughout the run and felt much stronger than I had done a few days ago, I wouldn’t say that it was easy. I had to keep telling myself to keep going and focus on my breathing – something that I haven’t had to do on a 5K run for a long time.
Needless to say, when the Garmin beeped at 5K and I saw that my time was only 10 seconds slower than my PB, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Could all that walking really have improved my running after all?
Unfortunately, when I got home and uploaded the data, it turned out that the Garmin had gone a bit wonky and turned what should have been the first 250 metres or so into half a kilometre. It made sense really, as even though I was going a bit faster than I ought to have been to start with, I certainly wasn’t doing the pace that Garmin had said I was.
Still, it’s the first time that the Garmin has messed up like that and I’m pretty certain that I could have done another 250 metres without too much trouble, so it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that I got a decent run in and that I made a good start to my training.
Do you use a Garmin or other device to log your training and keep track of your pace? How accurate and reliable do you find it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.