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Lucky Number Seven

So, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016. It wasn’t a great year, but wasn’t a bad one either. I survived it, learned some lessons along the way, and now it’s time to move on to the next one. 2017 sounds like a good number. It has a 7 in it, and I do like the number 7, so here are my 7 Resolutions for 2017.

  1. Enjoy running again
  2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
  3. Eat better
  4. Cut down on caffeine
  5. Cut down on smoking
  6. Get my finances in order
  7. Develop my Virtual Running Business

The first one has already started. I managed to get off my backside and on to the treadmill for Week 1 Day 2 of C25K. Despite the fact that my fitness is a long way short of what it was, it wasn’t too bad and I did enjoy it. I guess that counts for Resolution No. 2 as well, so we’re off to a good start and it isn’t even midnight yet.

The rest we will deal with later as I’m about to have a massive dinner and bring in the New Year with a wee dram or three, but tomorrow is a new day and a new year so it’s all good.

How was your year of running? Do you have any resolutions, goals or plans for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Time To Hit The Restart Button

restart2016 has been an odd year for me in terms of running. I had big ambitions and had to push myself hard to achieve them, but it wasn’t much fun. I was tired, I was struggling and was barely able to achieve the minimum that I had set myself, so in the end I just stopped. I didn’t run, didn’t blog and barely logged on to see what everyone else was doing. I just couldn’t face it. I needed a break, so I took one.

But now that I’ve had some time off, enough time to miss what I really love about running, I figured that the time is right to hit the restart button and get back to Couch To 5K… and stick to it.

This time round though, things are going to be different. I’m not going to think about races, or parkrun, or PBs or anything like that. I’m just going to run to get back in shape. For the most part, this will probably be on the treadmill, as I found the cold air really played havoc with my breathing when I did the Poppy Run in November, but that’s ok. I’m not making any apologies for running indoors. Not this time.

My goal, my one and only goal is to be able to run 5K without walk breaks. That’s it. Nothing more.

Of course, that might change later on, but for now I’m going to try to be sensible, take it easy and stick to the program for the next nine weeks and see how it goes.

So, this afternoon, I completed W1D1 on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking and running and walking. Not difficult, but got the old heart rate up again for the first time in over a month, so it’s a start.

How’s your training going? Have you set any running goals for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Treadmill Day 2

Today was my second day of doing C25K on the treadmill and I’m pleased to say that I managed a lot better than yesterday i.e. didn’t come anywhere near close to falling off, didn’t stop the machine by accident and didn’t feel like I’d just spent a year at sea when I tried to walk on the floor again.

The pace was, however, was still very slow. I think this is partly to do with getting used to running at a set pace rather than allowing the old legs to do what they want to, but it also has a lot to do with confidence and feeling comfortable with running on a moving surface – I did wobble a few times, but only a little bit.

The other problem with the treadmill is that once you stop, the time and distance disappears. I did notice as I slowed to my final walk break that I’d covered about 2 kilometres in around 23 minutes, which is pretty terrible really, although it does include the 5 minute warm up walk at the start.

Still, one of my reasons for starting right at the beginning of C25K again is that I can use the first few sessions to get used to the machine, so it’s all good really.

How’s your running and training going? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Treadmill Fun

I don’t know why, but the thought of playing with my new treadmill served as great motivation to start up the training plan again this evening.

No need to worry about how many layers to wear, whether or not I needed to go to the toilet beforehand or planning a well lit route to avoid being mugged or murdered – I just got changed, hopped on the treadmill and got the job done.

Well, sort of…

The first mistake I made was that I started the machine off way too fast and almost fell off the end of it; and the second was that when I used the hand rest to balance myself as I was getting ready to slow to my first walk break, I accidentally pressed the stop button which cancelled out the time and distance that I’d already completed.

But other than that, and the strange feeling of motion sickness when I struggled to find my land legs after it was all over, I quite enjoyed it. Not quite the same feeling of hardcore awesomeness you get from running in the wind and rain, but pretty satisfying nonetheless.

My time of 13 minutes for 1.8 kilometres wasn’t very impressive at all though, so either I’m very out of shape or the machine works in miles instead of kilometres… yeah, ok, it’s probably the former, but in my defence there were walk breaks involved.

How’s your training going? Are you running in the wind and rain or retreating to the treadmill? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

New Year, New Start, New C25K

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a good time over the festive period and that you gave 2015 a good send off last night.

For me, 2015 was a year of ups and downs. This time last year I was training for my first marathon and half-marathon and spent new year’s morning on a very very long run – 24K if I remember correctly.

Today though, it was a different story. The Brighton Marathon left me with a niggling injury which just wouldn’t calm down, resulting in a very patchy summer and autumn of starting, restarting and generally getting not very far with C25K.

As a result, I’m kicking off 2016 right back at the beginning again, with yet another attempt at Couch to 5K.

I have to to be honest, it wasn’t easy getting out the door this morning. Not that I over indulged on Hogmanay or anything. A couple of cans of Fosters and a slightly too large whisky to see in the New Year is nothing by my old standards, but it did mean that I overslept and had a slightly wooly head when I eventually peeled myself from my pit this morning.

Still, fortunately my brain was in no state to over think it (or think at all for that matter), so after a large glass of water and a couple of paracetamol, I headed out to Hove Rec for Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5K.

The weather was surprisingly mild and not at all windy, which made it much more pleasant than I had expected, and the run wasn’t too bad either. I took it nice and easy, remembering to smile and say ‘Happy New Year’ to the dog walkers, runners and people who were just out enjoying an early morning stroll. New Years morning really is my favourite day for running in that respect.

In the end, I completed just under 2.5K in about 20 minutes, including a bit of an extra run for the final walking segment to get me back to the railway bridge, and I have to say, it felt brilliant!

With two more days until I have to go back to work, my plan is to get Week 1 out of the way this weekend, and then follow the program with one midweek run and two at the weekend until I’m back up to 5K again – we’ll see though. Either way, it’s great to be back!

How’s your training going? Are you starting or restarting Couch to 5K this year? What are your running goals for 2016? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Finding The Time To Run

One of my biggest struggles with Couch to 5K this time around has been finding the time to run. I don’t think that my life is particularly busier than it was two years ago, but somehow I can’t seem to find the time the way that I used to.

Instead of getting out three times a week like I’m supposed to, I’m finding that even getting out twice a week is a struggle. I think a lot of it is to do with the frustration of not being able to do something that was fairly easy not so long ago; but there’s also the fear of injury. My leg is still not 100% and the slightest feeling of something not being quite right is enough to put me off these days.

Still, in saying that, the fear of not making progress or, even worse, going backwards again is enough to make sure that I get myself out the door at least once a week, if not twice, to get a run in.

So, this morning, even though I had a lot to do, I decided to make time to get myself out for Week 4 Day 2 of C25K. It was nice and cool outside and there was a mist coming on from the sea, which is always nice for an early morning run.

The running sections included two lots of three minutes and two lots of five minutes and, to be honest, it was a bit of a struggle at times. There was one point where I almost stopped but then I reminded myself that I could slow down without actually walking.

In the end, I completed 3K in 19:55, which isn’t too bad at all.

How’s your training going? Do you find it easy to find the time to run, or do you have to make time. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

What Did I Do With My Head Torch?

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it’s becoming all too easy to come up with an excuse not to run. But not tonight.

I had planned to take my new favourite route around Hove Rec, but unfortunately the House Pixies seemed to have hidden my head torch. With unlit paths made even darker by the bushes and trees on either side, there was no way I was going to risk it, so I headed for the seafront instead for Week 4 Day 1 of Couch To 5K.

I did my usual seafront route, starting at Hove Lawns then down towards the Peace Statue, back up to the King Alfred Centre and then back to my starting point, plus a bit extra to let the time run down.

As I hadn’t run for over a week, I took it nice and slowly and was surprised by how easy it was – possibly because I was back on the flat again, but I’d like to think it’s because my fitness is improving too.

I covered 3K in 21:44, which is fine, but next time, I think I’ll push a bit harder and see if I can hit a 6 minute pace on the running sections.

How’s your training going? Do you avoid certain routes when running in the evening? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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