Friday, June 25, 2010

Running - Week 1

My running track

As I only decided to blog about my running programme ten days after I started, I thought I would recap my progress in Week 1. But first, to give some context to the running, here is my running backstory.

Who: Me, see "About Me" top of page.
Age: 4-*cough*. Oh, all right. 44.
Height and Weight: 175cm, no idea about weight, as I go by how my clothes feel. I would say I was on the upper end of the BMI.
Fitness level: Fitter than some, not as fit as others. Mediocre to average, I guess.
Exercise pattern to date: Walking 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes-1 hour in the weeks prior to starting the programme. 45 minutes swimming once a week, while kids are doing their swimming training. Iyengar yoga class once a week, with some practice at home. Moderate effort gardening about 2 hours a week (I get Action Man to do all the heavy stuff).
Aim: 1) Lose 4 cms from hip and waist measurements, so I can continue to use my custom sewing patterns 2) Challenge self-concept that "I can't run" 3) Run 5kms straight, just so I can say "I can do that".
Running History: Given my self concept is that I can't run, it may surprise you to know I have one. In my dim dark past, back in the day when I was a corporate type, I ran at lunchtimes regularly. The office was full of athletes, including the boss, who ran as a pack, through Hyde Park and down to Mrs Macquarie's Chair on Sydney Harbour. Anyway, I joined them, as much for the camaraderie as anything. I was always the slowest, but I ran. That year I also did the Sydney City to Surf, a 14 km race from the city to Bondi Beach, and I guess I ran more than half the distance. I can certainly remember being sore for days.

I was pretty fit, but I can say that I never ran for the sake of running itself. I never loved to run. It was always a means to an end.

We had some changes in the office, with some of the athletes being replaced by non-runners, coinciding with my falling pregnant. And so endeth my running days.

Injury history:

Rotator cuff, whilst attempting Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand). 2002.
Tennis elbow, acquired while regularly cycling. 2009, only just now coming good.
Given how long it took to rehabilitate from both these injuries, my No 1 priority is to run without acquiring any injury. If I do develop anything, I shall be a very grumpy girl indeed.

The Plan:

Follow Julia Jones' 8 week running programme, three times a week.
If I have time, supplement this with swimming and cycling sessions.
Practice Iyengar yoga after each running session, concentrating on leg-stretching poses.


Having been walking regularly before starting the programme, for me this was a very gentle start.

The programme has you starting off with walking, then walking whilst swinging you arms. So far, so good.

Then, you need to stretch. I have to admit, this is pretty desultory. I am normally in front of a neighbour's house and I feel a bit - well, ridiculous I guess, stopping on the side of the road to stretch.

The programme then has you walk 30seconds/run 10seconds ten times. For someone who was running for the first time in 13 years, this was the perfect introduction. Totally doable, while I tried to find my rhythm.

Next step is to time yourself walking one kilometre. The main problem I had with this was trying to gauge the length of 1km. After the first session, I drove down the road with my eyes on the odometer trying to figure out distances. The problem though, is that after the previous activity, I didn't find myself in the same position, so my distances were off.

In the end, I just decided that eyeballing it would have to be good enough. I reckon I was walking 1km in about 11 minutes.

This was followed by walk/running the next one km, timed. Again, I had difficulties with judging distances, but again decided near enough would have to be good enough. I found this a lot more difficult as I tried to push myself to run for a longer period. I slowed to a walk a few times, and I reckon I was walk/running 1 km in about 9 minutes. Not fast, but that's okay by me!

Not much else to add really. The weather is perfect for running, and after each session I felt energised not whacked. Nothing hurts. Everything feels within my capabilities.

A good start. Roll on (or should that be run on) Week 2....


Julia said...

I'm SO excited your doing this! You can leave out the stretching, I put it in for people that don't do any (whereas you have a regular yoga practice) and for those that need a small break before the next exercise.

If your goal is to run 5km straight, you might want to find a 5km race to participate in at the end of the 8 weeks or even 10 weeks out. It helps to give you a definite "performance" day, plus a sense of accomplishment.

Have fun!

Paola said...

Thanks for the visit Julia. I'm on track with Week 2, and will post about it in the next few days.

I'll definitely put my feelers out for a run to participate in. Normally, that stuff is off my radar!