A brief history about me and running.
I have never been a runner. I used to despise cross country at high school. I didn't see the point in punishing myself as I have always been a big lump of a lad and running hurt.
The only time I have enjoyed running was when there was a point to it such as when I was playing a team sport like football or ultimate frisbee.
I played football through school and ultimate through university.
I graduated from university in 2002 and have barely played ultimate since, which means I had barely run in 10 years before I started this quest.
Pre quest the last time I ran was in 2006.
Fast forward 6 years and I decided to take up triathlon after giving up smoking.
I always knew the running would be the hardest discipline in triathlon for me as it is something I have never enjoyed, but the challenge had been set.
Running and triathlon
My triathlon running career hardly got off to the greatest of starts. I managed a full three runs before injury, which saw me unable to run between 7th Feb 2012 and 22nd April 2012 as I had achilles tendinitis.
So here I sit in January 2013 with my running career under 9 months old and I thought it prudent to compose this post.
Given my team sport background I was a forefoot striker but some bad advice that I received from numerous people told me transition to heel striking.
I persevered with this until after the London Triathlon after a running coach advised me to run how my body wanted to run which was forefoot striking.
It took me a long time to get my head into running and I was so unfit. I tried the usual couch to 5k programmes with no success. I used to run walk to different number of lampposts to assist me with running.
My team sport background means I was used to sprinting for short periods of time and then recovering by walking before sprinting again. When I started run training I couldn't get my head around lowering my pace to enable me to run longer and honestly it is only since September that I have learnt to pace myself.
If we compare two of my speed graphs there is a vast difference.
First we have a run from May 2012 where you can clearly see the run walk strategy I was used to using. The distance of this run was 2.08 miles at an average pace of 14:46/mile.
Then we have my run from today where I have learnt to pace myself, I manmaged to run for a total of 49 minutes with one minute of walking and shock horror I even started to enjoy some of the running today. My distance today was 4.72 miles at an average pace of 10:30/mile.
I also managed to reduce my average pace by 29%.
I couldn't be happier that I have learnt to pace and because of this I can increase the distances I run. I know I bitch and moan about running but I am starting to enjoy it and in nine months I have come a bloody long way through my own hard work and determination.
One of the challenges I blogged about earlier (http://smoker2triathlete.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/2012-retrospective-look-at-year-which.html) has seen me turn a corner with regards to running and that is the #12runsofchristmas. During the 12 days from boxing day I ran everyday with varying distances. I set PB's for 1km, 1 mile and 2.5km. I reached a milestone by completing 2.5km in under 15 minutes.
This challenge was the brainchild of Karen Weir (www.runwithkaren.com) and I would like to thank Karen for a lot of help she has given me for it was Karen who told me to listen to my body and forefoot strike when I was at a low in my running (three weeks before the London Triathlon), it was because of Karen boosting my confidence that I managed to complete my first 5km constant run.
If you are struggling with your running in any respect, I could not recommend a better running coach than Karen. The only problem being she is based in London but if you're down that way, look her up.
There are a few issues with running that I have to sort such as I am getting blisters and the fact that over the next 25 weeks I have to increase the distance I can run by 550% so that I can complete the Outlaw but honestly I am over the moon tonight as I am starting to enjoy running.
Thanks for reading,