Anyone who has worked with a personal trainer knows that they will push you harder than you think you can go on your own. In my youthful days of being a competitive athlete I used to hate my coach sometimes for pushing and pushing until you no longer had any pain because you’d lost feeling altogether. Last time I tried to get back into running I joined a jog squad in Wellington. It was pain from the moment we left the gym until my knees finally caved in and refused to operate anymore. I knew enough about training methodology to know that pushing people, especially unfit and unprepared people, too hard to fast only leads to disaster. I remember hobbling along at the back of the jog squad wondering what the heck I was doing pounding along the pavement drawing attention to my inadequacies.
Over this winter I was increasingly feeling flat and without any energy. Also too much baking was having an impact on my wardrobe that if I didn’t take some remedial action there was going to be trouble ahead. But I like to train with other people. It’s always much more fun to be the back marker with someone else. Also, I do value having expertise to create the workout programme so I can make progress and not be too sloth like as my natural instinct would have me be.
I’m seven weeks into a podcast training programme. One devised by my former employer – the UK NHS. For all it’s faults it knows a thing or two about how people need to get fit. My new best friend is Laura who is the dulcet tones on my couch to 5K podcast and running programme. This is a programme that builds you up gently to running 30 minutes or ! 5Km depending on your fleet of foot. I think I’m heading for the 30 minute medal but we’ll see. I still have a couple of weeks to go.
Aside from loving Laura who I have never met but is my constant running companion, I am really loving back running. My knees still ache and also my hips and back but I’m determined to keep going. I have ambitions to run in Regents Park in London when I’m back in the UK. Not to mention Hereford park, Newcastle quayside, and umm, Bedworth park. This week the lovely Laura declared that after two lots of 25 minutes running i could declare myself a runner. It’s a nice thought even if the reality is that I’m more of a big bird shuffler (jogger) than anything else.
But for all the pain and sweaty moments I am really enjoying being really active again. It may end up being only 30 minutes a day but it is a time when my heart beats faster and the world comes alive just for me. And you can’t ask for much else!