Last week was rather a flat one. What I mean by that is my training largely took place on the flat. Fire roads and canal tow paths to be specific.
In the last blog, I had complained about shin splints and pains in my glutes and hamstrings – largely put down by me to the shortening of my leg muscles from years of mountain biking. Believe me, have you ever seen a mountain biker touch their toes??
So in an attempt to be pain-free last week, whilst still getting the miles under my belt, I registered myself – or should that be re-registered, given I have dipped in and out the weekly Saturday morning runs for a few years now – for my local Park Run in the Wyre Forest. Alongside a 100 or so keen tribe of runners, I completed the five-kilometer course. What’s great about Park Run is receiving your time almost on the finish, and can track your weekly times to follow your progress. Less great is when your time was slower than the last time you did Park Run, but hey it’s work in progress!
I have also looked at incorporating other forms of training besides running. Let’s be honest, with my short window, I need to! Also, after runs, my legs are constantly so sore, and I can easily start to dread the next run. As I have mentioned before, I am a regular gym-goer, so incorporating more cross-training isn’t too difficult. I’m doing spin classes, weights, even a stretching programme (sometimes more painful than the gym workout!) but I hadn’t ever considered that a long walk could be part of my training.
I also had an interesting conversation with someone – a well-honed ultra-marathon runner to be precise – I met at a networking event who recommended a long walk, anything around 20 miles, is good as it compliments running training by getting the body, or more importantly, the legs and feet, used to being on foot for hours on end. I tried this out with my two dogs in the Forest of Dean at the weekend – it was a little longer than their usual Sunday jaunt around the Wyre Forest! Rodney, the Pointer Cross didn’t mind, and put in his own extra adventure, going missing for 45 mins.
I’m afraid to confess that the concept of running for fun or even a social activity can seem totally wrong. I still have a long way to go on that front. So it’s back to the hills this week for me, it’s painful just thinking about it!