Before you think I’m going to be running around naked scaring everyone, I will explain. A running streak is where you run every day, whatever distance you choose, but at least a mile – well at least that is the challenge I have set myself for 28 days. I’m so set on being able to run New York Marathon in 2017 in a decent time, without feeling overly exhausted, able to look around and take in the sights; my quest is on to find any kind of way to make it possible.
Doing a running streak popped up as a good way to get the body used to running. I suppose it makes sense. Practise makes perfect after all. So I began. I gave myself a day of rest after Reading Half on 3rd April 2016 and began on Tuesday 5th April 2016. Here is the diary of my first week:
Diary of my 1st week of a running streak
Day 1 – Recovery Run:
Still a little bit sore and achy from completing my fastest half marathon so far, I set off to do a slow 5 k run. I find it amazing how a slow run after a race can energise the muscles and allow them to relax. It felt sooo good. 5k done.
Day 2 – Video Diary
Before you watch this, please bear in mind I am trying to get myself used to being in front of a camera. It is a huge thing for me. I hate photos of me, let alone hearing my rather dumb sounding voice. I’m doing it for work and for self development. Doing something that really terrifies me and pushes me way out of my comfort zone. (Not dissimilar to starting running!). Anyway, if you have a YouTube account, I’d be grateful if you subscribe to my channel or give me the thumbs up. It would be a great encouragement to me. Thank you.
2.2k done! (sorry you couldn’t see my FitBit)
Day 3 – Interval session with my new wireless headphones
Someone once told me to have a goal in mind for every run and make each step count. So for day three, I revisited intervals. I’ve not done them for some time now, but was surprised at how far I’ve come. Previously I’ve set the slower run at 8kph and the fast at 10kph and struggled to stay on the treadmill. I didn’t want to push myself too far, as I am conscious of reducing the risk of injury, but 10 kph did not feel fast. I was even doing my recovery runs at 9kph – go me!
Anyway, I’ve managed to miss out my new wireless headphones (or earbuds as they are now called). I’ve not ever run with “earbuds” as the roads I run on are lethal at the best of times. Hearing music at Reading Half made me think I might enjoy listening to some tunes while running the trails. So with my hefty discount from my Run Mummy Run newsletter, I invested in a pair of EchoVibes. Much to my annoyance, the right headphone kept falling out.
On reentering the house, I looked in the little packet for instructions. I must be doing something wrong. Low and behold, I find a packet with different size ear thingys. First I try out the smaller ear thingy – it falls out straight away. I can’t possibly have one ear much bigger than the other, but I want them to work, so try the larger one – whoohoo it fits like Cinderella’s slipper.
Yes like a freak, one ear is bigger than the other, but I don’t care, I can now dance around my kitchen, listening to music, without holding my phone or iPad.
Day 4 – Hill session with new trainers
At Reading Half it became apparent: I am incredibly heavy footed. By mile 10, the balls of my feet were crying out in pain. I have had it in mind to try free running for sometime. After a little more research, I’ve discovered this probably isn’t for me right now, so have settled for a lovely pair of Nike Pegasus 32.
Day 4 was their first outing. Again on the treadmill, but this time for a Hill session. 5 minute warm up, 5 minute session at 8.5 kph at 6% incline finished by 5 minute at 1%. Trainers felt like memory foam cushions. 3.14k done.
Day 5 – Parkrun – epic fail
Parkrun. Oh how I love Parkrun. This was only my 3rd Parkrun and the first in which I forgot my barcode. Doh! If you haven’t heard of Parkrun, it is a free 5k run on a Saturday morning at 9am. There are hundreds of Parkruns held week in, week out around the country. You need to register to take part and are given a barcode. This barcode is your key to having your result recorded, leading to tracking your progress, earning attendance t-shirts and if you have Vitality health insurance, unlocking rewards! Forgetting your barcode is a big mistake, even more so when your FitBit tells you you’ve knocked out a 28:58 5k – OMG! I actually feel like I’m starting to improve. I really wasn’t expecting anything this week. Last week I recorded my first ever sub 30 5k, but sub 29!!!
Oh well nothing I can do about it. Next week Bicester Parkrun opens and that is flat 🙂 5k done.
Day 6 – Long slow run within target heart rate
You can probably tell, I like to do a little research. My latest research has lead me to understand the power of my heart rate. I won’t bore you with the details. If you want more info, you can leave me a comment. Basically to run faster and more efficiently, I need to train my body to run with a heart rate under 143 beats per minute (180 less my age). In all honesty, on Sunday, I don’t think I could have managed any faster. My legs were like lead! I found as the run went on, I could run a little faster and maintain the lower heart rate. My body should adapt and my long slow runs should get faster and faster at the same effort level. Sounds good hey! 7.52k done.
Day 7 – C25k with my eldest
I was so proud when my daughter asked me to help her do the c25k. I remember how daunting and difficult it was when I started. Day 7 of my running streak was Gemma’s week 3 day 2. 90 second run, 90 second walk, 180 second run, 90 second walk, 90 second run, 90 second walk, 180 second run 90 second walk. I have to say, I find run/walk very hard. I find the first few km of any run tough, so to walk when my body is protesting, just makes it want to give up. She is doing so well and I would never tell her that :/. I know it won’t be long before she is overtaking me! Building confidence in Gemma is the most important task I have. Running is very much a mental battle. Telling Gemma she can do it, when everything within her wants to stop, is the best thing I can do for her.
I am a little apprehensive going into week 2 of my running streak. I am experiencing niggles. I am completely exhausted – although this is probably down to my 4.5 year old deciding he really doesn’t want to sleep right now – and I have a 10k race at London Zoo on Sunday, which I would really like to do well at.
Keep everything crossed for me please.