So, this has been a concern for some time. With the half marathon creeping around the corner I have been desperately trying to motivate myself to run through the 10K barrier. I am well aware that with a 21K race approaching I need to start upping my weekly miles. But it’s one thing thinking it and another thing actually doing it…
But last week I decided enough was enough. I set my GPS tracker on and planned a nice route that took me through some pretty gardens and along the beach. I decided I wasn’t going to focus so much on time – just try and get the distance in. Not only do I think this is important to overall fitness but I think psychologically it’s important to start increasing the miles. I have heard a lot of training programmes advising people to steer clear of running too far in their training but I think I have to try and at least get to 16K to know that I can actually do the distance!
So I set out on my run, with Ben Howard playing into my headphones. This is one of the first times ever that I have attempted to run with a more relaxed playlist – I am usually all about the heavy club beats and tracks to try and keep me motivated. But I have to say running with Ben Howard tunes really helped me to relax and get into a good running rhythm. That mixed with the sunny weather and good coastal views meant I had one of the most enjoyable runs I have ever had, despite it being the longest I have ever run! I think runners who talk about running outside for enjoyment are right – it certainly didn’t feel enjoyable to begin with but I am finally starting to realise why running enthusiasts actually enjoy the sport. It’s a good chance to de-stress, to get away from every day life and to relax. This is certainly how I felt on this run anyway. I was very happy to finally break through the 10K barrier – running a total distance of 12K. It was a big mental barrier and I immediately felt like the half marathon was much closer in sight – despite only running a few K more than I do normally!
I wasn’t too focused on time but I managed to run the 12K in 1hr 14 minutes which I was quite pleased with. I am aiming for a half marathon time of 2hr 30 minutes so it seems more achievable now.
I ran another 12K this weekend which unfortunately wasn’t as good as the first. I had stomach cramps a few miles in, a shoulder cramp a few miles after that and my toes began to seize up towards the end of the run. All in all it wasn’t a very good one – with my time creeping up to 1hr 20 minutes. But with training I have come to realise that every run is unique and that when you have a bad day, you need to get out again as soon as possible so it doesn’t put you off! I am planning a 14K this week and am gradually starting to notch up the miles so hopefully the next run is slightly better! It’s about five weeks to go until race day…!