The Beginning of an Era - The Running Bug
Run, Forrest! Run!Have you watched the movie, Forrest Gump? Remember when he couldn't walk without the leg braces? Then one day the braces flew off as he ran, and ran. Quoting the fictional Forrest Gump, "I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours."
Have you ever felt the desire to just run? Well, for me, that desire didn't come until I just started, and now, I just want to get up and run, run for the bus, run to catch the train, run for the sake of it. So I did the 5k Fun Run.
TrainingTraining was sporadic, even half hearted, yet, stood at the starting gates on a wet Saturday morning, I naively stared at the little I could see of Richmond Park. I was surrounded by proper runners; kitted out in sleeveless breathable shirts and running shorts, those typically ugly-looking but feet saving running shoes, some with gadgets on their wrists and others with headbands on. A sharp contrast was me, in a pair of full length jogging bottoms, inappropriate trainers that I play football in and a t-shirt with 'Jamaica No.23' on it brought back by my family from their holiday. Everyone seemed at the lower end of the BMI (body mass index) scale, apart from a few, like myself, trying to lose weight. The 10k runners were looming in the background waiting for us to get started so they could get going.
Nothing Fun About ItSo off we all went, together, though the huddle never lasted long for me as I was already straddling behind by 500m. At 1km, a long hill approached, and I knew I was in for a hard slog. I spent the rest of the 4km intermittently jogging and walking as my legs were tripping over themselves. I may have started too fast, but the truth was, my training was poor. Two weeks prior, my training dropped off completely. Months prior I focused on building strength and three weeks prior, I turned to losing weight (to increase relative strength), but ignored T Bompa's advice to convert strength gains into appropriate endurance. I had enough endurance to run 1km. That was no problem, but 5km and at speed was almost an impossibility.
Bitten by the Running BugI completed it! Just don't ask how. Moreover, I wanted to do that again. Not immediately of course.
I want to get the training right. I have to beat my incredibly lousy time of 44 minutes and 19 seconds. My grandpa walks faster than that. So I have to appeal to those who haven't done it to try it and get bitten by the running bug. It's the beginning of an era for me. I never could jog for even a minute without either getting bored or tired.
5Km is short enough that it won't kill you if you haven't trained properly, but long enough for you to feel like you have actually achieved something when you do complete it. You don't need anything more than trainers, preferably running shoes and clothes. You can run on your street, around the block or through the park. It's a great way to get fit and doing a Fun Run at the end is a good test of how far you have come since the beginning of training.
Personal Lessons Learned
- Train well in advance, indoors and outdoors (squats and jumping jacks indoors)
- Good running shoes, regardless of their unsightliness (bad shoes are painful)
- Prepare for all weather. Really, do that.
- You don't have to fund-raise to be part of some fun-runs. You can pay to participate instead. Just find out which fun-runs allow you to do that.
- Experienced and non-experienced Fun-Runners are supportive, so don't feel like they'll laugh if you're slow. We all start from somewhere. In fact, they're very encouraging.
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