Marmite running

I have very mixed feelings about running.
I first started running whilst I was at university. I started because it was a free way to keep fit and easily accessible. I would never time my runs or keep track of the distance, I just ran. I feel like that may have been a simpler time.
When I took part in my first triathlon my running fell by the waste side. I hadn’t done much cycling since I was younger and the open water swim was looming over me so I threw myself into training for those two. I can probably count on my hand how many runs I did in preparation for that first triathlon. I did a 29.41 min 5km run. This was bad news, as now I thought “hey I don’t need to run that much, I did an ok time. I did that time post a 750m swim and a 20km cycle on my first ever triathlon this is fine!”
It has taken me a long time to get out of that frame of mind. Please do not fall into that trap. I have said this before but to be a good triathlete you have to be consistent over all 3 disciplines. However I know that it’s quite likely that you will be naturally better at one discipline than the others. Therefore you may spend more time on the one you enjoy. Or you may want to improve so much on the one that is slowing you down that the other two fall behind. It is all in the balance. Please try not to do what I did and put 90% in two and 10% into the last one for no other reason than finding it a real pain. Sometimes enjoying a sport and being good at that sport do not correlate. I know that if I tried harder with my running I could be a decent runner. I may not like it that much but I know I  will get better and when I feel like I am getting better it is easier to go out and keep on running.
Running to me is just as much a mental thing as a physical one. This year things started to change for me. My work teamed up with Nike and 50 females could sign up to the Nike Women’s 10km run. They provided free training for the 8 weeks running up to the event and 5 weeks of yoga. It was fantastic as I had never ran with other people before. I had always ran on my own but this was a game changer. Running as part of a group motivates you to be there, as I know just getting out of the door can be tricky. What amazed me is how much I improved over this short period of time. I think it was the mixture of direction from the coaches and the genuine motivation to be a tad competitive with my fellow runners 😉 The coaching advice was similar to stuff I had read lots of times before but I had never bothered to put into practice. “Do not just run every time you go out.” It’s imperative that you do sprint training, drills, hill sprints, distance runs and practice techniques so that your body doesn’t just get used to the same routine over and over.
After the race finished I went back to training alone. Yes, I got slower pretty quickly. I had a million excuses not to run, I’m sure you’ve heard them before (I’ve recently eaten, I’m hungry I should probably eat, it’s too cold, it’s late, it’s dark blah blah). EXCUSES EXCUSES. So I’ve started going back to Nike Run Club again. I cannot recommend joining a group more. I only started going again just before Christmas and within two weeks I beat my fastest mile and fasted 1km pace, I was thrilled. NRC is completely free and there are lots of other sports shops that run free running clubs. You may find that your work has one or your gym might have one or you could start up your own by running with friends. It really makes a difference and I say this as someone that finds the notion of moving your body forward at a pace upsetting! I have never enjoyed running more and I can see the change. I still have those days where those excuses get the better of me but not as often. I do not want to feel like I am starting from scratch after all that hard work. I am only going to improve if I keep at it. It may not get any easier as such but I will get stronger, faster and cover more distance over time. I just need to be prepared to try. x

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