As some of you may be aware, I go running several mornings a week. For one, it prevents me feeling too guilty about a slice of homemade cheesecake or the odd beer (or five). It also sets up goals for me to run towards, quite literally.
In nine weeks time I’ll be running the BUPA Great Yorkshire 10k run around Sheffield. This will be the third time I have participated and I’m quietly hoping I can beat my previous time of 54:55. It’ll be tough but for the past few weeks I’ve started training in earnest following a slight ankle injury.
Training effectively began in January when, for a couple of months, I had been sporadically attending a boxing class which is an intense 40 minute workout that left me aching for a couple of days. My arms would be weak and my shoulders would barely move without a numb pain, eventually I realised my back was suffering so relented before doing myself some real damage. However, I took various pieces of advice onboard and now do some stomach exercises most mornings. It’s nothing much – 30 sit-ups, 30 crunches, 3 sets of 3 x 30 seconds leg lifts (6″ up then at 45 and 90 degrees) and 2 sets of 30 seconds planking. While my belly remains my legs do feel stronger meaning that I can push harder on hills.
Then the real training – my actual running. In the past six weeks I have completed five Park Runs, which isn’t bad when you consider how nervous I was first time around and how difficult Saturday mornings are for me generally. This is a 5k run round Endcliffe Park in Sheffield which involves runners of all ages and levels. The experience has given my training a competitive edge as only someone who has run a race can tell you how good it feels to overtake an apparently fitter looking runner (most of them for me) and finish strongly. My times have improved too with a new personal best each week, from 27:19 to 26:55, 26:54, 26:33, 26:06.
In addition to that I also do two long-ish runs every week which usually take 40 – 48 minutes taking in either Forge Dam or Ecclesall Woods. Again, I’m averaging under 6 minutes per kilometre so there hasn’t been any discernible slacking despite the tricky routes. Fun Fact: Sheffield can claim to have at least one thing in common with Rome, seven hills, though it always seems like more.
This week I have begun drinking a litre of detox water daily as I’m often being told I don’t drink enough fluids. There isn’t much to it, just some ice, water and wedges of lemon, lime, grapefruit and cucumber. Again, I’m not really sure what good it’s doing but the intention is there, as it always is