Let me just start by saying I am not naturally a runner! I have joint problems and asthma and I get ear ache from running. I hated all sports at school. When I got to 16 and no longer had to do PE I don’t think I ran until 3 years later when I joined a gym. That being said, I have learnt to love fitness. I have found what I enjoy and love the physical and mental release and… I have now even started to enjoy running!
My running journey began in July when I started the couch to 5k app- something I would recommend to anyone starting running. It started right from running for 1 minute then walking for 90 seconds and built up slowly- and any weeks I struggled with, I would just repeat until I was comfortable with it. I completed the 9 week program and then continued running a little bit but neglected it to return back to the gym. Without this program telling me what to do and having that 5k aim, I struggled to stay motivated to go out in the cold and run. That’s when I decided I needed a new goal so I signed up to do a 10k in spring.
For someone who 6 months ago genuinely struggled to run for that 1 minute, this is a big challenge! I wanted to leave myself with enough time to train that I wasn’t just getting through the race, but feeling prepared and getting a decent time. I also needed to leave time for life to inevitably get in the way (lucky I did as is was meant to be week 2 but I ended up ill last week and didn’t run once!). So I have picked a race in mid May. I have 14 weeks to be able to run 10k and build up my speed.
I am coming from a love of weight lifting and HIIT at the gym and I don’t want to neglect this while I train so my aim is to do 2-3 runs a week and 2-3 strength sessions a week. Every training plan for longer distance running gives 1 long run a week and the others as speed/interval training. I am going to start from 4k as it has been a while since I completed the 5k training and then I will increase the millage by 1km or 0.5km each week. If I only have time to do 2 runs a week then the second will be a tempo run of about half the long distance. If I can fit in a 3rd run, even if just on a treadmill at the start of my gym session then I will also include an interval run going between sprints and a light jog.
In terms of the gym, I am going to try and do 1 upper body and 1 lower body session each week and if I can then I will try and include a full body session as well. These will be a mixture of weight lifting, HIIT training and functional movement. Building up muscle and general fitness will of course help my running.
In terms of nutrition, there a few things that don’t quite workout for me. In terms of my IBS and gut health, intermittent fasting is a life saver! I usually don’t eat until about midday. On the other side to this though, I know I enjoy and have more motivation working out first thing in the morning but I also know I should eat before for energy and to help build muscle. For this reason, when I can I am going to try and start doing my runs and workouts around lunchtime or early afternoon, eating a meal a couple of hours before. I am lucky that I am often flexible and can work out at lunch time as long as I do my uni work early. If I have to workout in the morning then I will just eat something small before like a smoothie or some oats.
So this is my plan… I’m sure it wont work out exactly like this! But I will keep you updated with how it is going and how I am making it work.