I used to run a lot as a kid. Mostly away from other larger kids. Usually I had antagonised them in some way.
So when I realised that my chosen career path would involve sitting on my backside in front of a screen eight hours day, running seemed like a good counter balance. I’m not a particularly competitive person, I find most team sports really boring, but I’ve always enjoyed running.
Until recently I’d been fairly causal, just running a few times a week and only in nice weather and only for a few miles. I took part in a Marathon relay in 2010 and 2011, missed out in 2012, which I really regretted. I tried to put a relay team together for this year, but people were not committing so I decided just to run the whole thing myself. How hard could it be.
I’ve been using an app called Runkeeper and a training schedule for a sub four hour marathon. I’m running Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Having never trained anywhere near this much before I’ve learnt several things the hard way.
- You lose the runners high. I’ve been used to going our for fast 2-4 miles runs, couple of times a week. After which I always feel great and totally buzzing for the rest of the day. I’ve found that with marathon training, the highs are few and far between. Some runs are just plain misery.
- It takes more time than the runs themselves. My previous runs only lastest 20-30mins, quick shower and back to whatever I was doing before. Now I’m out for 40-60 mins for the weekly runs and 2hrs+ for the long runs at the weekend. Factor in changing, showering, eating and the fact that I get nothing done for at least an hour after a hard run and I’m loosing about 10hours plus per week.
- Warm up and eat better before morning runs. My weekday runs I do over lunch, my Saturday run is usually from 10am. Last weekend I made the mistake of only warming up for a few minutes (usually fine for lunchtime runs) and only eating a cereal bar. The result was I started a 14 mile run that would burn 1500-2000 calories having only eaten about 200 and not warmed up. By mile 4 I felt horrific and wanted to lie down and cry. Lesson learnt.
- Medical tape is very useful. No more bleeding nipples from chaffing, enough said.
- Constantly tired. I’d been used to being buzzing and having loads of energy after a run, so I had fully expected to feel amazing when I started running more. Not so. A busy week at work combined with running 25+ miles a week just led to me being constantly tired. Improving my diet has helped with this somewhat, and making sure to keep off my feet on rest days.
Anyone else had any surprises while training for something? I’m sure I’ll have more as the weeks go on.