How does someone go from the occasional run (to catch their naughty dog) to running 10km?
My perspective of running has been one of distant admiration. Great for health, great for fitness, great for patients, but not for me. Sure I had run in the past but more as an aspect of training for sport (up the Breakers). However, after a few injuries, I decided I needed another avenue to maintain my fitness and general health.
Talking to David, one of the Senior physiotherapists at Hoys, was where I started. Speaking to a physiotherapist is always a good idea when embarking in a new fitness direction. David analysed my running technique, set me up with a solid plan and gave me a few tips to ensure I stayed on track and didn’t abandon my goal of running 10km.
A solid running technique is crucial for both short and long distance athletes. Even slight deviations can cause our bodies to place extra demand on other muscles or joints that can lead to injuries and pain. I knew going in that I would pull up sore after my runs. Seeing a physio gave me the confidence that this pain would be due to my body adjusting and not cause for concern. However, if any injuries do arise I have a therapist to help me get back on track as soon as possible.
The free running program I selected automatically creates a plan for you. You can tweak it by choosing how often you would like to run each week, the intensity of your runs, your previous experience and your goal distance and time. David and I decided that, with my history of zero running, that a moderate intensity with 3 runs per week would help me achieve my goal of running 10km in around 1 hour.
So far the plan has been going pretty smoothly with most of the hiccups being me missing a run or not logging a rest properly. However, the plan adjusts to accommodate this and last week I just had to run 4 times to make up for my missed run the week before. I also found that I needed another form of motivation.
That’s where my faithful running companion has come in handy. Running with a buddy (be it human or other) increases the likelihood of me being consistent with my plan as it creates a sort of external accountability that isn’t as easy to shirk as my internal accountability.
So far I’ve done a few runs (on dog-friendly beaches) and only pulled up a bit sore with my most recent run after my left foot started misbehaving. I plan to go back and talk to David to work more on my technique and get a few tips to help control my left foot better. I also plan to see one of our Exercise Physiologists to assess my aerobic capacity and muscle endurance.