Back on it!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been concentrating building back up to running more than a couple of kms at a time, and – touch wood – I think I’ve done alright.

I managed a couple of good runs over the weekend and a really fun (wow!) casual 5km around Greenwich this evening. I’m back on my training plan!

Well, cautiously back on my plan. As long as my legs are up for the challenge. If nothing else, I’m learning a lot about listening to (and understanding!) my body . And that is everything!

It doesn’t hurt that Greenwich at Christmas time is absolutely gorgeous.

Old Royal Navy College, Dec 2020

This time last year, if you had suggested that I would be out on the street, running in public where strangers could see me exercising outside the gym, I would have openly laughed in your face.
Laughed. In. Your. Face.

Now, I really don’t enjoy the thought of heading to the gym. COVID absolutely has a part to play in that, but I love being outside. The fresh air on my face, the changing scenery, and the reliance on my body to tell me what I’m doing – not a machine.

Of course, I would happily do without the groups of people blocking the walk ways, and y’know, the weather. But that’s also part of the charm!

No steppin’ in dog turds at the gym, though. At least, not yet.
If 2020 has taught me anything; never say never.

The Importance of a Plan

To quote an arrogant, but in this case correct, ex of mine; failure to plan is a plan to fail.

Uplifting, isn’t it?

But it’s true. Having a plan is important. That plan must remain flexible, and it may change, but it’s important to have one. And to follow it.

Not just in running, but in achieving any goal.
Structure is important. A goal without a plan is just a dream, right? The structure, the steps laid out, and followed are what make the goal attainable.

Think about it like the degree you did at uni. You likely started with a rough idea of the papers you wanted to do, the steps you’d take, to get your major(s). Those probably changed a little as you went, but if you kept with it, you graduated. You got that degree (even if it looked a little different to how you intended at the start).

So, I’ve searched the internet for a free training plan – there are so many out there, and this is my first half marathon. I don’t have a goal for time, and I don’t want too many options to choose from. In the absence of a personal recommendation, I’ve searched for beginners plans with a focus on completing a half marathon without injury.

Completing a half marathon without injury is my goal. While I’m hopeful that I will have the fitness that will enable me to run it well, with a good time, my primary focus is on finishing. And if I can do that in under 3 hours, I will be over the GD moon.

And with that in mind, I’ve settled on one.

I’m going to follow the ‘couch to half marathon’ plan by the Marathon Handbook.

It’s a 15 week plan, and I have 21 weeks until race day. I will follow this plan, but I can be flexible. My current expectation (note: not plan!) is to repeat some of the latter weeks at the 10km-ish stage, but I’m going to listen to my body and respect it – and the plan – as much as I can as I go.

And I start tomorrow.