Wednesday, September 28, 2005

School's out for summer

I didn't run today. I worked for 10 hours and by the time I arrived home I just felt too knackered to run. Now, if I'd been still experimenting with 'running to school' I wouldn't have missed my run!

Back in July I wrote about Eliud Kipchoge and how, as a child, he ran 5 kilometres to and from school, usually 4 times a day. I took inspiration from Eliud and started running to and from work. I kept this going for six weeks but with quite a few missed days along the way. I wanted to see what would happen. Would I benefit from the increased volume of running - 80 to 100 kilometres a week compared to my usual 60 to 70?

This is what I learned from my brief experiment:
1) I am not a morning person. Well, I knew that already. I've always run in the afternoon. Strangely, I did have some quite good and enjoyable morning runs. The first kilometre or so was always a creaky shuffle but there were many times where, in the second half of the run, I'd be running along smoothly at a good pace of 4:45/km or thereabouts.
2) Running home is not easy. After working for 8, 9 or more hours my energy levels were not great. My run home from work was never as good as my run to work. This made me think that maybe I'm not an afternoon person! Perhaps I should be running at lunchtime? Unfortunately that won't happen as my lunch 'hour' is only 30 minutes.
3) I wasn't getting enough sleep. To keep this routine going I'd need 9 or more hours sleep a night. This wasn't happening. I couldn't get to sleep early enough.
4) It was fun. There was a unique satisfaction using running to get somewhere rather than using it to 'train'.
5) Running twice a day could make you fit. Well, it didn't make me fit. My City to Surf time was 3 minutes slower than last year. The main problem for me was that I wasn't absorbing the running. I wasn't getting enough recovery in the form of sleep. I couldn't do a good 'hard session' in the afternoon because I was too tired.

So, for me, running to school is out for summer - and probably forever! I'm back to running in the afternoons. I can plan to run a good track session at Calwell or an evening track race with the ACT Vets. I realise now that the goals I stated at the top of my other blog were too ambitious. For this coming track season I now have two main goals... to run 3000 metres in 11:33 and 5000 metres in 20:50. This would be an improvement on what I ran in 2004 and a step towards perhaps running faster in 2006!

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