Sunday, March 06, 2016

Starting from square two (beats square one)

Not long after writing my last blog post I had a fall at home which (long story short) resulted in seven nights at Canberra Hospital and a break from my professional running career. I'm expecting to get the 'all-clear' from the neurologist to resume exercise (and driving!) this coming Tuesday, but in advance of that, I've begun to run again. I feel too good not to run!

This past week I've been doing short runs and bike rides, limited (fortuitously perhaps) by a lingering Aussie heat-wave. I've been staying at Mum's in Wagga and this past week have been completing runs of 3 to 5k — usually point-to-point, which gives me a 3 to 5k warm-down walk back home. Does one really need warming down in 35 degree heat?

I've been 'running by feel', with no heart rate monitor, just the Garmin's splits to ponder over afterwards. My feelings have been pretty good. I feel like I'm pushing off the ground well and moving smoothly with few discernible muscular niggles. Natural pace has been between 5:15 and 5:30 per kilometre, which happens to be that training sweet spot a little slower than half-marathon race-pace.

I call this post 'starting from square two' as I haven't had that much time off. So far in 2016 I've averaged 40k per week of running (plus cycling) and after the fall had 18 days off exercise before resuming with a short 2k jog. Square one would be starting again after 3 months off. You don't really want to go there! Reminds you of the difficulty all beginning runners face. If you happen to be a beginning runner, might I suggest slowly building up to continuous runs of 30 minutes. Start with alternating walks and jogs. When you reach 30 minutes, try and repeat that as many days a week as possible. And think about doing some cycling. Cycling is fun, gentle and rest periods (when you coast downhill) are built in.

I plan to do some cyclo-cross racing in Canberra this coming season. Good fun!