Once we have started running, we are on this incredible surge of positivity! Our bodies feel better, our heads feel better, we are making new friends and best of all we are finding out that we can run further and further. I still remember my first run, I had decided to do a 5km and because I played football up to my early twenties I thought I would be reasonably fit even though it was 7 years since I did any training. I might add that this was a long time before the OSAAT Marathon Band popped into my head as an idea.
How do you train for a 5k? well, in my wisdom at that time, the answer was to run 5k in training. So off I went in my best football shorts and socks, although the polo shirt with it wasn’t great for aerodynamics, it felt kind of athletic and of course the runners were more for their looks than their running ability. Now this was what I would call a “zero to hero run special”. There would be no warm up, no stretching, no fluids beforehand, just press the start button on my special stopwatch watch and away you go.
I couldn’t believe how good I was at running, I must be a natural at this, I had the most fluid fast stride, I was able to sing at the same time let alone talk and off I went just sailing down the road effortlessly. I had these great ideas in my head, Maybe there is still time for me to enter the Olympics, I still could have one burst at it and maybe even pick up a medal (bronze would do, as I wasn’t getting overly confident here).
Then it happened like being struck with lightening (not that I know what that feels like) the lungs couldn’t turn over the amount of air going in and out of it, my legs just filled with lactic acid and my head exploded with the pain of having all this happen at the one time. My dreams of the Olympics were gone…..
I had run beautifully for at least 75m!!! I now had 4925m to go in my first training run. I would love to say that it was over so quickly that I barely remember it but it was probably the hardest twenty two minutes of my life. I now know that I probably had an average heart rate of about 97% of my max as there was no way of calming it down from my slightly over excited start. I would also like to say I changed my tactics for the next run and the one after but I ran like this 7 times. As Albert Einstein once said, ”trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a sign of insanity”. My finish times were all within 19 secs of each other, in other words I suffered pretty much the same amount every time and unsurprisingly I didn’t get any better.
A friend came to the rescue soon after and gave me a few new ideas on how to run. I discovered that running slower and longer is easier, more enjoyable and even makes you better. It was not until then that I had caught the running bug. The pic shows me running when i had got the bug and even some fancy runners!
Let us know about your first runs in the comments.