A bit over 12 months ago, I signed up for the Melbourne Run for the Kids charity run. The original goal to was use the looming 15KM race as motivation to improve my aerobic fitness.
While I did the race, I disliked pretty much everything about running. It was long and boring, my mind wondered and it was hard. As a result my training for the race was pretty hit and miss.
Back to on track
Roughly 6 months ago I started running again. I’m honestly not sure what the motivation was at the start. I started again and it sucked. But this time I grit my teeth and pushed on.
It took a few weeks, but occasionally I could complete my 4.7KM home circuit without walking. Running every second day caused performance decreases, but come Monday fatigue was gone an increase was noticeable.
Seeing signs of improvement was a significant source of motivation. At the start improvement was just being able to complete the circuit without walking. As that got easier, increases in distance and different running tracks helped.
An additional source of motivation is my 5yr old Son. He gets excited that his Dad runs races (one) and consistently asks to come running. Seeing that my running and instill good habits on my children is huge.
I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but this year I set a goal to run 730KM within the year. Why 730KM? Well it’s 2KM per day. Due to life and family the goal wasn’t to run 2KM every day. Instead average 14KM per week.
At the time of writing this I’m at 193KM for the year, averaging 20KM per week. So significantly ahead of the goal and only planning on getting further ahead.
For my home circuit, I now run two laps of it and each time as seen an improvement. From 1:09:33 on the 21st of Jan to 53:37 this evening. Again, seeing improvements is a driving factor.
The increase in running has helped decrease wondering thoughts and boredom while running. Thoughts are now more on the run, stepping correctly etc.
Where to from here
To help reduce the risk of injury I recently joined a local running club “Generation Run”, which has been nothing short of amazing. Having others around to share an otherwise lonely activity is invigorating.
The benefit of having a coach is being able to bounce questions, set goals and understand different training techniques. It’s one thing to watch YouTube videos and another to have someone to provide personal feedback.
This year I run the Melbourne Run for the Kids 11 minutes faster than last years. Currently the goal is to shave another 7 minutes of that time next year.
Why am I writing about running on an IT blog?
Because it a personal blog.
But seriously, taking up running has proven helpful in a number of ways. Relaxation and sleep patterns have improved. A bit of alone time even if hard work, is a great way to reduce stress.
Having another outlet completely separate from work, has improved work performance. Concentration levels and lack of fidgeting have been noticeably affected, which is a big deal for IT.
I think in some reflective way, taking up running again reinforces the notion that there’s always room for self-improvement.