With the New Year comes the inevitable resolutions. I gave up on resolutions years ago, but I still have my goals and targets to keep me going through the year. I find it is easier to have things to look forward to, instead of having to concentrate on what I have to eliminate.
With this in mind, I have a list of running events to motivate me in 2017. This features a mix of road and trail races, both close to home and in some spectacular locations.
This meant that my training plan started on the week between Christmas and Hogmanay. For the first time ever, I even managed to go running on New Year’s Day!! It’s a sign of things to come, and my determination to get the miles in. However, it was a strange experience running through almost deserted streets, only passing the occasional walker, out for some fresh air to clear the cobwebs! The lack of cars on the road was a bonus, as I could run without having to stop at any road junctions.
I have now completed four full weeks of my plan, with steady and noticeable progress each week. Sunday’s long run clearly showed the improvements I have made so far. This was my longest run by time in more than two months, covering more miles, and with more hills involved. Running hills is a great way to increase leg strength, but my lack of fitness is still showing every time I hit an uphill. My pace slowed and my breathing was laboured. There’s only one thing for it – keep on moving!!
In previous blog posts, I have written about adopting a run-walk strategy to allow me to train around my shin splints. This is paying dividends, as the injury now seems to have cleared up. This is a relief, but there has been a noticeable impact on my endurance. I am steadily building my running back up, and am definitely on track for my first event, at the Strathclyde Parkrun.
I have been extremely strict with my diet since the New Year too, and have managed to lose about half a stone in just over three weeks. I am aware that the rate of progress may slow down, but I am determined to shift the weight with long term changes to my diet, running, and exercise in general.
The new training week has started, and I am glad to say this will include a return to the Hamilton Harriers weekly club nights. Its motivating to know I have another year ahead of running with great folk, and tackling our usual club loop twice a week.
Long may it continue!!