Running: Re-learning the first 5km

I have been working so hard on recipes lately but none of them seem to be quite right, its driving me mad! I feel like the blog is starting to look abandoned, poor thing. Seeing as I don’t have a finalized recipe to share I wanted to do a little post on something else I love. Running.

Depending on what you have read here before you may or may not know that I have plans to run a marathon this year (SCARY). A plan that would be so much less daunting if I hadn’t injured myself and then ignored it for months before finally going to a physio and getting fixed. Starting running from square one all over again was a bit of a slap in the face.

In some ways though it was needed, I had actually forgotten how much of a challenge getting to the first five km was the first time. It’s funny how fast you forget how much you struggled to get somewhere once your standing on the other side of the fence.

So I don’t forget next times because there is always a next time, I have made a little list of things that worked for me while re-learning the first 5km.

1. Slow Down: Running fast has its place, you will want to speed up during your runs at some point but to start with distance is the goal and distance means slowing down. Sometimes it means slowing down a lot.

2. Try Something Different: About two weeks ago I hit a wall at 3.5km, I just couldn’t run past it so I decided to decrease my running to once a week and focused on strength and interval training instead. When you hit a wall in your training shocking your body with something unexpected can have just the right effect.

3.  Eat for energy: You know your meant to eat healthy, blah blah blah, carrots etc, everyone knows they are meant to eat healthy but endurance exercise (even 30 minuets of running) also means eating enough to give your body the energy to keep moving. I could always tell the difference on a day where I had not really eaten enough and tried going for a run, it was horrible and I usually gave up after the first ten minuets. Don’t be afraid to eat some carbs on your run days, some brown rice stir-fry for lunch can do wonders.

4. Mind over matter: There is always a point where your brain decided its had enough running for today, that point often involves the bottom of a hill. You will find yourself thinking that you can’t do something because its all just too hard when really, if you can just hold out a bit longer you come to the realization that actually. You can. Running is not just a physical activity its a mental one and often your head is wrong about what your body can do (just ummm… don’t hurt yourself).

5. Try a different route: I hate being bored. I am sure that’s not something singular to me. Running the same route over and over and over again until you could probably do it with your eyes closed is not going to do much for your motivation levels after a while. There are so many running apps and website communities out there where people have mapped their runs online, check out some of the other places people run near you and give them a try. I like endomondo.

6. Try a different time: Running in the morning is harder for the same reason as running after a day of very little food is hard. Your body has no stores of energy to feed from. Apparently running first thing in the morning before food is good for burning fat (I have no idea if that true) but if you are struggling to hit a new distance goal leave the run till the afternoon  and you might just surprise yourself.

So there it is, some 5km lessons that I hope will help any new runners out there (or any old runners who forgot what being a new runner felt like).

Next stop in my training 10km…. pft that’s not even that far right? right?

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2 thoughts on “Running: Re-learning the first 5km

  1. Hey lovely,
    You definitely sound like you’re on the right track again with your running journey! Might I also suggest perseverance and patience to your list?
    Running isn’t always easy. There are times when you can’t run or you lose interest in running. But if it’s something you really want to achieve for yourself, there are times when you have to push through the lazy days, the killer hills and the ‘eat all the food’ days. It’s persevering through the little things that hold you back which allows you to truly grow and improve yourself. Patience is also needed, particularly for long distance running because there will be days when you just can’t get through a mental block or you hit a plateau in your development.
    I’ve also found having a mentor or someone to look up to very motivating. My Aunty is a great long distance runner and I’ve learnt a lot from her wealth of experiences. She’s won many events since her high school days and she competes in various runs today. Her latest advice for me to improve is to join a running group. She joined her local runners group and they go for 10-15km runs every Saturday morning then go for coffee afterwards. It sounds fun! Everyone knows each other and it’s like having a support group. So perhaps joining a running group could be a next step for you? It helps a lot with your motivation as well as your improvement. We can’t do everything on our own and it’s the support of others that helps us improve and reach places that we couldn’t get to on our own. I’ve learnt that from personal experience in a lot of different aspects of my life 🙂

    • Thanks Cat,
      Patience is always something I forget to have in these sort of situations so I will keep that in mind. I also think I will look into this running group thing, it would be fun to meet some people with similar interests and I am sure it would be very motivating.

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