As you might suspect from the insanely original title of this post, I am facing a bit of a running regression at the moment. I think it is down to reduced fitness. I quite the personal trainer about a month ago now. M said he wouldn’t pay for it anymore as it wasn’t “working” ie I wasn’t getting skinny enough. And then he said he would and then he said he wouldn’t and then we were separating and it just isn’t in my budget when I already have a gym membership anyway.
But the gym isn’t so easy as the toddler doesn’t go well with people she doesn’t know – the only way we can change that is to make her go more often but it’s a bit of trial and I feel bad at the moment as she is spending more time without me due to the separation and it is making her more clingy. I don’t want to push her.
This leaves running as about the only thing I am able to fit in of late and I’m not getting to it all that often. It’s not like I can get up at 6am anymore and go for a run now that there is no other adult in the house. That would entail leaving the kids here to fend for themselves and I am pretty sure that sort of behaviour would get me arrested. So I run when I can.
A couple of weeks ago I went out to do my current interval on the Couch to 10k program I have been doing for pretty much forever. My current program stage is 8 min running, 2 mins walking x 4.
I couldn’t finish it.
Then I went again a few days later and finished it but my times were slow. Much slower than what I was running just a month ago.
Then yesterday I went out again, still on that same interval. I left at 730am in an effort to beat the heat but it was a hot day and I just couldn’t finish it. Times were slow again.
So today I went out and yet again, I did that same 8min / 2min interval program. This time I was determined to finish it. And I did – YAY! But my times still blow. I am running around 6m/km now, as opposed to around mid 5s previously. It makes me so sad. It is truly amazing how much our other fitness activities impact our running speed. Just by reducing my strength work my speed has slowed right down.
I did have a good little bump today though.
Now they all totally suck for me. BUT the amazing thing about this is that I did not want to run that last interval and it was my fastest. I really had to talk myself into it and keep up the positive self talk all the way through it but something about that helped me pick up the pace and improve on the first interval out of the gate by 10sec! That’s quite an improvement in running terms.
I even had to run into a notherly wind for half the time too.
The other thing I did differently today was change the 2min walking interval to a slow jog – around the 7’30/8 min /km pace. I figured this was a good way to increase fitness and also a good way to build my continuous running. It also tricks me into just continuing to run. Sometimes when I stop to walk I just lose the motivation to start again. Run/walk is a strategy that works for many but I do find I am more likely to give up if I use it when exhausted. And slow jogging actually does allow you to catch your breath and that is really the goal of the slower interval. So I’m going to do that from now on – slow jog the walking intervals. I look pretty dumb doing it – people must think why doesn’t she just walk but whatever. I’m doing it.
Anyway I just wanted to share all that as we all have our regression moments and I think it helps to realise you’re so not alone in them. It is especially helpful if you are new to something like running and you think you suck at it as suddenly you are having a regression. You don’t suck at it. It’s normal. Things like the other exercise we do, how we sleep and the way we eat all impact our ability to perform at our absolute best when we run. And giving up ain’t going to make you run any faster anyway so you might as well just keep putting that one foot in front of the other.