It's been a while
Recently, I've finally got running again. I've had a love/hate relationship with running for years, and regularly start getting out (nearly always in the winter months bizarrely), but then stop completely for several months after minor injuries or general life stuff knocks my routine and inclination.
I used to run for the school cross country team, and stamina has never been a problem - it's normally fitness and strength that stop me progressing.
I seem to have an ability to run well from nothing - I did my first half-marathon in less than two hours off the back of about five 6km training runs after a two year period of inactivity, and can easily do a 32 min 6km from zero training. However, this rarely proves a good strategy, and so after a month I've nearly always forced into a break with achilles injuries, stiff knees or aching hips and the laziness sets in and the cycle begins again.
This time I'm doing it differently...
Spurred on in part by the need to lose weight (a month ago I was topping 95kg - the heaviest I've ever been and it's not all muscle!), and by the need to get outside more, I started running again. This time I'm doing it properly. Well, better, at least.
For a month I've been sticking to short runs and managing to get out 3x a week. Whilst I'm only doing 4km, I'm working on building pace (I'm never been terribly quick) but stopping within my muscle's current capabilities.
My heart and lungs are already cruising it now and I'm barely breaking a sweat. However, my ankles and knees are feeling fine - definitely feeling like I don't want to push them further just yet, but they're growing in strength. This approach is making me enjoy running again. It's definitely a case of 'leave them wanting more'. I feel I could do an extra lap of the park, or add in another loop to my longer circuit, but I'm purposely resisting the temptation and heading home early. Seems to be helping me physically and mentally by making it easier to get out the door next time round.
My new found enjoyment in running has also been inspired greatly by Ronnie O'Sullivan's book 'Running'. Ronnie's long been a big hero of mine on the snooker table, not least because of how he's had to weather so many personal and mental issues in public. His book is a great read explaining how using running to keep himself fit and hungry for improvement has given him the mental space to succeed at the day job, and with life in general. Even if you're not into snooker, it's a great read, and an excellent insight into the thoughts of a very normal person suffering from depression and anxiety.