The start of week 2 got me thinking about setting some SMART goals. I’ve been reading that here in the UK the number of times the C25K apps have been downloaded during COVID-19 has gone through the roof. And because the media attention, there has been additional focussed on those who have completed the programme, including this article about hints and tips. Which made me thinking about goals, but also about rewarding myself in some way. I think one thing I will do, it treat myself to some better technical running gear when I get my first 5K under my belt.
Day 1 Week 2
Once again, the weather forecast was a bit pants. But one thing I am starting to realise is that rain isn’t my enemy, blistering sunshine is! Admittedly, I run a little slower in the rain, as I am convcious that the ground is a bit slippery, but I like that cooling effect.
As I set off to do the 5 minute brisk walk for a warm up, I panicked as I thought I’d set off with the wrong day of the programme. I was too hasty getting out of the door, but the worry was unfounded, as I doublechecked and realised, I was on the right day of the programme. One thing I am learning the hard way, is to take my time in being prepared. Here is a brief list of things I am learning from my mistakes:
- Double knot shoelaces – a couple of times, I have had to stop to re-tie shoelaces
- Make sure I take a bottle of water – forgot a couple of times, and it is thirsty work
- Check outside temperature and make sure wearing suitable clothing
- If using Strava, make sure you use it alongside the 5K app (they don’t “speak to other” automatically)
- Make sure you have the right playlist set up and running
One thing I do also need to sort out, is having the earbud covers sorted. I have a new set of wireless earphones, and the little rubber caps are the wrong size for my ears, and I had to keep poking them back in.
Day 2 Week 2
With my top tips from yesterday’s run in the forefront of my mind, I got myself prepared for an early morning run (thanks to my dog waking up an hour earlier than normal – cheers)! The only tip I am not getting the hang of, is what to wear! It was forecast blustery winds, and mainly cloudy with the occasional sunshine, with top temperatures of 14°C for the morning. I’d read on other runners blogs that shorts for anything over 10°C, and running tights for anything cooler than 10°. However, because I am still at the stage where I run a bit, walk a bit, run a bit, and so forth, plus it is windy, I thought it best to wear my old track training tights and a long sleeve compression top (it’s the only sporty type top I have – I think I need to find a proper running long sleeve ready for winter). However, it turns out that the top is far too warm, and I should have worn a short sleeve. I think the walk sections in the C25K are so short, that your body doesn’t cool down enough, and therefore short sleeve is the way to go. Also, my new running socks arrived late yesterday evening, so I thought I would give them ago. I had some cheap as chips generic sports socks that weren’t cushioned like they should be, plus they made my feet very sweaty! These new ones were perfect blance of cushioning and venting!
Today’s run was the normal affair. And I have started to realise that the route I am taking is not optimal for me. I’ve been using the same route for this and the last 4 runs. The same brisk walk up the hill to the local cemetery and then running around the same 4 paths that make up a rectangle shape. However, the rectangle paths are very narrow and I would guess the whole perimeter is less that 300. Thus, I am braking lots as I hit each corner, and I am finding that I am wanting to improve speed each time. May be I am jumping the gun a little? Who knows? I am sure I will find my own groove. However, I think my final run this week will consist of a new route. I will take the dog for a walk later and see if I can find scout something new.
Day 3 Week 2
Today I intentionally got up a bit earlier than normal. I had seen the weather forecast and it was not good for later in the day, but early morning was going to be fine. Due to the better weather, I was also ready to try out my new running kit that came earlier in the week, it just consisted of 5″ running shorts, and a running t-shirt, but having ran the last few runs in various different casual and slightly sporty clothes, I was hoping the gear would help.
After a bowl of porridge and a glass of apple juice, I was ready and raring to go. My 5 minute warm went well, I did my usual brisk walk up the hill to the cemetery. And I had a rough idea of my new route that I was going to take. However, the second I started running, I had a slight twinge in my left knee. Not too painful, but it was there, a nagging at me a little bit. I decided to play it safe and run slower (or so I thought). What I didn’t feel, was that I had a blister on middle toe, that had got so bad on this run, that it bled. It was only when I got home to change, that I realised!
I don’t know if my plan for a new route, which was to find something with less sharp corners had anything to do with my speed and times, or new running shorts and t-shirt, but even though I thought I was running slower, I actually achieved a few personal records. Fastest 2 mile, fastest 1/2 mile and fastest 400m. I am obviously not going to read too much into those, as I have only logged around 6 runs in total on Strava, but it still gave me a good vibe, and a good sense of achievement. It’s these little gains, that spur me on. Can’t wait for week 3!!!
Over the next day or so, I am going to give the whole SMART Goals thing, more consideration, and I will blog what those are once I have come up with them!