Friday, June 16, 2006

Keep on running....

I am curious about whether anyone’s got any proper training in place yet, in preparation for the Kili climb...

I personally feel that I have been significantly better at being active since it mentally sunk in that, actually, we’ll be climbing something bl**dy huge, with hardly any air around, so I ought to be a bit fitter.

To give myself a shorter-term goal to aim for, I have entered the Bristol Half-Marathon, which is due to take place on September 17 this year. My idea was that if I start running on a regular basis (which I’ve always found mind-numbingly boring in the past), then at least I can get the strength in my legs up a bit, so I should be able to manage better when we’re having to walk for whole days on end.

As part of this training, I’ve been going running for about 30 to 35 minutes three or four times a week after getting home from work. I am going to try and increase my times gradually over the coming weeks. In addition, I am still cycling to and from work every day, which takes about 40 minutes each way. Finally, just to add an element of fun to all the exercise, I’ve started going rock climbing on Tuesday nights with Jon and a couple of mates from work.

I must admit, I do think that the running has had a positive impact. I mostly notice this during cycling, especially now that I have a speedometer, which has made me totally obsessed with my average/max speeds, time taken, distances, etc, etc. I think I have improved slightly over the past few weeks. For example, now I can cycle up the hill in my second to lowest gear (woo-hoo!), where I used to have to stop, gasping for air, and push the bike up.

Saddo that I am, I’ve bought a book about half/marathon running (from this guy). One of the interesting things I have learnt from it is that you’re supposed to vary the exercise that you get, because you can add support to the muscles that you’re trying to build up, by getting your other muscles a bit stronger as well.

So if you’re training for a long-distance run, you shouldn’t get all your exercise just in the form of running, but you should do something else, like swimming occasionally, just so your general fitness goes up. I do think this is right, because of the noticeable improvement in my cycling since I’ve started running – I’ve been cycling on and off since about October last year, and it only improved marginally at the beginning and then plateaued. Since I’ve taken up running, it does definitely feel easier.

Having said all this, it might just be because it’s less windy this time of year....

Also, more importantly, the book points out that you should have rest days during each week, when you have no exercise at all! I think I’ll use my next rest day to order an mp3 player off the web. I think I deserve something to keep me from getting too bored with running and just giving up completely...

2 Comments:

Blogger MRS M said...

Well you're definitely doing better than us. Apart from the odd walk at weekends when chores/gardening/family/worldcup don't get in the way, we're really not doing too much in the way of training. I have started going to the gym again (after a few months off...) but even with the best of intentions this work stuff gets in the way. I will be more dedicated as time moves on!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Well done, Esther - sounds like you're getting really focused. Good luck with the 1/2 marathon...maybe you'll be in such perfect shape after Kili that you'll want to try a Full Monty marathon??

Like Gill, the only cross-training I'm doing at the moment is reading on the train and walking to work. Really looking forward to our Alpine training camp in France & Switzerland, though...the kill or cure approach

Keep up the focus...for all of us!

5:35 AM  

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