Distance run at end of previous month (March)
I hit my running target for the year - 320km - in March, so a few months ahead of schedule. I revised my goal for the year ahead - to 1092km - recorded in my little tracking spreadsheet.
The goals and numbers for the month (April)
Distance goal for the month: 120 kilometres Total distance run for the month: 124.7 kilometres At the end of the month, total distance run for the year: 451.43 kilometres
(You can look at my simple Numbers spreadsheet that helps me keep track.)
Ran my fastest 10km (although on a treadmill), at 51:02, rah. Had had a particularly shitty day at work and yes there’s a pattern about length of run and speed of run against shitiness of day at work.
Goal: Vary the runs away from lots and lots of tread milling. (More on that to follow.)
I entered the month suffering from a hurty hamstring after playing basketball late in March. I had planned to run 120km in April and wanted to reach that – so I took a tentative start to the month, more at a nursing pace for runs to ease in. I still clocked 23km for week 1.
I had planned some variety in the type of runs I did so picked that up after this initial “safety week”.
I wanted to explore the fields and trails in the woods. There’s a circuit near the house that’s about 2.5km: out of our road, over Leeds Road, into and down the field, and then once I reach the canal back up into and through the woods before getting back to Leeds Road. It goes downhill, then uphill, then downhill, then uphill, then more uphill. Good for an early morning loosener, and good for the dog too. (See it on Strava.) I did it a few times during the month, even when it was zero degrees cold/warm. Learning how better to take steeper trail climbs was… painful. It was aright though, not off-putting. I even bought the Trail Running mag from Mozzers. That’s commitment. In the evenings I treadmilled my way through some KMs. Week 2 total: 37km.
Week 3 my legs felt like inside them was a really frayed, highly taut piece of string holding each leg’s movement together. The weak week of the month. I still managed to try some street runs with some exploratory runs. We live on and around a few inclines, some steeper than others so I was feeling that on my knees pretty quickly. Hopefully the field and woods route and some more local street runs will get me “physically adapted”. An improvement measure to keep an eye on.
Week 4, the last week of the month, was back onto it, a couple of 5km runs during the week to keep things ticking. At the weekend I chalked up my longest runs of the month: A 12km run and a 21km run. The former took me east along the canal to Rodley, the latter the other way - west - along the canal to Bingley. The run to Bingley and back - which I’ve walked along in the past - was very relaxing, a steady keep moving. Ducks and swans flew low along the canal and passed me a couple of times. Getting a glimpse of the rowers on the Aire just past Saltaire was an unexpected surprise. And the canal is endlessly fascinating: The locks, the aqueduct, the swing bridges, the overflows. It was a sunny day so a chance for the first run out for the new running cap. I have become that person. Sunday people smell nice, their deodorant lingers as you pass them, like a vapour trail. I probably smell as nice.
The total for that weekend - 33km - might be the most I have run in two consecutive days. I generally felt OK on Monday, a little tightness on my knees aside. The dog however… She came on both runs, I had to regularly stop for her to catch up, and she’s damaged the pads on one of her paws and I feel v guilty. Sorry, doggles. You looked cute when we stopped at Rodley on Saturday.
The last couple of days of the month I’ve done a couple of steady recovery 3km runs to see how my legs were after the heavy weekend.
Measures of improvement: I only used my blue inhaler a couple of times in April. My trunk/core feels good, my legs less so good. Recovering from longer runs isn’t so much a major legs-up period, more like a quick rest and then take it easy for the rest of the day. But that’s a massive move on from a year ago. And I’ve looked into some leg work to help with their conditioning.
I’ve been trying to read a few books abut running. In April I read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, recommended by Richard Young. Excellent, excellent read. Big on the idea of pain in running and big on the idea of how running helps you in your wider life. A run a day sounds a good goal. Any recommendations? Drop me a line.
I set up an account on Strava, fed by my Nike Run Club account. Makes runs shareable. Some nice analysis in Strava too. See how it goes. Feel free to follow me. I’m not very competitive with this running lark. A personal best for me is just getting out running every couple of days and not hating it.
Next month goals
Run at least 120 kilometres
Eight runs of at least 10 kilometres
At least six weekday morning runs over the month
Try to only have eight days in the month off running
Run a half marathon I’ve entered the Leeds half marathon. Not thinking of it as anything special, just a new course with a couple of big differences: some climbs and lots of other people. I don’t see running as a social thing. It’s a me thing, so running with lots of other people is not going to be fun. If I get round in two and a half hours I would be happy. Ahead of the race I find it strange there’s no obvious to find route data to download, just the route as image. I just thought with the rise of running apps and tracking using mobile devices route data would more easily find and consumable. Assumptions, eh.
Enjoy it all - when I don’t take a step back, think why and change or avoid in future
Hopefully I’ll be writing again having passed 571 kilometres for the year so far. 🤞🏼