As you'll know from reading this blog, I like to run. In fact I'd go as far to say I love to run. One of my favourite parts of any run are the pre-run ritual which involves lacing up my runners, doing a warm-up and putting in my earphones before heading out the door. Another favourite part is when the run finishes - usually covered in sweat, there really is no better feeling than having run! I also love the run itself. I love the time I have with just my thoughts, I love taking in the view, I love the fresh air.
My running has mostly been dictated by time. When I started running I was more concerned about getting the distance covered before focusing on the time however I've become a bit of a time-monster. I rely too much on my time rather than how I am feeling. What I've noticed is, I like to keep myself under 5min/kms. Looking back over my past ten runs (one of which was the Marconi Half Marathon), my average pace has consistently been just under 5:00/km.
As long as my time is clocking under 5:00 minutes, I'm happy out. I don't push myself beyond that pace when out for a run yet expect myself to perform 'better' than a standard run. I also haven't been clocking any PBs, in fact my most recent one was back in May. I remember the exact moment I decided to quit smoking was when I'd signed up for my first marathon last year and I thought: If I am going to put in this much time and effort, why am I immediately disadvantaging myself by smoking.
I am having the same thoughts about my running now... If I am going out for a run, I may as well make them the best runs possible and do the best I can with the time and energy I am already spending running. I am still doing my cross-training (Bootcamps) twice a week which I feel is super for maintaining my core and strength - I trust the process, I trust the trainer and I can see the results (Yesterday I clocked my first 5 minute plank!). When it comes to running, I've only ever relied on myself, how I feel and my clock time.
About a month ago, I started looking for something to help me understand me - not in a 'philosophical inward reflecting mirror kind-of-way' but more in a 'I want to understand how my body works, what it needs and how I can run/train more efficiently'. Say for example, I want to run another marathon... If I am going to put in the 18 weeks training, I want to do be better than the last time. I've said it before but the thing I love about running (and most things in life) is: You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.
I'd heard of a guy, Matthew Bidwell, in Galway who was doing fitness/running training and analysis so I have him a google. Anyone in and around Galway will know Matthew from a lot of the races - his name appears at the top (or close to the top) of each race results list, so who better to turn to for training advice. I contacted Matthew at Fitness Analytics and made an appointment for a Lactate Threshold test. The test calculates the correct training intensities for all types of run sessions. I was interested to see how I would get on, what Matthew would say and what advice/training he could give me.
Fitness Analytics (Website Here)
My next post will tell you what happened at my appointment and the feedback I got.