Managing With Data

It’s no secret that I have been somewhat down on myself of late with this running lark. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super delighted that I’m running at all, and I’m definitely achieving things that I thought previously impossible – but I have also definitely had moments of sinking disappointment when I consider just how slow I am. I have been heard wailing (OK, so not wailing as such, but certainly in my head it sounded wail-ish) that I CAN WALK AS FAST AS I CAN RUN.

Now in my day job I manage by fact and data, and I even teach people to manage their work by fact and data, so you’d think I’d be all over this fact and data stuff.

So when I heard myself wailing I CAN WALK AS FAST AS I CAN RUN, I decided to validate this fact with some data.

And here is what happened.



It is now a solidly made and non-contestable point that my assumption is not true. I CAN RUN FASTER THAN I CAN WALK. It’s not by a massive margin, granted, but over the course of a 5k event the difference in pace would mean I was finishing a whole 13 minutes sooner than I would were I walking. And even if the pace were inconclusive, check out the cadence. 30 odd steps more per minute. I knew what I was doing felt like running, and probably looked something like running, and I was breathing hard as if I were running, but I was still sure I wasn’t travelling faster than if I were just walking. And I was wrong!

Am I quick at this running lark? Not at all. There are beginners who are twice as fast as me, and more. But I’m also 11 mins and 27 seconds per km faster than someone who has decided not to run.

Now that is an established fact that I can run, I should share the exciting news that on Friday after work I felt like going for a run. The assigned task for the week was 1km out, a 2 minute walking break, then 1km back. Given that 2 sessions ago I could not run 1km without stopping, I was unsure how this would go. It was raining out, so I popped up the local gym, hopped on a treadmill and … ran 2km! I did most of it at 6kph which I believe is a 10.00 pace and which was very doable. I mean,  I was sweating and red but I was coping. I was so shocked at the end that I didn’t manage to take a photo before the treadmill reset itself and my awesome result were wiped forever. My Garmin Vivoactive didn’t record the run accurately either, losing 700m compared to the treadmill, so I’m not trusting that. But I did do it! I’m impressed with the amount of progress that I’ve made in the few weeks I’ve been on the beginners course with Elite Conditioning. I set my first goal as to be able to run 1k without stopping, and I thought it might take the full 6 weeks to achieve it, but I did it in two. Amazing, and when I stop worrying about speed, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, all 1000m of it!!


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