Run 10a – In Which I Run A Mile & Come To An Arrangement

Run 10a (Unprogrammed) – Run as much as I can whislt sticking to a metronome!

Total Time: 17 minutes

Total Distance Travelled: 1.6km (ONE MILE)

Distance Run: 1.55km (I walked for 50m but I totally counting this as an uninterrupted mile)

Distance Walked:0.05km

Overall average pace: 10.41 mins/km

Average run pace: 10.41 mins/km

Average cadence: 135 spm (BUT WE CAN IGNORE THIS! See below)

Average heart rate: Not sure, was not wearing a heart rate monitor.

General impression:

One of my mini goals has been to run a mile without stopping. I was meant to take part in the City Mile a few weeks ago but I hurt my calf the day before. Since then I haven’t really felt confident enough to try.

Today in Run Club we were working on cadence. I kept up with a metronome set to 170, but I was puzzled why I couldn’t seem to do this when running outside. My Garmin Vivoactive usually shows my running sections as having a cadence of about 150. So tonight I decided to go out and run with a metronome beeping at me. I am pretty sure that I kept up with it, but my watch was showing around 149 – 151 which is the usual range. This was weird, and prompted me to research and learn that it works on the internal accelerometer, so works really on arm movement.

I did a test later on. Two minutes of jogging on the spot. Once with arms by side. Watch (when I lifted my arm up to look) showed 174 spm. Then I put my arms in the standard running position and moved them as much as I might normally, and it showed 10 spm less! With my arms by my side they’re clearly still jigging up and down with the bounce of my run, but maybe I am holding them much stiller when they’re bent into running position. I also know that I used my watch on a treadmill once and it didn’t capture cadence OR pace OR distance for much of it – again, arm movement related. So, we don’t really know whether it’s accurate or not – just that I’ve never really seen it say 174 EVER before, but it did tonight when my arms were by my side, and then it dropped. So two things: try to use arms more (not a bad thing anyway) but also take cadence with a massive grain of salt. Even 10% inaccurate on 150 could be 165 in reality. Basically I’ve been beating myself up over something that wasn’t even likely to be true!

So, there I was, plodding away when I saw that I was in reach of running a mile, so I kept on going round the loop again until I had done it. It took 17 minutes so let’s face it I am not breaking any land speed records. But my goal wasn’t speed it was “just don’t stop” and I didn’t. Achieved!

It’s fair to say I’ve been having a rough time of it with running recently. That upset that I used to get when I started training has been coming back. Maybe I’m unconsciously comparing myself to others in the group. I don’t know but I definitely have a sense of frustration and not being good enough when I’m at run club, either outside or indoors. This bothers me greatly. I talked to Andy today about whether I should focus on cadence or endurance. I felt that I could run for the intervals specified but couldn’t do that at the same time as have a high cadence (now we have a good idea why though!). After discussing it we said that for now, I should focus on endurance (and not getting injured) and then when I’m done with this program and I can run 5k, to start all over again but work on speed/pace. Which I was fine with, til I just calculated it may well take me 56 minutes to run 5k. The program only gets us to be able to run 30 minutes in one go, so I guess I will not be running the whole thing then! Not in August anyway. All of this stuff about how quickly I can do something, or how much walking I need to do, or any of it really gets me very quickly caught up and feeling tough on myself.

So today I was thinking about it though and I remembered/realised the following:

  • I am doing this running course so that I can have running as a regular part of my exercise regime. It’s MY running so it’ll be at MY pace but as long as I’m doing it regularly that’s fine. I’ve been running 3x a week now for the past 5 weeks and all I want is for that to continue.
  • I want to be able to do ParkRun. If I turn up and I’m really, really slow then all that really matters is progress – if every so often I get a little bit less slow then that’s a good thing. But there certainly will not be progress if I never turn up. I get a 25 Park Run T-shirt whether I run really slowly or
  • Run Club is full of people who are fitter and lighter than me, and also who are better and faster at running. But I’m going to get some great advice twice a week from a guy who really knows his stuff, not to run as a troupe or anything similar.
  • What does it matter if I do a 5k in August or not? If I start going to ParkRun now, and keep going then at some point I will be able to run the whole thing. Putting a date on it doesn’t really help me and it just adds pressure. Yes, the aim is that one day I can run 5k without stopping, but it’s unlikely to happen in the next 6 weeks so why beat myself up on it. MY GOAL IS LONGEVITY. As long as I am burning calories each week by running, it doesn’t matter how far or how fast. Success for me is I’m still running 3 times a week in a years’ time. Over time, the stats might improve themselves but that isn’t my goal. Keeping going is.

Appreciate this is all really old ground, but I guess the more I go through these cycles the more chance of actually learn something from it!

parkrun on Saturday. I get a t-shirt for 25/50/100 parkruns whether I take 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 2 hours.

And if I run/walk 5k the best I can on any given day, I will still be burning calories, building fitness, helping my heart, setting an example for my family, releasing endorphins, etc etc. My choosing to beat myself up over speed/form/cadence/whatever doesn’t change how many calories I burned, how much weight I will lose – so I may as well go with the kinder to myself option of “you just did something good for your body”.



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