Back in June I signed up for the 5k Up & Running Course but really struggled after the 3rd week to keep up the commitment to running 3 times a week. I think at the time I was trying to swim 4 times a week, run 3 times, bootcamp once, as well as study, see my friends and have my required alone time. Overall I was trying to do too much, so I gave up.
Well I didn’t give up completely, but I had to take step back and review what was going on. It has taken a forced break from swimming to realise how much I was doing and what I could do if I didn’t do something, or just re-prioritised.
As I said in my Triathlon post, I have taken the decision to mix up my training with an end goal in mind that is not too far away, but not close enough to stress over.
So two weeks ago I went along to my first session with the local running club. I emailled first to make sure they still did the beginners session and so they knew I would be coming a long. Also it gave me the name of someone so I wouldn’t be turning up without ‘knowing’ anyone. Luckliy the beginners leader was a old swimming club member so I knew someone already!
So off I walked up the road, water bottle in had and feeling extremely nervous. I got there and there were about 6 people already there and a few more people turned up, but it was nice and not overwhelming. We then jogged to the local playing fields. This was the hard, but I jogged almost the whole way there. I then realised that they do this to warm up and cool down, so I didn’t need to worry about if I needed to walk. I was the only beginner so the coach stayed with me the whole time. The aim of the session was speed work – sprinting round half a football pitch and jogging slow the other half for 30 minutes. I jogged the long sides and walked the short side and did 6 laps to their 8-10!
I was happy as I did much better than I thought I was going to do when we arrived at the playing field. So I committed to go the next week.
So last Monday I went along to the second session and there were triple the number of people! I was glad I’d been the week before I knew some faces and wasn’t overwhelmed. Also it was a hill session, which I would have hated to start on. We set off up the hill lap and I made it to a tree over half way up, so we walked to the top and then jogged again on the flat and part way down the hill, then walked again before the start of the next lap. I did 5 laps, while the others did 6-9. I was really happy again at what I achieved and now know I want to continue with the club as I liked the social side and the support during the session. Its like having multiple personal trainers with you encouraging you as you go.
This is similar to swimming club, which I have been with for almost 10 years as a masters member. It didn’t click to me until going along to the running club that I liked the club mentality. There is loyalty, support and encourage (as well as teasing and taking the mickey) that you can’t get from running on your own, or with friends I think. I had hoped the Up & Running group would provide what I needed, but for me I need the support there and then and was rubbish at finding the time to go on the forum to write my own updates, let alone look and comment on anyone else’s. It’s a lesson learnt and the Up and Running group gave me a fantastic start and allowed me to join the running club as not a complete beginner 🙂