On 12th May I completed my first half marathon, finishing in 2 hours 11 minutes. Very respectable for a first time run!
I began training in January, following a training plan that built up my runs (and my muscles) gradually over 16 weeks up to the race. I came a long way (and ran a long way too - 260 miles) from January to the race day, and I learned a great deal about the importance of steady, progressive training in helping to build up the body’s strength and resilience, and thereby to avoid injury. I have also learned about the aches that can arise from putting muscles through such a pounding!
This has helped me empathise with many of my clients that are runners themselves. I have now “been there”, progressing from the first training over short distances through the tempo (varying speed) and speed (all out) running - not forgetting the weekly long run, at a slow pace and increasing distance from a few miles to, as the race day approached, 12 miles. These long runs prepare the body for the demands of distance running like the half marathon that I ran.
What amazed me was how well my body responded to these demands. My leg and hip flexor muscles grew, my aerobic fitness improved in leaps and bounds, and invisible improvements happened too, including increased bone density. I only had only a couple of problems on the way with strains, and I was able to massage them to recovery.
I am also convinced that my good nutrition played a significant part in my success.
After that first half marathon I increased my running training, alongside weight training, so that I could improve my time for my next half marathon, which I ran at Coombe Abbey on 30th June in 2 hours 5 minutes (six minutes faster - I was really pleased!). Since January I have run an amazing total of 460 miles! I am now training harder for my next race, the Leicester half marathon in October.