I can pinpoint the start of my running journey exactly. It began when I happened to be in Waterloo station on the day of the London marathon, seeing the pride on the finishers faces at having achieved such a huge goal made me think that I’d like to feel that way, I’d like to achieve something big and show other people that I could dedicate myself to this apparently pointless task. I applied for the next London Marathon and, by luck, I got a place. I’d never run for more than 10 minutes at a time in my life, so I was suddenly facing the realisation that I had 6 months to get from no running at all, to being able to complete a marathon. I went to the gym and got on the treadmill with no idea of what pace I would run at or how long I should run for. I run four kilometres before I urgently stopped and had to get myself outside to try to cool down and recover. But I felt good. I left the gym with a smile on my face, I remember that walk home clearly even now, it was my first runner’s high.
Being a beginner I was told not to push myself too hard, not to train if I felt even slightly injured and not to worry about a time for the marathon, just to get around was achievement enough. Being naive, I ignored all this advice and instead plunged headlong into as much training as I could fit in, wearing incorrect footwear and without proper training structure, I suffered greatly in the build up to that first marathon with constant injuries, poor training plans, less than ideal nutrition and sub-standard equipment. After finishing the Marathon however, I continued to run and learn about how to run without injury, how to reduce my training and still make gains and how to enjoy running again. These are some of the topics that we will discuss in future posts.