The Urge to Run – I’m guilty

Lately, something’s been bugging me. Eating away at me. Making me feel more and more miserable every time the thought enters my mind. My running. Or more specifically, the lack thereof.

To be honest, after my Two Oceans victory, my running has slowed down. Dramatically! Since April, I’ve only completed the RAC 10km, Pirates 10km as well as the occasional 8km Sunday run on the deathmill treadmill. If I have to be truly honest with myself, my running training has slacked off, partly due to Winter, but mainly due to pure laziness.

I am constantly complaining about my running speed. Yet, unless I get off my butt and do some training, I will forever be stuck keeping up those damn walkers!

So when I got home last night, I consulted the big Bible of running – Tim Noakes’ The Lore of Running*. I thought that it might help me to pick up a few hints and tips on how to get back on the road, how to motivate myself again and where to get started.

I immediately turned to the 15 Basic Laws of Training. Four of the Laws caught my eye.

  1. Train frequently, all year round. If you want to be a good athlete, you must train all year round, no matter what. What is really required is a lot of exercise, constantly. 
  2. Start gradually and train gently. Nearly all of us dash in to it, hoping for and expecting results which are quite unwarranted. Nature is unable to make a really first-class job of anything if she is hustled. To enhance our best, we need only, and should only, enhance our average.
  3. Don’t set your daily training schedule in stone. Don’t set yourself a daily schedule; it is for more sensible to run a weekly one, because you can’t tell what the temperature, weather, or your own condition will be in any day. You need to listen to your body.
  4. Keep a detailed logbook. Quite embarrassingly, my logbook (Garmin) ended with the Two Oceans. It’s as if once I had conquered the race, the need to log my runs and to push myself fell by the way side. Yet had I continued to keep track of the log, I would have noticed that my running had slacked off and I might have put in measures earlier to make things right.

Ironically, these laws can be applied to my daily routine too… Too many times, a problem nags at me and all it takes is me sitting down and putting some plans in place to fix.

In a few weeks’ times, the weather will be a lot warmer and the sun will be setting later in the evenings. There will be no excuse to get out on to the road for a run. I have to start sometime. Even if it’s 3kms – 5kms around the block or at the gym, it’s a start. And a start is all I need…

(* Noakes, Tim. The Lore of Running. 2010) — Yes, this is the Librarian in me coming out!

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