So, one week into my 100 miles in May challenge and I’m amazed that I’ve actually achieved my goal of 25 miles! I really didn’t think I would manage to get the runs in and it has involved a lot more organisation and co-ordination then I thought it would. I’ve been lucky in that the people I usually run with have also upped the frequency of their runs and I’ve found that tagging an extra half mile/mile onto the ends of our runs has really helped bump my miles up.
One thing that I have struggled with is the thought of running longer runs by myself. I’m not the sort of runner who uses runs to “switch off”, if anything I tend to go over things in my head as I run and mentally plan and make lists. This means that I prefer to either run with someone and talk or run with music (which I know isn’t the professional way). I like to be distracted from how many miles left to run! However, I have a very short attention span so I lose interest and get bored with songs quickly so find having a decent length play list tricky.
I decided to experiment with downloading a talking book. I’d googled it and read a few forums where the pros and cons were debated. Safety wise I already run with only one ear in and stick to well populated areas when running alone and also try to plan limited road crossings (although this is more about being less likely to start running again after I’ve stopped…). I decided to give it a go on one of my longer solo runs and after considering for probably far too long which book to download settled on one that wouldn’t really need much concentration.
It was a little difficult to get settled into the run. I’d inadvertently chosen a book where the narrator took on board a series of accents which was somewhat amusing and for some reason my running app decided to tell me my mileage every half mile which meant interrupting the story. Although it did help pass the time, I’m not sure how much of the story I took on board. I also found that my running pace was a slowly but more consistent as I didn’t speed up to the beat in the music. I will continue with the odd run with the talking book but only on runs where I’ve got no one to talk to.
I know that in order to start improving, I need to try running without distraction and begin to focus on the actual run. I’m very good at reading the theory and the training programmes, planning in some interval training etc and then completely ignoring everything and doing a normal run. My miles per minute has improved since I started running, I’ve gone from 10 minute miles to just under 9 but I’ve been stuck at this speed for nearly a year with occasional faster runs (usually on a downhill). Once this challenge is out the way, I really need to sort something out with regards to speed work and would really like some recommendations!
Looking forward to the week ahead, I’ve already managed 10 miles and am sat on 35 miles of my 100 mile goal. I’m off for a (hopefully) long run this morning and would really like to get to 25 miles for this week (50 miles altogether) by Wednesday. From that point things start to get a little messy. I’ve got a wedding next weekend which will take out both Saturday and Sunday for a long run and various end of half term commitments which mean I’ll be running before work, limiting how far I can run. It can be very inconvenient at times having other commitments like work and weddings!