Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Running again

When I got back from the UK and discovered I'd gained four and a half pounds of flab, I was rather concerned. I suppose that was bound to happen after ten days of eating as much as I possibly could and eschewing exercise, with the exception of an hour's tennis and three hours on the bike.

Well, it was cold, and I felt I deserved some padding.

Arriving back in Hong Kong, I was disconcerted and dismayed to find how cold it was. Rather than be parachuted back into a subtropical paradise, I had been dropped off at the gate of a chilly island, deprived of niceties like carpets and unmouldy bathrooms.

A day of this was too much. This morning my alarm went off at 6am, I hauled myself unwillingly from my bed and by 6:30 I was outside, making the rounds of Victoria Park wearing all black running kit and listening to Ministry's industrial remix of George H Bush's 'New World Order' speech.

I managed just under 20 minutes; although I've just signed up for a half marathon in Singapore at the end of May, I don't want to rush into training and ruin myself by going too hard, too early.

Instead, my new plan, inspired by the Rubbish Runner, is to run slowly for a long time, and then run fast for a shorter time. There's not much more to it than that; gradually building up a strong aerobic base so that I can chug out mile after mile without complaint, and then as I get close to the 26th of May, put the hammer down and make sure I can go like stink.

It might not work, but if consistency is key, then part of the key to consistency is not ruining yourself in the first week. Almost every run I did in preparation for Osaka last year I hated or didn't finish or both; I'm hoping by starting more gently this time I'll give myself a better chance of doing better. Running two-and-a-bit miles today isn't enough, but it might just be enough to get me started.


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