Saturday, August 7, 2010

Learning to Run

As a teenager I couldn't run. I had knee trouble and my doctor just said: "Well that often happens to girls. There is not much you can do about it."

So I started to row and with the rowing came a lot of weightlifting. My muscles became stronger and something happened with the knees; they stopped hurting.

Now I could run.

I was not a fast runner, a pretty heavy one, but that was OK since I mainly used running to warm up or for a day of relaxation.

I started to enjoy running.

Until....

One day my achilles tendon raised problems. The pain was so bad I could hardly walk... and now I could neither run nor row. It took me six months to walk and for the next several years I started to have problems every time I tried to take up running.

After years of not running, I became stubborn. I want to run! I'm gonna run a marathon!

I started out with 2 x 2 min running: pretty pathetic for an ex-athlete, but if that's the level - that's the level. After 3 months I did a 10K. After 6 months I did my first half marathon. No problems with my achilles tendons.

My main focus was on feeling good while running. This included staying relaxed, building up the muscles supporting my ancles, and other smaller adjustments.

I did it by my own, setting up training schedules, checking out best foods and exercises. And I made it! In 2003 I finished the Copenhagen marathon (and the Berlin marathon).

Knowing that I can do it when I want to do it, I'm now taking my running to a different level. I have hardly been running over the past 6 months, so I'm starting from scratch (again). This time I'm not striving for long distance; I want to be faster.

I have always had a "heavy" running style that can be fine for long-distance running, but it's not good for speed. This time I'm going to do it with assistance. So here is my plan:
  1. I'm going to get guidance and get input on running exercises, etc., once a week
  2. To pace myself, I'm going to run with a friend who is faster than I am once a week.
  3. I'm going to pay attention to my running style while running on my own. If I lose focus and concentration, then I'm going to stop running , take a break, and start again (if I regain my focus and concentration.)
I'll let you know when I can do 10K in 50 min (right now I don't run 5k...).

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