Me and my PT

I haven't posted a report since I signed up with my personal trainer but I can finally announce that it has been money well spent. Until today I had been sceptical. For the first week of following his instructions I felt I was going backwards and actually losing fitness. There were no more continuous 30 or 40 minute runs (albeit on the flattest routes I could find). No more running non-stop every other day. Instead I have been doing only one long run a week and even that has been run/walk/run. In between I have been running (ha!) up and down hills for two minutes at a time followed by 10 seconds rest, doing one or two very modest 20 minute walk/run walk sessions per week and once a week doing something completely different. Yesterday the 'something' was swimming, at which I am even less adept than running. Neverthless, eager to please teacher, I plunged in. The instructions were to swim every tenth length as fast as I could . I laughed hollowly when I read that. 'Every' tenth length? How many ten lengths did he think I was going to do? As far as I am aware I have never swum a non-stop ten length stretch in my life. I was seriously concerned I might drown before the first tenth length was completed. I decided to adopt a policy of 'slow and steady' and imagined I had fallen off a boat and was just trying to stay afloat and make a bit of progress until the lifeboat hove into view. At the end of the ninth length I pretended I had actually seen the lifeboat and swam madly towards it (actually I doubt I was much faster but I certainly exerted more energy and I actually lowered my head from its usual startled turtle position and put it under water). This strategy worked so well that before I knew it I had swum 30 lengths (half a mile) I put in an extra two for luck and emerged beaming and feeling I had swum the channel.But whether swimming could help my running I still had serious doubts.

Today I had to do what was termed a 20 minute recovery run at a run walk run pace that was comfortable for me.I went over part of the 5K route I used to do when running with Laura and set Strava off just to see what my speed was. To my utter amazement, despite not feeling I ran any faster than normal, and despite walking for three separate one minute intervals I set a personal record for the route. PLUS I smashed my goal for a mile segment in the middle by a whole minute!! Whoohoo. The 10K in under 90 minutes in July finally seems attainable. Whether I will get to the marathon on October is another question, but if I could maintain the pace I set today I would complete in just over five hours, which for a 68 year old who had never run in her life before last year would be a fair old feat...

Thank you young man, you have made an old woman very happy ;-)

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  • Fantastic well done

  • Thank you KK. I am still on a high. PT said that front crawl would have been the best stroke to use as the leg movement for breast stroke uses similar muscles to running but if I had tried crawl I would DEFINITELY have drowned.

  • Lovely post and very inspiring. I find this comment about breast stroke very relevant to me. I am training for a triathlon but I aim to do the breaststroke so most of my training is that. Listening to your pts advice I should try more front crawl training. Even though that will really stretch me. Thank you for sharing.

  • My PT suggested I could use a float and just kick with my legs as I find the breathing so difficult in front crawl. I may do that next time, though I have memories of trying that years ago and making absolutely no forward progress at all.

  • Thanks from me too, this is really helpful. I find swimming much more uncomfortable than running, get lots of grinds and clunks, although it is getting better. Front crawl doesn't really bear thinking about but I think perhaps I should.

  • What a wonderfully inspiring and positive post. I am so pleased that you found the Personal Trainer worked out so well for you. It sounds as though you've got your enthusiasm back as well. Continue to enjoy what you are doing, continue to improve and keep an open mind about the marathon later this year - you might surprise yourself. Good luck and so very many good wishes to you.

  • Thank you Fitmo. I am currently telling myself that I am TRAINING for the marathon. Not that I'm going to do it. And I'm enjoying the training very much :-)

  • How wonderful is that? So inspiring and just shows that we can achieve the supposedly impossible! Well done, I am so impressed! Xx

  • Wow, that is all seriously impressive! Congratulations

  • I'm very impressed., turnturtle, it all sounds really good. I've often thought I'd like a personal trainer who could tailor a fitness programme for me, taking into account my strengths and weaknesses. I really ought to get back to the pool; that will be a good start.

  • I am one of those people who need an external voice in my head if I'm to achieve anything. When I was writing, nothing got finished without a deadline. No self-discipline. So for me, a PT who knows what he's talking about is proving to be the ideal solution.

  • Congratulations Turnturtle It's interesting how a change of your normal running routine has resulted in faster time. No stopping you now

  • That's fantastic TT, its interesting what methods people use isn't it. Sounds like you have got on well with your PT and made the right decision. Lovely to have some PB's and you sound like you have your motivation back! Good luck with your 10k, I'm sure you will crack it in the time you want. x

  • I LOVE your swimming strategy...so funny....Glad your PT is working out so well and hope you manage to achieve your future goals. You seem very focussed.

  • That's fantastic. I'm just the same about swimming. How did you cope with breathing and the water up the nose syndrome when you put your head under?

  • I breathed out VERY hard and loudly and created a maelstrom of bubbles which alerted other people to the fact that I was a total novice so they steered well clear and left me a lane to myself ;-)

  • That's funny, I have only recently got to grips with goggles and they do help, but I was breathing out in the water so loud my ears still hurt two days later...

  • That's amazing. Well done!!. Keep us informed

  • Awesome . What a brilliant star you are TT.

    And well done on finding yourself an excellent PT. Money very well spent. Go girl!

  • I have only paid for two months training so far but feel I may dig deeper into my purse and continue. Who needs new clothes at my age?

  • Thank you all so much for your comments. You are the best running club in the world. I have a rest day today, then a long run tomorrow and on Monday, because I'm staying with my son, I get to meet the man himself and he will watch me run and comment on my 'style'. Ooer. Bit nervous.

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