Well, folks, I'm back. I'm sorry to say that my head fell off at the beginning of the first lockdown and I tried all sorts of strategies to keep myself in the game, but failed. I don't always like running, but I liked me much better when running was part of my life. So, over the holidays, it occurred to me that I knew exactly how to get into the running habit as I'd done it before, 3 years ago almost to the day.
So I'm back in the fold and I'm a runner again (rather than someone who used to run and will start again soon). W1R1 done this morning and it felt so good to be back out there, though I'll admit that W1R1 was enough for me at this point!
If I had the benefit of what I know now, I'd give myself these words of advice, which may or may not be of use to others:
- the programme works and it works really well - stick to the programme!
- there is only one goal - running 3 times per week. Any other goals (distance, speed etc.) are entirely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things
- no-one cares how terrible you look when you run. Yo may feel horribly self-conscious but, in fact, no-one ever actually notices you
- don't hobble yourself at the outset by trying to manage without inexpensive items that really make a difference - decent trainers that are right for you (you can pick up fabulous, top-brand trainers for £35 online if you go for last year's models), a head band (why did no-one tell me this!?), wireless headphones, thin gloves, a light water resistant jacket and at least one proper running tee-shirt (I use my parkrun one)
- stretch after your cool-down walk even if it feels daft - it REALLY helps
- walking is magic - if your body hurts, walk. If it doesn't, walk! Rest days are walking days
- don't use others as motivation to get out there (because what happens the first time they let you down??). But celebrate with others after the run and use the prospect of that celebration as the motivation to get out there if necessary
So, to all those beginning the C25K journey this week, good luck! You've got this and you're amongst friends here.