Couch to 5K
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W1R2 - it's all starting to make sense now

I've had problems with running for years, whenever I ran to catch a train or a bus (before I drove) I would be in agony. I was running as fast as I could for fairly short distances, but I would end up with my lungs on fire on my right shoulder would feel like it had a spear stabbed into it! (I injured my shoulder about 8 years ago and it hurts whenever I walk briskly or more). After my 1st run on Tuesday a lot of my muscles tightened up (my calves, stomach, neck and shoulder) and my 2 rest days have been fairly painful. I had a wheezy chest and sore throat from breathing so hard in the cold air that lasted a day. And during the run I had the worst stitch ever nearly making me give up but pushing on through the pain with a fair amount of expletives!!

So last night when I got home I really didn't want to go for my 2nd run. I was in a bit of a grump after having a bad nights sleep and a frustrating day at work, and the thought of the pain I'd been in on Tuesday really put me off. Luckily my other half pushed me to get off the couch and do it and I'm do glad he did!

So we set off on our warm up walk and as I walked I tried to stretch my calves out a little bit and I also did a few shoulder stretches (putting my arm right across the front of my body to work the back of the shoulder) I didn't do too many and didn't push to hard as I've read that stretching before exercise can damage muscles, not help. When we go to the first run I was nervous still and set of jogging in what I'll refer to as my "old running style"... After the 1st run I out of breath as usual but nothing hurt yet - which was about the same as Tuesday. As I was walking I began the think through everything I'd read over the last few days about stich and running etc so I really started to work on my breathing:

Breathing deep in through my nose for 3 steps then blowing out through my mouth but with pursed lips (like blowing out a candle) for 3 steps - this really helped me recover and also it gave me something to focus on.

Then it was time for run two, as I started to run I tried to focus on my breathing but could keep my breathing in time with my legs because were going on a fast short rhythm (old running style) so I tried to listen to the music for the rhythm and to my surprise it was really quite slow! So I tried to match it with my legs and thought "I'm practically standing on one leg waiting for the next beat to step forward..! This can't be right" then it all clicked - an epiphany if you like (which to everyone whose ever ran properly appears to be obvious but to me was ground breaking!!!) I needed to lengthen my stride and almost spring forward from one leg to the other with a long floaty bit in between beats where your actually moving forward! To explain you have to picture my "old running style" - imagine running but trying to keep your legs straight and your feet as close to the ground as possible and squeezing your shoulders in to try to move your self forward by sheer will ... I have an old knee injury where it sometimes gives way and I hadn't even noticed but this had developed a habit if trying not to bend the knee!!!! Which is STUPID!!!!! Lol so suddenly I'm picking my feet up bending my knees and floating from stride to stride, it was like flying I felt like for years I've been wading through invisible treacle that meant all excercise was hard and painful and suddenly it was gone!!

I know that some people might think its daft but everything about the old me led to that old running style - my lack of confidence about my body and being in public and my fear of my old injurys made me litteraly try to run with every muscle tensed trying to make myself smaller and less noticeable to anyone who saw me. To break out of that feels flipping fantastic!!!!

The rest of the run was almost easy the last two runs I even had a bit of a speed spurt for the last 20 seconds just because I wanted to see how good it felt!

And then when I got home I was sensible having a glass of water and getting in a nice hot shower and staying warm so my muscles didn't tighten up and now it's the next morning and I can feel in my legs that I've done some excercise but I'm not in any pain not even from my shoulder!!!

I am sooooo happy I think I'm hooked on this running lark!! :-D

Crikey that's a long post lol sorry but I really wanted to share how I feel

2 Replies

Breathing/stride/'s all coming together which is brilliant! I sense the new you already :D


Aren't you brilliant? Isn't it amazing that we can actually do this? Well done you.


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