Couch to 5K
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grrrrrr, bloomin' school kids

so, today I went for a run, I wanted to run 4 or 5 miles, but was scuppered when a bunch of school kids refused to move a little on the path, despite my polite 'excuse me' requests in plenty of time before reaching them. 7 abreast in places, the (not so) little buggers took up the whole width of a 4m footpath and cycle path. Then one made the mistake of abusing me when I refused to stop or to jump into the road (busy main road) and instead just put my arms up in front of me as a barrier and ran through a bunch of them. Not very mature, I admit, but there were hundreds of them and more to come. So, after he abused me and I reminded him to not diss members of the public I cut short my run to go into reception and have a bloody good moan about them. Next time I make the mistake of running at school kicking out time I will ensure I have my phone or camera. I really hope my daughter wouldn't be so ignorant, but I'd be fine if a member of the public reported her for that sort of behaviour and she got a detention for it (not to mention a bollocking from me). I did take some pleasure in pointing out to the deputy that the kids from the school down the road had all noticed me without me having to do anything special and had all stepped out of my way (I must call that school reception tomorrow to compliment them on the behaviour of their children, it's always nice to get the good feedback).

Despite the horrid children, I didn't have a bad run, I managed 3.67 miles before the incident, but I did stop then as I'd cooled down so much and needed to get back for our own parent evening.

As I was doing an easy/moderate run today, I spent some time thinking about the way I run and the muscles involved, not just my legs, but my stomach and lower back and my arms/shoulders, and really 'felt' what I was doing (this is what happens when you are too lazy for speed and stamina training and do lots of yoga and meditation classes!). I realised that I just lope along, jogging. So I played around with some different styles, landing differently (managed to start the shin splints off, so adjusted that very quickly), using my arms more, and pushing more from my glutes. I know that the glutes are going to be key in getting my speed up, when I utilise them better I have so much power, but I'm so into the habit of the way I have been running naturally, that I can't sustain that for very long, because I haven't trained for it. Maybe I need to do a day or so a week of C25K from the start, but instead of jogging/usual running style, actually ensure I engage the right muscles. If I could run the way I know I want to for the amount of time I am currently running for, then I could cover double the distance. Hmmmm, food for thought.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sudden warm weather (very windy today here, but lovely and warm).

Happy running


7 Replies

Hi Vixie - Sorry to hear about your little 'run-in' (sorry!) with the kids but I'm so pleased that you stood up to them and then went in to complain! Not sure I would have had the courage to do that.

That's one reason I run between 10 & 11a.m, as we have several schools close to us and I know I'd have the same problem, with parents as well as kids! Agree that you should contact the other school to praise their pupils - as a former Teaching Assistant, I can assure you they will really appreciate it!

I also try to think about my running style and often consciously try to use my stomach muscles and arms more effectively as well as thinking about how I land. I had a sore Achilles at the weekend so have taken things a bit easier this week and I was much more aware today of landing centre-foot. Can't claim to have made any major breakthrough yet though!


I'm no shrinking violet ;-)

I'll reserve judgement on whether or not I can improve my running style. I might have to invest in a personal trainer for a couple of sessions, or find a running mentor (maybe I'll chat to some people at the next parkrun!). I'll let you know if I have any 'eureka' moments that could help others :-)


There's a lot of it about, sadly, and not just schoolkids. Young adults also tend to walk four-abreast on the pavement. I affect not to notice them and just walk straight into them. Mrs OldNed is tougher; she barges them out of the way! I once stopped someone (age 20ish) who was cycling on the pavement, too fast, towards me, by the "arms wide open, you ain't getting past" technique, and asked him if his mum wouldn't let him ride on the road. Gave me a filthy look and a mouthful of abuse, which he got back in kind, but he had to go on the road because the arms were still wide and he wasn't getting past. Such fun!


he he, when did we all start turning into our parents :-D I feel like such a grown up now!

Good for you and Mrs OldNed, I must remember that line. Manners cost nothing.

My daughter, aged about 9, was pushing our trolley through local supermarket and she stepped back to let a lady pass (who was clearly intending to barge through whether my daughter had moved or not) and when the lady didn't comment my daughter very politely (and loudly) said "you're welcome!" It was very funny, the lady looked a bit shocked, but still didn't say thank you. I was rather proud of my daughter for noticing the manners, and for not being afraid to politely challenge an adult :-D


Good for her!


I really like this blog Vixie as I got cornered by school kids the other day too and it really riled me. They gathered round in a circle waving thier arms around to block my path! I just kind of ignored them, looked into the distance and carried on through, but it was quite intimidating. Good for you though to go and tell the school. I hope their uppance came!

I also like that you are trying to improve your running style. I have no idea what I look like when I run, but I bet I am not doing it the most efficient way. I know that when I pump my arms that I feel stronger and more powerful and I'm also aware of needing to strethen my core as that is what I can feel aching the day after a longer run. I'm wondering whether to do the strength and flex podcasts. I have been put off by them so far is it is advised to do them outside against railings, benches etc, which I really dont have the confidence for in public!


Thanks Rollertoaster, glad you like it.

I expect you can do the strength and flex indoors too, against kitchen counters, doorframes, walls, chairs, etc - I haven't tried them yet, so not entirely sure, but worth a try, until you build some confidence.


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