What did I set out to do in January?

  • I am looking to run 2000km in 2020. That means running an average of 170km each month. As January was the first month I tried to hit that 170km mark.
  • No run to be shorter than 5km.
  • Avoid running in the gym as much as possible. The treadmill is the back-up, for emergencies.
  • Record for every run my pre run mood and my post run mood. This should be easy to add into the notes for a run recorded in Strava. Just remembering to do it.
  • To read one book about running amongst my other reading.

How did I run in January?

  • I ran 170km.
  • I ran on 23 out of 31 days in January.
  • I ran on a treadmill for 3 of the 23 runs. Good going having so few ‘miller times!
  • 2 runs were under 5km: One because I only had half an hour to get changed, run and change back; The other after a very early start and long day at work so something at the end of the day was better than nothing. I am OK with this.
  • I recorded my pre run mood and post run mood (using emojis) for every run.
  • I seemed to be nursing a sore lower right leg for most of the month. I think it is passing, but I need to keep an eye on it.
  • I particularly enjoyed my run on Monday 20 January, out to Shipley and back. It was a fresh day, I was running in the afternoon, and I felt I had a good pace to me.
  • I didn’t take part in any races. I did five races in the last couple of month of 2019. I have mixed feelings on doing them.
  • I ran with colleagues from work for the first time, after work on Monday. After getting up at 4am and being in work so early it also made me finish work for the day after a decent shift. I also enjoyed the slower pace, the chat with a couple of people I enjoy spending time with, and supporting someone getting into running.

What did I learn?

  • In January I reflected on the previous 12 months. 13 January 2019 marked my “first run” into what has become a habit. On a treadmill, doing 5km, a few pauses, an average pace of 7:00/km. It took effort and patience. Now I just head out of the door and 5km is — while nothing because it takes time — something I can just roll with.
  • I am at the point I feel running is one of the few things in my life I am in control, I can bend to the restraints and constraints to do something and be content with that, but I always feel ahead of where I should be. It’s good for the mind to no always feel behind, which I do about so many other things.
  • In the shorter days at this time of year I should do my best to go for a run in daylight. They just feel better.
  • Runs along the main roads at 9pm are more peaceful than I thought they’d be.
  • …But I also struggle getting to sleep before 11:15pm if I do them.
  • Sisu’, not just a Finnish word but a Finnish characteristic.
  • I read Running to the Edge and learned about Coach Bob Larsen and what he learned about running, the mix and the balance between science and creativity, and making sure you have a thoughtful approach to your work. It resonated with my running but also with my work.
  • If it looks like it is going to rain and you’re off on muddy trails err on the side of caution: Wear running shoes with suitable grip. (I made this mistake last Sunday. I should have known better to be honest.)
  • There is a difference between the heel and the sole of a shoe.
  • A couple of people have talked to me how my antics in 2019 motivated them to do more walking and running in 2020. I look forward to hearing about them!
  • I stopped using Instagram towards the end of 2019. I miss seeing people’s trips to places, running and otherwise, on there. (I don’t miss the Facebook-y family and LinkedIn-y work updates though.) Maybe I’ll go back.
  • I haven’t really missed doing a race. Maybe running solo is my thing.
  • These days the dog really struggles with our runs together. She’s just not into them, even though I slow the pace right down, I am constantly having to wait for her. I think she’s nervous where we go.
  • I cannot recommend enough the New Balance Impact Tights. They help keep the chill off the legs, sure, but the pockets along the thighs are such a good idea — and done well. I put my phone in one (which I have to take with me if I leave the kids at home for a short while) and don’t have to worry about it flapping about in a shorts pocket or my jacket pocket or wearing a phone holder.
  • I am enjoying watching Stef’s attempts to get running regularly.

What am I looking to do over the next month?

  • 170km again.
  • Avoid running in the gym as much as possible.
  • Do some sprint work.
  • Run a half marathon distance run.
  • More daytime runs. I am particularly bad at not halving my working days and using a break in the middle to go for one.
  • Read another book about running. (I already am: Scott Jurek’s North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail.)
  • Keep enjoying it!

What am I looking for?

  • Any great 7km to 15km routes you know of near Bradford and Leeds, I’d love to hear about them.
  • Any reading books you liked? Let me know!

Original source – Simon Wilson

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