close
Running Commentary: It’s all coming together

Running Commentary: It’s all coming together

September 25, 2014
Running in the mist

Andy Mahony caught the running bug a couple of years ago. He works with the council’s public health team. In Running Commentary, he shares his favourite running routes and parks, as well as tips he has picked up while being overtaken by a speeding Santa and nipped at by geese. And then there are all the other weird and wonderful things he encounters along the way.

I am getting ready to run the Ealing Half Marathon. It is a big milestone. A year ago I was gasping for breath after running for a bus. How things can change. But I am looking forward to celebrating with a pub lunch…

It’s surely good to know that being physically active is reducing your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and even dementia.

So if you’ve managed to complete the challenge of a couch to 5K running plan then well done; that’s a terrific achievement and you’ll hopefully be feeling fitter and healthier for having done it.

Keep on running…

The key now is to keep building on your success. Setting yourself a new goal is a great way to do this.  You may want to sign up to Parkrun and try beating your 5K personal best time. There’s a great Parkrun with a really friendly crowd at Gunnersbury Park each Saturday morning.

You might also consider registering for a 10K race and training steadily for this over a few months.  It may take you around 12 weeks to gradually and safely build up to 10K. However, when you finally take part in your first official race with crowds cheering you on it’s a terrific sense of achievement with a massive feel-good factor – especially if you’ve managed to raise a few pounds for charity along the way. After that rush you may even think about looking ahead to a half marathon…

Marathon approaches…

My first half marathon is now just a few days away. I can still recall how running for just a few minutes left me gasping for breath, so it’s quite something to think I’ll soon be running 13.1 miles non-stop. Since I started recording my runs on a free GPS smartphone app (there are several available that allow you to track activities like running or cycling) I’ve logged more than 600 miles. I think that’s the equivalent to running from London to somewhere in Scotland…

The Ealing Half Marathon is not quite 600 miles but is still a significant challenge and training should not to be undertaken lightly. A sensible training plan that meets your experience and targets will, I’m assured, make all the difference on race day. Fortunately I’ve stuck to the training plan and prepared well. I’ve even stayed of the beer for September.

Yes, whilst some people opt to stay off the booze for ‘Dry January’ and others this year may go for ‘Sober in October’ I appear to have created my own ‘Never in September’. Of course, no matter what month we opt for, it’s cutting down on alcohol in the long term that will do us good. Though, thankfully, I don’t think anyone’s suggesting you need to cut it out altogether.

So with just one more training run on the plan, it’s time to rest the weary legs for a few days in readiness for the big day. I’m hoping to finish in two hours or less.  After all, the sooner I finish the race the sooner I can head off for a well-deserved pub-lunch. As I say, it’s always good to have a goal…