Monday, 24 March 2014

Count down to 5X50 and What is running anyway?

It is now 6 days until the 5x50 challenge starts. This is my second year so in some ways I feel better prepared and I know that I can do it. On the other hand I remember the pain, the weather and the "I just want to hibernate" days from last year. It is a fantastic challenge and the beauty is that you can tailor it to your own goals. I know some people questioned why I needed the challenge; Why not just do it off your own back? I am quite a motivated person but for me having to write down activity and distance on my form pushed me on the really hard days. The on-line system of tracking what you do encourages you to do something and allows you to look back and see how far you have come. I made my challenge about running and walking and added extras on for fun. Felling like you are contributing to a big total helps a lot. The £5 entry fee goes to Sport Relief so you are doing for a good cause too. The forums and social network pages are really fun. There are lots of very fit people doing it but there are even more people that just want to be fitter and that comes across.

I am eager to beat last year so this year :  I want to run more than 30 days and walk the rest.
                                                               I want to cover more than 400Km in total.
                                                               I want to reach 250Km before day 37.
                                                               I want to do a 5K in less than 33 minutes.

For a lot of people this might look easy but they are my goals. I would also like to do the UK's "Most Northerly" 5K as part of my 5x50 challenge. This does depend on the right weather at the weekends. I am also guessing that someone else might have the same idea (if you are reading this - hello).

When I started talking about this last year it opened up a discussion about what running is. I was told by a friend that running is "going under a 10 minute mile". Another friend argues that it is simply "moving faster than you can walk" though that asks questions about speed walking. This was cleared up by a third friend (yes I am that popular...) that said it "is having both feet off the ground during a stride". Laura from the NHS C25K plan said that I was a runner at the end of week 6 when I did 25 minutes without stopping.

I know that this a roadrunner but the rest is confusing!

File:Roadrunner DeathValley.jpg
Roadrunner  by Wilson 44691 - Sourced from Wikimedia commons 

I am now working on preparing for my challenge. As well as all the obvious things like checking my trainers are okay and that I have good high-visibility clothing I am doing a few things that I found helped last year.

I have been using the NHS Couch to 5K plan to get up to distance. I found it really helpful and I am on week eight now (despite my blog updates being behind). It would be a great plan for anybody that wanted to be able to jog 5K at the end of the 5x50 challenge as the rest days would allow walking or 30 minute activities. I think the two would be easy to combine.

I found it important to plan what I wanted to achieve and stick to it. It is nice to have some flexibility but I didn't want to look at my pedometer and think that thanks to a busy morning walking about at work I didn't have to run that day. If you are doing classes or group events then it would be easy to plan and give it a little bit of structure. I also found reaching little goals a good way to break down what felt like a daunting challenge.

I set up a couple of routes depending on where I would be for my run so I have one in Sandwick and one in Lerwick. I used walk jog run to set my routes and check my pace. It is a really easy site to use and free. It took me a little while to get a route just the right length but that was going to be the same no matter how I measured it. I also wear a pedometer during the 5x50 to measure my walking every day and I log that separately.  I find my pedometer is good for my mindset, if I am wearing it I am more likely to park further away from the shops, or vacuum for that matter, as it all adds up.

Clickimin Loch, part of my 5K route in Lerwick

p.s I am pretty sure that I am not a runner ..... yet.

1 comment:

  1. Found you on the 5x50 facebook page. I've been looking for another blogger who's doing the challenge too. Look forward to following you. It's my first year and currently on week 2 of the couch to 5k, I'm going to combine it into the challenge (wish I'd heard about sooner though) good luck :)
    I'm at