Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Beginning to run

I started running around mid last year and I remembered 10k (6 miles) run was like the pinnacle for me. 10km was the barrier that I thought if I cross my body would be in a world of hurt. I came up with this idea when I was regularly running 3.2km in the morning 6 days out of the week trying to train for a half-marathon. Within a few weeks, I had some heel pain that would not go away and my knee was stiff all the time. Soon, I abandoned my half-marathon goal thinking that my body was not build for running. When friends told me they went for a 10k run, my expression was amazement. My exclamation would be something to the effect of "Wow! You did a 10k for a training run?"

One event helped break my mental barrier towards the 10km distance. Instead of being impossible, 10k became something difficult but doable. My attitude changed when some friends invited me to join them for a run at Macritchie reservoir in Singapore. Now for those who do not know, around Macritchie reservoir is where there are many accessible trails for running and hiking where distances have been marked out by the Singapore's National Parks board. However, it was not near to where I stayed so I had to fork out around $10 to take a cab to the reservoir. When I reached, all the friends there wanted to run just a small part of the reservoir for about 4.8km. The stingy side of me was thinking, I did not wake up early on a Saturday morning and pay for a taxi to run just a small part of reservoir. I wanted to go round the reservoir and that would take around 11km. And so, I did not run with the group and decided to run the 11km route by myself. It was difficult and I had to stop a few times but after a few times running the route it did not seem so difficult anymore. In fact, more and more from the original running group started to run the reservoir loop with me. Nowadays, if we decide to run around the reservoir, hardly anybody from our group does the 4.8km run anymore. Since everybody runs the 11km loop, even the "noobs" try the big loop even if they have to walk a bit of it. And so my 10km mental barrier was broken.

What I learned: For beginner distance runners like me, running one long run per week plus another short run might be better than 6 consistent short runs. For example, I think one 2km run and one 10km run per week works better for me than 6 2km run per week. Unless someone is conditioned or is naturally gifted in running, running daily might not give the body enough time to rest.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Wonderful blog. I will drop by again.