I am sometimes what I would call a lazy runner. This isn’t so much not doing the miles that the training plan suggests, but it is doing the miles at a quicker pace or an up-tempo run. I find it very easy to head out for a run and immediately think, “lets take this at a relatively easy pace.” Unfortunately as we all know, this doesn’t help with running faster races or getting close to a new Personal best. I always find it easier when there is someone to push me, whether that be a run, circuits or any form of general training, purely as there is that competitive air of not wanting to be left behind or better than the person doing the workout beside you.
I find a running club is perfect for this. Last night I set off for my 8 mile run, on a fairly tight time schedule as I wanted to be home not too late. So I decided to start at my usual point of Queens PEC in Belfast, run 2.5 miles and join up with the club for the last 5.5 miles. My first 2.5 miles I ran at an ok pace, not sitting back but not pushing myself. After meeting up with the club and heading out with the group, the pace was constantly quicker, mainly due to the fact that a number of fellow runners always push the others on, and we are always pushing to run a bit quicker. This resulted in a constantly quick last 5.5 miles. Tough as it was, this will be a big help as 10k’s and half marathons come up over the next few weeks. This is perfect for me, I need to be pushed and was one of the main reasons for joining a club in the first place. I must admit, for anyone joining a club the first time, there is an air of trepidation. You immediately ask questions such as, am I good enough, will I be able to run quick enough, will I just be left behind? If anything, if you find a good club, that is open to all level of runner, you will find a supportive environment to not only enjoy running but become better. Also, you will enjoy it, even though sometimes it can be a bit tough, especially the nights of hill training!
Tonight I am heading for a 12 mile run, with my wife joining me for the first 10 miles. I must admit I am incredibly proud of her in trying to run a half marathon so soon after Rosie was born. Typically I will try to push her along in training, however with this training I have been careful not to push her, as I know this is incredibly tough for her, especially given what her body has been through.