At the start of this year I started running again. This wasn’t a new year’s resolution. I just decided that I wanted to start running, so I did. For five years I have been walking around in circles. Some take me above the A1 motorway and others take me below it. The walks are all familiar and I do them so regularly that I see the changes from week to week.
I thought I would take up rollerblading but this landscape is not friendly for rollerbladers until they are comfortable stopping. There are downhill slopes in three out of the five possible directions I can take. Every single route has downhill sections.
The advantage of running, in contrast to cycling is that you can go for a run straight from home, from the car, bus, train or even scooter. No need to put anything on the back of the car, or improvise a carrying solution. You just wear appropriate shoes and go.
My challenge isn’t cardiovascular fitness. Walking and cycling ensure that I am in good physical form. According to Garmin my vo2 max is 45 and my fitness age is that of a 20 year old. The limiting factor are my legs and joints. I can run and push further than my body wants to be pushed, and if I am not careful I will damage my joints again, and have to stop.
My running goal, for now, is simple. I want to get to a place where I am comfortable running for five kilometres without stopping. I then want to repeat this until I feel comfortable building speed. I can also increase running frequency, from every two to three days, to every day. It’s only later that I can consider running further.
With Strava, Garmin and other apps it would be easy to give in to temptation and to run further than others but that is not the goal. The goal is to run comfortably, without injuring myself, without paying beyond what is comfortable.