The Not-so-Long Good Friday Run


stretchzonetxtI set out for my run this morning with intentions that proved to be greater than my ability to deliver. This was due to the recent downturn in my training because of feeling unwell. My cardiovascular and respiratory systems have had a bit of a holiday, so they were suffering from the first day back at work blues. Given their extrovert personalities, they had to shout about it, so my legs picked up on the mood and defaulted to trundle mode. My cognitive system also got in on the act – traitor that it is – and started sending me gloomy messages about not being in the right frame of mind to do a long run today, and wouldn’t I rather be at home relaxing? This wasn’t helped by the fact I was getting inaccurate feedback from my sports watch – it showed a pace of 13 min/mile when I felt I was doing a pace of around !0:30/11:00. I stopped on a little bridge over the river after about a mile and reset it.

This was also my first road run for a while and there are important differences between road running and dreadmill running. The surface of the dreadmill is of course a lot softer and more giving than the open road. It is also a lot easier to control the pace and incline – this helps to provide a baseline against which to measure progress. There is no wind factor to take into account, and the ambient temperature is also fairly constant. It is like running in a laboratory. I am a little rat running hard to stay in the same place, with the prospect of a protein shake or bar to reward me at the end. Oh, and no matter how many kilometers I run, the distance back to the changing room remains the same – I don’t have to run out for six miles then run back! But it is boring!  This is the case even when listening to music. I much prefer to be in the open air with all the variability and challenges it brings – feeling the air rush by (well, that’s debatable), looking at the lovely countryside around me, and impressing cyclists and dog walkers with a cheery wave (and then returning to a taciturn slump once they have passed!).

I completed a modest 6.5 miles in the end, at faster than my target marathon pace. I would like to be further ahead in my training (with 58 days to go!), but this is where I am. There is no need to panic at this stage, but I really have to start banking a lot more miles during the week. This should be possible now the days are lengthening. I will, of course, let you know…..

Oh, and a bit more sponsorship will do wonders to bring that insurgent cognitive system back in line….

Eight weeks until the Edinburgh Marathon on 27th May! And I have got my fundraising page up and running! I am trying to raise funds for Kettering Mind, a voluntary organisation that provides invaluable help to people affected by mental health problems.


6 thoughts on “The Not-so-Long Good Friday Run

  1. Keep going Derek!! I love your blogs and as I am at 2 weeks to go to Brighton its good to know we are not alone xx


    1. Thank you Jane! I remember you from last year! Hope your training is going well – at least Edinburgh is a bit further away in time and miles! Good luck in Brighton! 🙂


  2. I never realised running was such a technical business. I thought you just strapped on your trainers and headband and put one foot in front of the other. Shows how much I know.


    1. Oh, being an elite athlete is not sufficient – one has to be a maths genius too. The basic formula is
      e = (p x g)log w, where e=effort, p=pace, g=gradient, and w=wind speed (mph). This can be further refined by dividing by cosine Z, where z is the angle at which the wind hitting you (0 = head-on, 180 = directly behind). Believe me, running into a headwind of greater than 5mph can make a huge difference to the effort required, but ti also increases the benefit of that training session. But of course, you should not believe me when it comes to maths! 🙂


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