It may well be the case that I have sinned against the esteemed establishment of elite runners (of which I am a dishonorable member), but I do not have any immediate plans to take Holy orders. The Sunday habits to which I refer are about getting back into the routine of regular running.
Experienced long distance runners and regular readers of this blog will know that Sunday is traditionally the day for the weekly long run. The focus is on developing stamina rather than speed, with the aim of gradually increasing the distance of the run as race day approaches. My current aim is to build up a sufficient level of fitness so I can switch into a more intensive training schedule if and when I sign up for my next big race.
This may seem a bit like déjà vu, because I remember writing about this intention in an earlier post. It is the nature of training and motivation, a mercurial quality linked to internal processes and the non-running related demands of daily life. The little injury of my big toe set me back a bit, and going away on holiday – as lovely as it was – necessitated a disruption of routine.
However, last Sunday found me back out on the road. I was working towards 8 miles before my break, so I set the target at 5 miles to help me ease back gently. I took one of my favourite routes from Titchmarsh Nature Reserve, but only going as far as Achurch. To add a bit of fun, I did a “church loop” – running round the church (not disturbing any services, you will be pleased to know – the sight of a runner in his Sunday habit is not something worshipers should be exposed to!) before heading back to my starting point. It is my version of a steeple chase, and I might patent it. I felt a bit too weary to do the same with the church in Aldwincle, so that’s something for the future.
There is no practical reason why I can’t do my long runs on another day of the week, particularly as I am mostly retired, but somehow it doesn’t feel right. There is also a sense of camaraderie, as I see other runners out and about. So, Stamina Sunday is back – although next week is an exception (more about that later!).