What I've Learnt from 7 Months of Running

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is staying well. I can't quite believe that this is my 6th blog post as a MedalMad Ambassador! This last month seems to have flown by for me since being back at work. What I also can't believe is that I've now hit 7 months of being a "runner"! Before Christmas I would never have even considered running but now here I am even thinking about the possibilities of a running commute when I start my new job towards the end of the year.

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've learnt and achieved on my running journey since the start of the year.

As with many people my running journey begun with Couch to 5K in January. I really enjoyed this programme and it was really great to see improvement in my fitness and the satisfaction of completing Couch to 5K was immense. A few weeks into my Couch to 5K journey I signed up for the 2020 Great North Run (which has now unfortunately been cancelled) and I set my sights on my first half marathon.

Following the completion of the Couch to 5K programme I straight away begun my 10K training where I was due to run the Vitality London 10K in May, however like many other races this year, that too got cancelled. That said, I still decided to head towards my 10K target. Then at the end of May I officially started my half marathon training with the aim of completing my first virtual half marathon in September (even though the Great North Run isn't going ahead this year).

At times it really hasn't been easy, especially when sometimes I can't help but feel like I took up running at the wrong time, but I've really enjoyed my running journey to date.

So what have I learnt so far on my running journey?

  • Bad runs do happen but it is just a minor setback and it will get better. In my early days of running there were times I really struggled with stitches which led to bad runs. However, I've learned from these setbacks and now know how I can deal with a stitch while out running.

  • Things don't always go to plan with running. This year is such a big example of where things don't always go to plan. In January when I started running I never for a single moment even considered that we would be in the position we are now. I had my sights set on so many races and events yet at the moment I don't have a single one planned anymore.

  • Virtual events are a great way of keeping track of progress and a great incentive to keep going. If you're a bit of a medal magpie like myself virtual events are a fantastic way to keep treat yourself once you've reached a new milestone. And at the current point in time when loads of races have been cancelled Virtual races are a great way to remember and mark your achievement.
  • Injuries can and do happen. At this current point in time my half marathon training has come to a halt as I've struggled with pain in my foot. Use the injury time to become stronger in other ways if you can. Focus on core training or other cross training like swimming or cycling.

  • It isn't all about the time you take. Don't compare yourself to others. Yes I am a bit of a slow runner but does that worry me? Not really. I've learnt to enjoy the fact that I am completing the distance even if it takes me a little while! Including the days where I do "jeffing".

  • Finally, enjoy yourself. Even if I have a bad run I enjoy the satisfaction to know I've done it.

How is everyone else's running journeys going? What things have you learnt on your running journey? 

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