I was quite an active runner from the age of 17 years old. Back then, I decide during one physical education class in school that I don’t want to keep escaping the classes and feeling shitty about it. I ran for the next 11 years consistently. Then in 2009, upon the advise of a Chinese Sinseh, who said that I am likely to collapse eventually from heart attack, I stopped running. For 4 years I did not run, until the beginning of 2014, I decide to see If I can still run.
I was horrified how much I struggled, now 4-5 years older. This diary chronicles my discovery into whether I can still hit my old 2.4 km timing of 11 mins.
I wasn’t a really fast runner ever. I was really into it. I was one of the crazy ones in the army. You ask me to run and I would. But perhaps I wasn’t bless with good genes, I wasn’t the best.
The fastest in army I recorded was probably 10.15 min. That is hardly enough to hit gold.
After I got out of the army, I can consistently hit 11 mins. And this is the soft target that I aim for.
I walked for 3 weeks
Bearing in mind what the previous sinseh said, I don’t want to take things too fast but one step at a time. I started off just wanting to get out of the house. That was the habit I want to build up.
I did it and was able to walk for 2.2 km every day after dinner.
It is also good to get the body accustom to some cardiovascular workout.
My first run
To be honest I am not sure what condition I will be in. I do not know whether I was able to run in the first place. Fortunately I was able to.
The timing: 2.29 km in 13.11 mins. And this is a run and talk timing.
I haven’t always been running non stop for 2.4 km. And this timing was encouraging.
But the run was hard. I have never felt so drain since that first full run when I was 17 years old.
2 days later I attempted again. This time I tried to run non stop.
The timing: 14.46 min for 2.34km
It was a disaster. Wasn’t walking suppose to be slower? Wasn’t we suppose to complete the run?
Creating the game plan
Being able to run since 17, you forget a lot of things. You forget your initial struggles. This time, I want to see if I can do better every day.
In my dictionary, success is not stumbled upon. There is a method to it.
- Decision and Determination. If you don’t want it bad enough you wouldn’t last the long run. You have to understand implicitly why you are doing this. Your actions shows that you are determine about this. I want this journey of seeing if I can get back to that old conditioning. So much so I am willing to commit my spare time to this. To research on how to run faster or longer. And take notes on what works and what not.
- Knowledge. Running for 12 years doesn’t make you a sports scientist equipped to figure out how to run faster and longer when your body condition is entirely different. I commit to finding out game plans and sciences to improve my conditioning.
- Habits and Systems. Knowing is one thing. How do you translate into action? I always believe that small improvements aggregates to big changes. And running is rather repetitive. It pays to invest in good habits.
- Environment. A main reason folks gave up is because they don’t gear up a good environment for running. Not enough socks, No running shoes. Where is a good route to run with minimal disruption, only one set of running clothes. If you want to succeed get ready all these so that you don’t fall off and give yourself reasons to fail.
I fixed 2 days to run per week due to a hectic working life. I understand that I might miss the mid week run, but I have to have it. But I know the weekend run becomes high priority. I won’t miss it for weddings, gatherings, meet-up. that is my commitment to it.
If I can run twice during the weekends, Saturday will be test day where I go all out.
Sunday will be used to run 2.4km with small steps with the aim of speeding up my transitions.
The midweek run will be interval training.
The main aim is not completion but to
- increase my VO2 intake
- work on being accustom to bursting
- increase and prolong big strides
I learn that if my run is short at 2.4km, it might not be fruitful to keep consistent pace. So I will aim to start off speeding up.
Everyone gets tired or hit the stage where you will feel like dying. I prepared the mental psyche for that stage. It is important then to ensure I can still maintain large strides and that I push myself for longer than normal.
I will take notes on my timing on Endomondo.
It will be interesting to see if a body just degenerates as it gets older or that well plan systems can return a person to his original condition.