Progress

My last post on running was on March 2018. That was over two years ago! I would hate for anyone to think that i had given up on my goal to run a half marathon in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Since that original post, Eluid Kipchoge has ran the full marathon (twice the distance) in under 2 hours. That goal does seem pretty trivial right, but 3 years later I do know now for sure that i am not a speed devil. I am not one of those runners, who can lace up and run a flat out 6-7 minute mile. I now also know enough to not even bother about comparing the times with the Olympic marathoners. It is ridiculous that they can sustain a 4 and a 1/2 minute pace for 26.2 miles. I can only be amazed at the elites achievements and have learned to live in peace with what i can do. I have run 3 more half marathons and my fastest one so far has been clocked at 2.29 (20 minutes off the first one, 15 more minutes to go to get to goal target #1). I do not get to play tennis as much as i used to, but I do seem to have developed an obsessive relationship with the art of running by itself.

Now, that i have found peace with my pace range, the goal has been more to improve the running economy. if that helps in making me faster, then so be it. The Nike Run Club app does offer a wide variety of programs that help help you improve as a runner. The Nike run club partners with the Nike training app (* all of their premium workouts are made available for free now) and enables workouts to build endurance and strength. All of the elite and professional runners incorporate a strong strength training routing in their program to stay healthy and fit. Consider this, when i was training for my half marathon i would need about 2 hours of running to get to 10 miles. That meant that me as a slower runner needed to spend more time on the road to get better! The more time i spent running, the more i needed to adapt my body for the grueling workouts. This little change has effectively made wonders to how i feel in general. The weeks i run more, i seem to work harder, read more and even write more.

I love signing up for the races. I look to sign up for races that are either for a cause that i care or if i feel like wanting to be a part of a large carnival. Most amateur runners go out there to either have fun but there are many who are out there to prove a point to themselves. They are not in the race to win it, but to see the sheer enthusiasm with which they go about their business is infectious. I greatly admire the folks who are striving to get better day in and out. The only goal that i set myself for races is to try to do better than the last race and somehow i have managed to do that. I have taken time off every race i have ever done and so i can claim that i have PR’d every race. I always feel like i have earned that drink of cold beer after the race.

The most important thing that makes the difference is Diet. Just because you run 3 miles every day does not mean that you are becoming healthy or you look like a cross fit athlete. Diet place such a huge factor in how you exercise. I have noticed that the runs on days following heavy food (biryani, burgers etc.) are always difficult. Runs are also difficult when i feel empty. I guess the answer lies in moderation. But in general, i don’t know if this is a testament to the increasing age i have looked to reduce processed food. There quite a lot of documentaries on how food affects health these days. I am not completely sold on the idea of going completely vegetarian (la Forks overs Knives) but have definitely made a more conscious effort to get in more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts.

The table below shows the activities and miles logged for each year ever since i started running. Every year i have logged more miles than the previous year, and small but noticeable improvements can be seen in key running metrics like Speed, Cadence and heart rate. Practice apparently will make things move towards perfection. I guess the moral of the story is to not give up and continue to push forward.

Time PeriodActivities
Total Distance (miles)Total Activity (hrs)Avg. Speed (mph)Avg. Heart Rate (bpm)Avg. Cadence (spm)
2020 *57208.1640:24:17
5.2165164
2019137440.9786:18:27
5.1165165
2018115379.9577:23:47
4.9165160
201780208.0242:30:14
4.9175158
201664165.5136:19:10
4.6165152

To progress, i will drink to that today!

 

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