Running hasn't ever been one of my favourite activities, but I have been doing 3km every morning for 3 weeks. It's the first time I've run every day. I did it more out of curiosity, and I learnt a few things.
Before Xmas 2017 - just over 2 years ago - I did not run at all. In fact, I hated it when some of my gym classes would end with us having to line up for sprints across the room. However, I had a conversion!
In Australia, our Xmas is in summer, and Xmas holidays and summer holidays overlap. My local gym reverts to restricted hours and classes and that always cuts out two evenings of "Bootcamp"-type classes that I would typically attend.
I've always used the shutdown as an opportunity to try different things, such as boxing classes - which kept running over Xmas. I found them to be more colour and movement than of any exercise value. So, reluctantly, I decided to try running.
I learnt to run on the local trails that run along the shoreline here. I started to enjoy it, and especially these trails, which are winding and natural. They have tree roots and rocks and sand traps and blind corners, and there are birds and foxes and the sounds of the sea.
Now I run 5km, twice a week. I dropped one evening gym class, and do a 5km run instead. The trails have numerous ramps and steps that descend to the beach, and I use these for interval training.
I never thought that I would say this, but I after about 6 months of running I started to enjoy it.
I started to look forward to the feeling of running. It's an odd thing, that feeling of pushing yourself along purely with human power and no other leverage - very primordial.
I even started to acknowledge other runners. I prefer to run by myself, but I like to see other runners on the trail. I've come to look forward to seeing who might be out there each time I hit the trail - it's mostly the same people.
The standard advice is to avoid running if you are older, not to risk your knees and other impact injuries. I do strength training to help my joints which is why I feel fine running.
I do have a few pains and creaky bits such as my right knee which hurts until I get going. I warm up first and then ease into the first 500m.
The injuries I have had are down to me trying new things. I've had muscle injuries in the lower calf, and my hip, from pushing too hard. And I've fallen by hitting dogs and tree roots that I didn't see.
I decided to run 3km every day for 3 weeks just to see how it would feel, and also to add some extra aerobics to complement my strength training.
Because it is summer, I've been running early, before 6am. I run a pattern as follows:
Here are three things that have happened:
One other thing that I have noticed is that the morning runners are more fair-weather runners. On mornings with light rain, I've run the whole distance without seeing another runner (but I do see a few foxes).
I'll keep this daily run going for a few more weeks, until the end of January. Perhaps I'll shed a couple of kilograms by then.
It's good fun, and I'm seeing different people than those I usually see when I run in the evening.
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter