End of plan 1

I’m one run away from finishing the BUPA 5km Training Plan (pdf), which is somewhat surprising in itself.  I drifted from the plan slightly, and did 7 runs every 2 weeks, aiming for every other day rather than 3 every week.  I also had most of a week off due to work and a bit of a cold1 so I’m fairly pleased to have completed the 8 week plan in about 8 weeks.

In those 8 weeks, I’ve gone from running for a minute at a time, with 2 minutes of rest in between (“a good walk ruined”2) to running for 15 minutes at a time with a couple of minutes rest in between.  I’ve even experienced one or two of ‘those’ moments, where everything seems to be going well and you can run faster and faster (it’s all relative).

I think one of the most encouraging results of this first foray into running is that my asthma has behaved itself.  I’ve gone out when feeling a bit chesty and didn’t deteriorate into a sweaty, wheezy wreck (just a sweaty wreck).  That’s good since I’ve certainly used ‘feeling a bit chesty’ as an excuse to not do things in the past.

And now it’s on to the 10km plan (pdf).

The main aim for the next couple of weeks is to be able to get round one of my normal 5km routes without any walking (due after another 2 weeks).  I think that’s doable; here goes!


1 I sneezed a couple of times.

2 No no, that’s golf.


Strava just gave me my first achievement – the 40km MTS badge – which was jolly nice of it.

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I’m just slightly below the median in the Strava rankings for this month (53% of people have run further than me so far this month), and a full 588km behind the leader, but it’s not about that.  The thing I like about Strava is that I can go back through my runs and see how I’m improving.  At the end of August I was walking more than I was running, averaging nearly 14 minutes a mile, and feeling like my legs were about to fall off when I got back.  Now, I’m still on the ‘run-a-bit / walk-a-bit’ training programme, but I’m only walking 2 minutes out of every 9 and averaging just over 10 minute miles.

I think I’ve got 6 more runs in me this month, so I should get up to about 70km.  Then October starts, and I try to beat it…


Windy Widemouth

The remnants of Hurricane Bertha hit whilst we were away. We spent the morning acting as ballast in the tent to stop it blowing away, but ventured down to the beach at Widemouth Bay once the wind died down a bit. In splendidly British fashion, we splashed about a bit as people in full wet-weather gear walked past, bemused and amused.

It was quite lumpy.


Getting further

At the end of my third week of the BUPA 5k running plan, and things are going quite well.  The plan has matched my fitness pretty accurately so far, and I get home feeling suitably shattered, but I haven’t found anything out of reach.  I’m doing slightly more than the plan suggests, just because the route I’m taking is a bit further than the plan’s reps take me.

I’m up to about 3 miles in about 35 minutes, with about a 60/40 split between running and walking.

Mrs H and I are also doing one of those situp / pushup training plans; we’re up to 40-odd situps and 30-odd pushups. My stomach aches in places that haven’t known exercise for a long long time.


That place no-one had heard of until it got massively flooded in August 2004.  We went there last year and kept driving as it was wet and windy.  This time it was just windy so we parked at the (unflooded, rebuilt) car park, and walked up the coastal path for a bit.  We didn’t expect to get to the folly at the top of the headland, but once you get a little bit closer it’s hard to resist…


Fitness Stuff

I’ve been having a go at getting fit for the last 6 weeks or so.  I started out with the ASA’s Swimfit programme, which is something I was doing last year until I, erm, stopped doing it for some reason.  This time, I found that the ritual of needing to go to the pool was providing just too much friction for me to get over, so I’ve started running instead.  You don’t have to fit into someone else’s schedule to go for a run.  And there are no ‘female-only’ running times (but that’s a rant for another day…)

Well, running and walking, to be more precise (and honest).  I’m following BUPA’s Beginner 5km training plan, and using Strava to track and record my efforts.  I’m a bit of a stats geek so I find having something that does all the recording for me to be a real motivator.  I particularly like seeing my mile time dropping, even at this early stage.

For a short time, I had a second blog (over there) to track my efforts, but I’m going to retire that now as Strava seems to do everything I was doing there and a bit more.

If you want to see how I’m doing, my Strava page is here.  If you’re already on Strava then follow me and remind me I should be running every other day – that would be great. (No really, that isn’t sarcasm, honest)

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