I ran 3.5miles this morning in 28minutes. I am running 8 minute miles. ME?!! Just 2 weeks ago I could barely finish a 2.2mile route in under 20mins, and I'd been plodding along at that for weeks, if not months and years when you think about it. And now, seemingly suddenly, I can run for up to 5 miles (so far) and at a pace of 8min/mile. How did this happen?!*
A quick run-down of all the diverse factors which contributed to this:
1. I gained a lot of weight really fast. Seriously. About 4kg in 4 weeks. That's what happens when you eat like Michael Phelps but without the training.. I'm only half-joking. The weight gain didn't help with the running but it certainly gave me some good motivation!
2. I joined an online food blog - My Fitness Pal - it's surprising what a bit of support can do to motivate you. Ok, seeing as I've given them the plug... http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
3. I got a Polar HRM for my recent 25th Birthday - it brought out the best in my competitive spirit.
4. I ran later in the morning one weekend and noticed the benefits of my porridge breakfast meant I was bounding along much faster, so I tried to emulate that time and feeling of energy the next time I went for my morning run.
5. I changed my route, changed my iPod workout mix, and tried to just relax at an easy pace.
I've emphasised relax simply because I think that was the most important thing that I changed. In all my years of attempting to run I've chosen the wrong partners, the wrong pace, the wrong route. Pish posh. It shouldn't matter. I should have ignored all those external influences and just stuck with what was right for me. This time it was different, I was running on my own, and I was pushing to go a little outside my comfort zone, so I worked hard at relaxing. Not an easy thing for me to do. But it seems to be working so far.
*I know this is not exactly stimulating stuff, but this is my blog so I can write about whatever I want. So there.