Following on from a trip to Amsterdam where we overindulged on the eating front, I have reinvigorated my exercise regime in earnest. I usually go to the gym 2 — 3 times a week but with the weather in London being so gorgeous now that spring is here, I have also added some easy jogging to give my work out some variety and also to enjoy some fresh air. My local park is now open a little bit later in the evenings so I have about an hour after work to get out there amongst the spring blossoms and daffodils.
I’ve never previously followed any proper training regime for running so I don’t really know what I am doing most of the time. I used to work on the principle that provided I’m moving at some kind of pace that gets me hot and sweaty, I must be doing alright. But, obviously, there are techniques and strategies to make the most of running and to do it properly without over-exertion or injuries. So I decided to see what tools I could find online.
I came across an interval training podcast on iTunes called Podrunner Intervals which I have been trying out. The idea behind interval training is that you walk for a bit and then you jog for a bit to build up stamina and strength. Then as you improve, you jog a bit and then run for a bit. The aim of the podcasts is to take you from couch potato to 10 km over a period of weeks and months. The concept is very simple: it plays suitably slow music for the walking bit and much faster music for the jogging bit, calibrated to the relevant beats per minute so you can achieve the optimum heart rate the given interval.
I have been thoroughly enjoying using this podcast as a training tool. My problem with running is that I usually get bored so having the different music for the different phases has helped stimulate me as I trundle along. And because it takes you through the different levels in a gently phased way, I have not utterly exhausted myself in the first few days and feel that I am slowly improving. So, yay for Podrunner Intervalsl!
I am currently on the second level and I think that I should be able to reach 5K in about four weeks time, fingers crossed. I will let you know when I get to that milestone (kilometre stone?) so you can celebrate with me!
Photo: thanks to EricNixon from flickr.com (CCL)