I’m in week 6 of my marathon training plan, and today I was ‘forced’ to go out and run 3 miles. Not too bad a distance, bearing in mind I ran 5 on Thursday and 10 (yes – 10 miles! Woohoo!) last Sunday. But the weather was turning a little – getting a bit spitty and cold, and I wasn’t keen. But I knew my 7 miles tomorrow would feel better if I ran 3 today.
So I headed out; buff on, music in and ran. Slowly.
I have started running my first mile up what my partner and I call ‘Museum Hill’ (as it has the Royal Engineer’s Museum on it, but it is actually called *Googles…* ‘Prince Arthur Road’) to start off my runs as it warms me up and I usually feel good to go once I am at the top (i.e. feel like the worst is done, so all downhill/good from there on).
Today was not one of those days. I felt very slow on the climb up and just a bit knackered once at the top. I kept on though and started down ‘Dock Hill’ (actually ‘Dock Road’, but it is a hill and sounds better in my Strava run description) which was fine, but when I hit Chatham Dockyard the rain picked up, as did the wind and I re-routed.
Once the watch beeped at 2 miles though, everything just seemed to start feeling good. My strides felt fluid, my breathing was relaxed; I just felt comfortable. (It may have helped I was now on a nice flat surface after a short climb…)
I remember reading 18 months ago about how the first 1-3 miles of a run are your body’s warm-up and are usually the most uncomfortable. At the time I was only running 3 miles at a time so couldn’t imagine doing a couple of miles just to get going! But now it kind of makes sense, especially in cooler weather.
My fastest 5k, last August, was after a 1+ mile run up Museum Hill to Great Lines parkrun. So I should have noticed this before. (I am sure the intervals I had done helped as well.)
There is nothing I will do with this new-found knowledge now, as I am just training, and my discomfort doesn’t really matter – I just need to plough through the miles, but I will bear it in mind for future races (short ones of course – no point in doing a 2 mile warm up for a 10 miler!).