Since I started learning to run again in June, all of the my jogging to date has been in the gym during my lunch hour. By the time I walk to the gym, get changed, stretch briefly, allow time to cool down and get changed again – it leaves me with approximately 40 minutes of exercise time.
I started out doing short test runs of only 1km, increasing to 2km and have since increased my lunch time running distance to a maximum of 6.5km. I noticed that I seemed to be struggling to get past that distance in my allocated time and figured that I needed to learn to run further, sustaining my energy output for longer, to be able to expend more energy in a shorter period of time by running faster.
That lead me to getting up early on the weekend a fortnight ago and embark on a 7.5km run around my neighborhood. I plotted out my running path using Google Maps to provide an estimate of distance and set out at sunrise and returned roughly one hour later.
Considering it was my longest run to date, I think I handled it reasonably well. I learned a valuable lesson along the way, take notice of the road names and make sure you enable terrain view in Google Maps. Without realising it, one of the roads I ran had the word ‘mountain’ in it and I can now confirm with absolute certainty that jogging up a 10% incline is really hard work!
Following on from the relative success of my 7.5km jog, last weekend I decided I’d see if I could go a little further but making sure it was a little flatter this time and ended up jogging 9.2km. I was definitely feeling the run towards the end but to my surprise, Runkeeper reported that I had a fairly consistent pace of 6:40s per kilometre.
I’m fairly happy with how I’m progressing at the moment, nothing too crazy or daring – just slow steady progress. I figure if I just keep working at it and before I know it, a 10km run will feel casual like a 3km one does now.