Outdoor Running is Hard!

I went for my first proper outdoor run today. Or at least I tried.

I was all motivated and dressed to go to the gym, when I realised we don’t have any guest passes left in the house (that’s how I’ve been accessing the gym in Salisbury, I do not pay for two memberships!). Since I was so ready to go, I decided to just go for a run instead.

I knew what my route was going to be; there’s an easily navigable circuit where I live – turn left out of the house, up and round through a suburb called Bishopdown, onto the main road, and then along there until you approach my house from the other side. There’s a bit of a hill to go up and down but it’s not monstrous and the rest of the route is pretty flat. The route is just under 2.5km. I have to admit though, I only managed to run about a kilometre of it on this occasion.

I found that running on the actual earth is much harder than running on a treadmill. Is this normal? Was it psychological ’cause I haven’t done it before? Was it made worse that I chose the warmest day of the year so far to venture outside? I don’t think it’s an issue with my actual fitness as the thing I struggled most with was the pain in my ankles and the tightness of my calves. When I slowed down to walking, my body wanted to spur on and keep up the pace but my ankles weren’t coping well.

I know that practice will really help and I’m hoping to get out again over the weekend, although I do have work and a Christening to fit it around! But I feel like just keeping on running isn’t enough to make it more comfortable and I need to find some tips on strengthening my ankles and legs in general.

It was a little disheartening, considering the progress I felt like I’d made at the gym but I’m going to focus some of my frustration into some internet research. I’m not the first person to do this, nor am I the first to write about it. As Isaac Newton once said, we see further by standing on the shoulders of giants. So giants, share your wisdom!


Best Day Yet at My Home Gym

Apologies for the quietness over the last week. I’ll be totally candid and say that it’s because I haven’t worked out. My mental health and fitness are fatally intertwined in the sense that working out makes me feel better but if I’m not feeling great, I can’t bring myself to workout. And I’ve had a week where I just couldn’t get myself there.

I didn’t beat myself up too much though on the basis that I knew I’d be coming home for the Easter break this week and would be able to use my favourite and original gym. And today I did! AND it was my best workout yet.

I followed the same workout structure but stretched it out to 40 minutes, alternating between running and walking. It was meant to be 5 minutes of each all the way through but I lost track of time at one point and did a six minute lap and a 4 minute lap. But that means I ran for a total of 20 minutes and my longest continuous streak was 6 minutes. And I felt good doing it! It’s true that the first run is by far the most painful and that the pain reduces with each subsequent go. Today I felt confident that I could push myself without it feeling like I might not be able to handle the extra.

Now, 4 hours later, as I’m sat at my computer writing this, my lower back and hips are aching so my next task is to find out how to reduce that side effect.

Now that I’m home for a couple of weeks and can use Parkwood Gym, my aim is to go at least 3 times a week and to make a small improvement each time (as I have done so far). Next week I have a PT session booked in with my lovely friend Charley at Parkwood, who I used to work with and who is so passionate about her job as a PT. I’m excited to have her input and will let you know how it goes!