Sunday, 5 May 2013

Hal says... BEDM Day 5

Fit and healthy is today's topic for those taking part in BEDM.

I can't really say it with a straight face because I'm hardly an example to be lauded by all of the ideal of a fit and healthy person, but I do try my best and that should surely be worth something.

As you remember, or may not know if you're new here, I have a 10km race coming up. I'm taking part in Whipsnade's Zoo Stampede with Lucy (read all about it here) and despite the fact that we've been signed up for ages and despite the fact that I knew I should start running sooner, I did what I did the last time I ran a 10km and kind of forgot that I need to actually train for it.

Then I made things even worse for myself and signed up to the Hull 10k which is taking place on Sunday 19th May - so if I wasn't going to be ready for the Stampede...

There then ensued The Girl's Spiral of Doom where I go out and try and run as far as I can, end up not running very far, go absolutely apeshit at myself, try and go out and run further than I did the time when I failed, fail again, nearly pass out on the street, beat myself up.

I'm no sales and marketing expert but I'm pretty sure I'm going to struggle to effectively market that as a viable training programme.

Maybe one of my problems is taking photos of myself instead of concentrating on running?
(Jokes. I took this walking home from the gym one day, don't fear for my safety. Or sanity.)

During one of my Spirals of Doom, American Girl came to my rescue, as she always does, and pointed me in the direction of Hal Higdon's training programmes.

I decided to give it a go for a couple of reasons;
1. American Girl has used them to train for Marathons. That's a good enough recommendation for me.
2. How can I not go by the word of a man called Hal Higdon?

The training programmes are free to download and, far more importantly, easy to follow. I've steered away from training plans in the past because they just seem so overly complicated and require the use of a stopwatch and sprinting and all kinds of silly things. This just puts me off. However Hal's 10k Novice plan suits me down to the ground - I basically do 2 short runs during the week, a couple of days of cross training (which is basically any cardio activity that's not running), throw some rest days in there and then at the end of the week go out for a longer run.

Unfortunately I received this 8 plan when I had about 4 weeks to go until my first race. But I thought I'd see what I could do, went out on Sunday and managed to run over 6km. This puts me about Week 4 of the programme and seeing as I'm doing a lot of running up and down hills whereas the Hull 10k will be flat, I'm hoping I can make up the missing week or so and basically fudge it. 

I certainly couldn't do worse than The Spiral of Doom Training Plan.

If I was to follow it to the letter I'd be training 6/7 days a week but I have explained to Hal (in my head) that that's really not going to happen. He was surprisingly cool with that. Plus American Girl assured me she didn't complete all her planned workouts when she's marathon training. This is requiring some re-wiring of my brain because if I don't do something that was planned the Failure Alarm activates but I think I'm coping.

I do a little tick when I've completed the training I was supposed to and the real test will come today when I attempt a 7.2km (4.5m) run.

Wish me luck...

Edited to add: I went out for my 7.2km run. It wasn't a marvellous success - I figured that as the sun wasn't blazing I'd be ok to go out in the middle of the day. I was incorrect in this assumption - the heat was stifling and the god. damn. hills conspired against me again. I ended up walking up one of the hills which has activated the Failure Alarm where I am berating myself for a 'failed' run. Can I still say I've been for a 7.2km run when I didn't technically run all of it? My brain tells me absolutely not but that doesn't make me feel great.

I need to find a sport that doesn't make me hate myself.


  1. Erm...spinning? That isn't so all sounds lovely in an ideal world but hearing about you struggling makes me feel like it is never going to happen for me... You are definitely tougher than me...!!!

  2. You are doing better than me. I ran a 5k last June and ummmm haven't been out since. Oops.i blame running not being compatible with a toddler and full time work and studying.

  3. I can't work out whether you are mental or a genius or a twisted version of both, but you never fail to make me smile.

    "You can take the girl out of Hull, ..."


    1. Well I'm still waiting to hear back re my application to Mensa...

  4. Do what works for you. If Hal helps then that's all good. No point beating yourself up if things don't go to plan. Keep your chin up :) x

  5. Exactly one of the reasons I don't run; I'm crap. But you're doing it and doing it well! Keep going!


Go on. Say something. You know you want to...