Last summer one of my lovely colleagues asked me if I wanted to take part in a fitness event organised by CHEP in Cologne and I said that I don’t think I could even take up the sport of running, that I was too old.
A bit later that prompted me to take up running and start the right way. So first I bought a couple of things that are essential in my opinion. Running shoes, running clothes, a heart rate monitor and fitness tracker with a cool app and some running music and headphones that are suitable for running.
I knew I needed some kind of coaching, because I was utterly unfit, did no sport at all at the time and spent all day sitting in front of the computer. Climbing a set of stairs got me puffin!
I started after our holiday in autumn 2017, cause that gave me a tiny fitness boost and did my first interval run/walk on the 12th of October 2017 with the Runtastic App and the Training Plan: “Run 30 min after 6 weeks of training”.
This plan was so worth it. I had the voice of the audio-coach in my ears during the run, when she spoke the music got muted and she told me what to do when I had to do it. That way I didn’t over-extend myself.
3,11 km interval in 27 minutes, average pace 8:45 min/km, average speed 6,9 kph
today, 2 months later (I couldn’t run at all in November due to being ill) I can run
5,19 km in 41 minutes, average pace 8:02 min/km, average speed 7,5 kph
and in 30 min I can run 3,8 km – no walk intervals.
To me that is already a huge success, to be able to run for 42 minutes without any walking. Halfway through I got the Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness tracker and those both apps together really motivate me, I love to reach new records and get new badges and push myself always further.
It was essential for me to find a fixed spot in my daily routine for running and the only possible spot was in the early morning before I even switch on the PC. I do get up very early for that, at 5:30, but it is so worth it. There is a beauty to this time of the day, although I have to admit it’s a lot nicer in summer.
Over Christmas we were 1 month on holiday in New Zealand and oh… running on an early summer morning through this fairy-tale landscape was out-of-this-world beautiful. I’ll never forget it. I knew if I came back into German winter and stop running, I’d loose all those fitness I gathered in NZ, so I kept going, with a flashlight on my forehead in sub zero degrees – and found that even that can have its own kind of beauty – if you are properly dressed for the occasion!
I’ve struggled with quite a few things in this time… which app to use, which tracker to buy, finding the right earphones for cold and for hot weather, finding the right music with the right bmp – beats per minute count… because I love running in tune with the base of the song, it keeps me on a steady pace and motivates me to keep going.
But yes, there is such a thing as ‘runners high’ and it is fantastic. Addictive.
Now that I am this point, it has become a necessity for me, I look forward to it, I can vary the intensity of the run according to my goals and my current fitness. I think the hardest thing is to get to the point where you can actually run for min. 30 minutes straight.
The things that helped me most to do get here are:
- A fixed place for my run in my daily routine
- The right shoes (most important), clothes and gear
- The right training plan
- The right music and bmp’s
- A heart rate monitor that allowed me to check my heart rate during the run and keep it from becoming too high
- Taking Magnesium tablets after each run to prevent my muscles to go sore
- Something to challenge my competitive streak (goals, badges, challenges in the app)
I’ve lost 4 kg in this time and I don’t only feel fitter, I feel a lot more energized throughout the day, more motivated and stronger. I get less headaches and I have no back-aches at all anymore.
I’m actually less cold, I drink more and eat healthier, as this has become a necessity with the constant running.
There are still things I wonder about and haven’t found a solution for yet… like, what to do with all the snot while running. I have to blow my nose so often and it always disrupts my breathing.
The next step for me is to pick up my speed and then go for a half marathon. If I’ve learned something in the last months it is that anything is possible, no matter how old you are or how much you weigh… as long as you really want it.
I never ever thought I was a runner, I have tried so many kinds of sports to level out the constant sitting during my job and nothing really worked. And now I can’t imagine not running and when I can’t do it longer than two days, I really miss it.