Diary of a Reluctant Runner

Week 3 ...where I make a classic beginners mistake

Related links

My new trainers

Diary of a Reluctant Runner wk1

Wk 2 : I start to Run

Ealing Half Marathon
Ealing Eagles

he organisers of the Ealing Half Marathon are offering one free entry to an Ealing Today member.

Just answer this simple question:

When will the first ever Ealing Half Marathon take place?

Send your answers to editor@ealingtoday.co.uk  by 30th May 2012







Sign Up For EalingToday.co.uk

Sign up for our free Acton newsletter

The week starts well.

I'm enthusiastic and on a bit of a buzz after having performed a minor miracle last week in the beginners training group of the Ealing Eagles (a 15 minute run without stopping).

Next day I reluctantly venture into the gym at The Park club for my first personal training session. Reluctantly, because gyms really aren't my thing.

I have tried a variety in the past but honestly I just don't get them. Why would I want to walk for ages on a treadmill that doesn't take me anywhere? Never quite seen the point.

I have also been put off by sweaty, grunty men lifting weights who often seem to dominate these type of places.

There was good news though - no sweaty, grunty types to be seen in this gym at The Park club, just a big airy studio (with no unpleasant smells) a few other women and friendly trainer Steve.

He listened to me babble on about how I hated the equipment but, after taking all my medical details said he was still going to show me how to use it.

So, he did, and I'm happy to report that I'm now less afraid of the bike, cross-trainer and even the treadmill!

Steve understood that I am not a natural gym-goer, but recommended I do 10 minutes on each of these before a class or training session - it would be a good warm-up* he said.

I guess viewing it like that I might just be able to bear it... but I think I will always gravitate to the pool, outdoor track or take a class - gyms are not my natural habitat.

On Friday I dropped in to see Roy Summers at Ealing's Bodyline Studios. He's one of the half-marathon sponsors and offered to help get my training regime together. Roy is also looking after a number of other first timers - so I am in good hands.

He wrote me a plan that looks manageable (running 3x a week) which is absolutely key if I am really going to complete this half marathon - which currently seems a bit of a pipe dream.

On Saturday I was still buzzing so decided to add an extra Walpole Park run to my schedule and met up with some fellow fledgling eagles.

They have been training longer than me and, with the help of Mark, who was leading the run, managed an impressive 3 1/2 miles. I couldn't match them but nevertheless did cover about 3 miles, which is still rather good (even if I do say so myself!)

Spurred on by my 'success' I decided to start my training in earnest, and this is where I made the classic beginners mistake.

Having rather limited time for a run (before being called back on child-care duties) I started straight from the house with NO WARM UP*.

Half way through my second 10 minute slow jog I felt my right calf tighten. I thought it was just a twinge, but it was persistant. I slowed down and then when I tried to stretch I felt real discomfort. Calf strain caused by a pulled muscle is not fun.

Yes, yes... I know.... not warming up is very remiss - now I am paying the price.

I took a slow walk/hobble back home and have been hobbling since.

Training has been put on ice (like my calf) until my leg recovers.

If anyone has any good advice for dealing with this injury please let me know - Should I use cold or heat treatment? How long should I rest it? Should you train when it's not 100%?

And if anyone has some decent warm-up routines please send - believe me I have learnt my lesson - the hard way.

Nevertheless, I am not despairing too much and hopefully will be back on track very soon.


Annemarie Flanagan


23 May 2012