Here are 5 more running questions, and my responses. I hope they give you some more background into me and my running.
5 More Running Questions
To you, what’s the hardest thing about running?
Finding balance. I have a pretty addictive personality and when I’m focused on something, it can consume my live. While it took a while to ‘get addicted’ to running, I’ve found it consuming more and more of my time and my thoughts recently. Not that this is necessarily bad, but there have been times when I’ve had to stop myself from going for a run, because my body needed rest. There is nothing worse that having a mind that wants to run, but a body that can’t because of injury.
Related to this is coming to terms with the fact I’m not 17, or even 27 any more, and dealing with the fact that my current body simply can’t keep up with my younger selves. While running will no doubt help keep me feeling younger, I will need to pay attention to things like recovery, stretching, and cross-training.
Who supports you the most with your running goals and why do you pick them?
Krista, Biby and Hanna from my first running ‘group.’ We all met during the Vancouver Sun Run inTraining clinic and kept running together afterwards as we trained for the SeaWheeze 1/2 marathon. We continue to run together from time to time. Not only are they great running partners, but they have become good friends and even drinking buddies!
My wife, Linda, has also been super supportive, putting up with my new fascination with things like running socks and energy gels and listen to me ramble about inane running trivia. She has also offered post- run massages and even has dinner waiting for me after my runs.
I’m not sure if it’s because I inspired her, or because she is worried about becoming a ‘running widow.’ 🙂 but Linda has recently decided to start running, so I hope I can return the favour and support her as much as she has supported me!
Where do you run: treadmill, street, track, trail? And why do you prefer running there?
I run almost exclusively outside, either on the seawall or streets. One of the reasons I started running again is that I live right next to the seawall, one of the best running routes in the world. It is flat, and a 22km uninterrupted route along the seaside from Kits Beach, around False Creek and Stanley Park to Coal Harbour.
Indeed, it is such a scenic route that during the SeaWheeze 1/2 marathon, I saw other runners actually stop along the route to take pictures of each other and the scenery! I must admit that sometimes even that gets boring, so I try to run through different neighbourhoods at least once a week. This is when I try to include my hill training.
When it’s really cold or miserable out, I don’t mind running on a treadmill. I find it offers a great time to do some speed work, as you can set precise speeds and times/distances. And with my trusty iPhone, I find that it’s a great way to get caught up on the latest podcast or TED talk.
During my marathon training I did a bit of speed work on the track, which I found a nice ‘change of pace.’ I also want to get out to the trails at UBC and the North Shore a lot more in the near future.
How has running changed you or your life?
More than I could have imagined. I started running simply because it was the most efficient way to lose weight. My adage was that there’s “no fun in run.” However, once I got started, I slowly found myself actually enjoying it for a variety of reasons.
Here is a short list of a few ways it has changed both me and my life:
- It has enabled me to lose weight (and keep it off!)
- It has allowed me to appreciate Vancouver’s beautiful surroundings and public amenities
- It has introduced me to some amazing people.
- It has given me a sense of accomplishment and achievement that is entirely within my control.
- It has provided me with a healthy outlet for my ‘addictive’ personality.
What advice would you give to someone looking into running?
Take it slow. Too often we’re tempting to go too fast, too hard and too long at the beginning and our bodies aren’t ready for it. This is especially true for people who are already in shape and active in other sports.
While your aerobic capacity may be ready, running uses specific muscles and tendons and puts unique stresses on joints that take time to strengthen. If you go out too hard, you will likely injure yourself before you really get started and end up discouraged.
During the Sun Run Training clinic I mentioned yesterday, we are told that when first starting running, your pace should really feel more like a shuffle, like you were doing the “cha-cha”; quick little steps with a short arm swing with almost no knee lift. This will get your body and muscles used to running. The idea is that ultimately the run portions mesh with the walk portions so that your body and mind hardly know the difference.
Before you know it your stride will evolve into a comfortable pace and you’ll be off and running!
Same as last week. I challenge all my fellow running bloggers (and those who want to start) to start your own 30 day blogging challenge. It would be a great way to kick of the new year! Not only did answering the running questions help introduce me to my followers, it also gave me a chance to reflect on my experiences as a runner!
If you are interested in taking up this challenge, you can find a list of all thirty questions on my Tumblr page.
A special mention to Anita at Dunwaetin who took me up on my challenge and answered some questions on her blog last Friday.