I was out running the other day with a good friend of mine. She does not run very often and has just started to get into running. I had just completed a good long run the weekend before, so it was a gentle run out for both of us.
It gave us the time to chat and talk about life, liberty and our running.
I am an experienced runner with a lot of events in my legs and the medals are clogging up a drawer at home. I’ve learnt many lessons the hard way and blistered more than I really should have for a man with my knowledge. Yet, one of the best things I know about running is how my body will feel in three-miles time.
It is hard to explain but when I am running a long run, I know how good or bad my legs are going to feel in a couple of miles time. I can assess how I’m feeling right now, know the pace I am running, the terrain I’m covering and the weather. They all put into a simple equation and I know that if I keep going as I am, how my legs will feel.
It allows me to slow down if I’m heading into trouble. It also lets me go harder if I think I have a lot left in the tank. I think it is my best strength and it was what I was trying to explain to my friend as we ran.
It got us onto talking about our bodies and how we’re coping physically as we leave our twenties and move solidly into our thirties. The little niggles and pains which would have disappeared within hours in our teens, are now lasting weeks and months.
It was funny how we both had LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor as one of our favourites, gone are the days of indie bands and movie stars and they’ve been replaced by running gear shops and the doctors.
Our running started to take over and the talking got a little shorter. My legs were still recovering from the weekend before and her legs were feeling their longest run in years. So, we did what all good runners of our ilk do and we slowed down to head into the pub.
I had read my legs perfectly and there was enough left in them for me to get to the bar and order our drinks. I swear this is the greatest strength any runner can have.
Learning how our bodies run and how we react to the different inputs, is key to a successful run. If I can slow down by a couple of seconds for the current mile and it will let me keep my pace for the next ten, then that is two seconds I am very happy to let go.
Running really shouldn’t be about maths, and I’m not happy to admit this but sometimes, there is an equation for everything in our daily lives.