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Back to running

Over the last few weeks I’ve felt that I want to get back into running.

I’m not really sure why. The ability to just go off and do it (rather than find somewhere appropriate to swim), is certainly part of the attraction. But, as much as I love swimming, I think it also feels a more natural form of exercise. I mean running is just like walking, but a bit quicker* – I walk all the time, so running is just an extension of that.

I used to run – ages ago I did a couple of marathons (eight years ago to be exact – wow!), then it stopped for a bit and I’ve often nearly, just about, not quite got back into it.

One of the problems I’ve found is that every time I did try to get back into running I would set off on my first run with the “I’ve run marathons don’t you know” attitude. So I’d run far too far, be sore as hell the next day and decide that maybe running wasn’t for me after all – then repeat all over again two weeks later.

In one of my bursts of being a runner I bought a pair of “barefoot” running shoes, inspired by the Born to Run book. I love the idea of them and find myself loving the idea that our ancestors used to run prey to death even more. However, a few weeks after getting the new shoes I got a calf injury – a really deep muscle injury that would flare up again even if everything felt fine again. I’m not saying the two things (barefoot shoes and calf injury) are linked, although there are some people that would argue that they are, but it was certainly a correlation. And more than anything it was bloody annoying.

Then I really got into the swimming.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love swimming, but I think my body is ready for a bit of a change. So I will slowly, but surely aim to get back into the running. While in theory it is easier than swimming (or at least more convenient), as I have to now classify myself as a non-runner I’ll need to retrain my body, so progress will be frustratingly slow to start with, but I’ll give it a go.

The plan will be to get back into things very gently for now, with the plan that once the open-water swimming season is over (mid-September) that I’ll be able to replace much of the swimming training with running for a while.

I think the break and the change will do my body good. I also think that a rest from swimming will make me ready to get back into again (absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that) and then I’ll be able to do a few more drills and specific training sessions with the intention of improving my technique and speed.

So, I’ll be a runner soon!

* I know there’s more to it than that.

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