Since I've started jogging and manage longer distances and time I've noticed a common pattern that I thought I would write down here and see it changes with time. It roughly goes like this:
- The start. I have no problem actually starting. I start at the same place on my course every time and when I get there (after a brisk walk) I just get going. No problem, no need for motivation or anything. Just Do It.
- After 10 seconds. Within the first few steps my calf muscles are already hurting. This never really goes away until towards the end of the run. I wonder if some warm up exercises (beside my five minute brisk walk) might help.
- The first five minutes. These are quite dull and a little annoying. I am not yet into the full swing of things. Whilst I've no intention of stopping, they are not the best five minutes of the run as all I can think of is why bother!
- The next 10 minutes. Somewhere at this point I start to enjoy the run. A curious contradiction is that on the one hand I actually start feeling lots of aches and pains, on the other hand I am able to essentially ignore them.
- Minutes 15 to 25. By this time I've started sweating, yuck! The other thing I've noticed is the ability to get into brief trance like states after about 15 minutes. When there's a long straight stretch and I am always looking at the same thing, I can for few seconds at a time essentially blank my mind. My ultimate aim is to run the whole run in this state!
- Minutes 25 until 1 minutes from end. After about 25 minutes I am in the full swing of things. All pains, aches and other anxieties (with the exception of watching out for those pesky cars) are firmly out of my mind. I feel like I can go on for ever.
- The ending. I normally set a time to run, rather than a distance. Currently it's about 40 minutes. As I get towards the end of the run I often feel like I can just keep on going. Sometimes I do and set myself a distance. Other times I sprint the last minute or so.
- The sprint. If I've decided to sprint I simply increase my pace significantly for the last minute or so. What still amazes me at this point is how much energy I have left after a 40 minute run.
- The jog. If I've decided to for a distance I will normally try for a new distance (currently the maximum distance I've managed is 8km). Somewhere towards the end of this I really do feel TIRED. I still feel I can go further, but am currently aware that if I overdo it I run the risk of ligament or joint pain. I am still a beginner at this after all.
- The end. No matter how I finish, I feel a real high when I finally stop. I am not talking nirvana or anything, just a real satisfied tiredness. I need to pinch myself to remember that 10 weeks ago I couldn't run 1km.
So there you have it. A jog of mine in 10 easy steps. My next goal is to manage 10k in 60 minutes.