Chapter 18: A little less information

18. I still do it now: set myself a target (albeit a less ambitious one) for my running; wear a watch so that I am fed a constant stream of information about pace, distance, and heart rate; compare that to where I was, where I am and where I’m aiming for; I notice what otherContinue reading “Chapter 18: A little less information”

Chapter 17: Being barefoot

17. I was in pain and living in a desert with no access to physical therapies. I knew what was wrong. It was plantar fasciitis, the familiar heel pain that had taken months of rest and shockwave therapy to resolve previously. I was teaching English in Qatar, the year after my first degree and runningContinue reading “Chapter 17: Being barefoot”

Chapter 16: Limit your options

16. I was once asked at a talk what was the first thing I did when I was aiming to run well. Without thinking I answered, ‘finish work by 4pm’. I think the audience member was expecting an answer that involved a specific training routine, but the answer I gave was a serious one. WithoutContinue reading “Chapter 16: Limit your options”

Chapter 15: Slow and steady wins the race

15. In chapter 12 I tell the story of my first personal best in a very long time following 8 weeks of a very unconventional run programme. The average running volume for those 8 weeks was 32 miles and in later years it reached 40 miles in similar programmes. I calculated the average weekly mileageContinue reading “Chapter 15: Slow and steady wins the race”

Chapter 14: The new normal

14. Sprinting up that hill as fast as I could, I knew it wasn’t possible for there to be anything ‘wrong’ with my legs. Yes, my tendon was a bit sore, but it was clearly working extremely well. This was further confirmed by my ability to hop and bound; to perform calf raises with 100-kgContinue reading “Chapter 14: The new normal”

Chapter 13: Variability, an athletes best friend

13. I had never really felt my buttock muscles working before until I was walking upstairs the day after performing squat exercises for the first time. My glutes were sore, yet I felt as though my new-found muscles were powering me up the steps at the same time. Perhaps because I could feel them, IContinue reading “Chapter 13: Variability, an athletes best friend”

Chapter 12: Becoming an athlete in training

12. I remember an unfamiliar sense of pressure the night before the 2016 Abbey Dash 10km (Leeds, UK). Never before had my training preparations gone exactly as I had planned. At the same time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because the running programme I had used to prepare looked nothing like a runningContinue reading “Chapter 12: Becoming an athlete in training”

Chapter 11: The road to redemption

11. What a journey it has been. Running for 140 of the last 148 weeks after almost 12 years plagued with injury. That would have seemed like a pipe dream just a few years ago. Consistency brought about performance improvements. It started with accepting I was a 36:40 10km runner in 2015, before improving inContinue reading “Chapter 11: The road to redemption”

Chapter 10: Mind the Gap

10. Chapter 1 referred to a 12-year period of on-off injury beginning in 2004. This period was not without glimmers of hope. In 2008-2009, I ran for a 16-week and 25-week stretch having been introduced to strength and conditioning. In 2010-2011, a combination of strength & conditioning and barefoot running on grass led to aContinue reading “Chapter 10: Mind the Gap”

Chapter 9: Denial

9. I limped off the playing fields and back to my car with considerable pain in my heel. What made me stop running that day? I’m not sure. I guess it always reaches a point when you just know, the game is up. I had been using pain killers for several weeks which had slowlyContinue reading “Chapter 9: Denial”