Running faster is at the top of my wish list for 2018

Happy belated New Year!

With January comes the typical New Year, new you type of thoughts which for me manifested itself as a wish to pick up the pace and run faster.

I’ve also wanted to shift some weight – thanks to watching the calories with chef Tom Kerridge on the telly (bought the book from Norwich Waterstones indeed, where bizarrely you’ll find it in the health and lifestyle section and not food).

But Christmas brought with it other gifts – a copy of the Runner’s World book, Run Less, Run Faster. I’d been thinking about getting a copy since talking my friend and fellow runner Jon, who used it to help him train for the Liverpool Marathon, recommended it.

Jon’s words of wisdom shared over a lunchtime coffee in The Little Red Roaster, on the corner of London Street, still ring in my ears – ‘if you want to run faster, you actually have to run faster’.

And what he meant was it’s no good chugging around on your runs thinking you’re doing something without pushing yourself, no sir if you want to get quicker you’ve got to make a bit of an effort – I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it.

So I asked for the book to go on my Christmas list – and Santa didn’t disappoint.

What is Run Less Run Faster all about?

Basically the book emphasises quality over quantity in terms of training.

What does that mean for me as I train for the Broadland Half Marathon in March?

Well, in essence it means 3 runs a week – a short interval style run, a medium ‘tempo’ run and a long run on Sunday.

The book says you should then have two days of cross training in between – that could be a swim (Riverside and Sheringham Splash) – as well as a bike ride; in my case a work commute into the city and cycling to Cringleford for a meeting; or even a walk (four miles from the city centre to Hellesdon after work instead of the bus, yes indeed I did!)

And don’t forget two days rest!

It also says you shouldn’t dive straight into following the plan – so I’m trying to build up a bit of mileage while trying to incorporate some of the ideas.

I’m in week three now of my half marathon training¬† – whether it will help me run a quicker time at Broadland I don’t know.

I’ve not yet shifted a bit of weight…and yet.. I feel thinner, so I’m hoping that’s going to come.

I’ve also noticed I’m pretty tired in the evenings.

To be honest with all the colds and flus about December was a write off for me running wise, and I’ve only really started training properly again since the start of the year, so there is no way I can complete one of the programme’s before Broadland.

But I feel that I’m on the right track (although not yet on a track for interval running as the book recommends)

The plan is not without its critics – some argue that the cross training is just replacing runs which you might have done instead.

But I like the fact that I’m mixing my exercise up more, which I think in the longer term is a good thing anyway.

And thanks to Tom and his recipes, I definitely feel that I’m eating better too.