Today is the day everything started to click.
The focus for the run today was on staying relaxed.
My neck, my shoulders, my arms, everything all as loose as possible.
The course today seemed easier when I moved my focus away from what I was doing and instead concentrated on being relaxed. That's the big message I got from this session and Rick made sure that if you were doing this course you were relaxed and in a good zone.
It really works. I don't want to sound preachy, but he seems to be kicking lots of goals with a lot of the things he is saying.
Try it for yourself. Run and then pay attention to how tense parts of your body are. Make an effort to relax them and notice how less fatigued you become.
It sounds simple and it is, but until it was pointed out to me I didn't give it a thought.
My cough is almost gone so that's awesome too.
When I finished today it was the best I'd ever felt. Ever.
So, the pressure was on today.
I arrived at Runnez HQ early and there were runners participating in a Runnez virtual class.
It's the first time I'd have to start running with people around and Rick was there as well!
We had a bit of a chat about what he had planned for me for that day and explained what we were looking towards doing over the next few weeks.
The run he picked for me is going to help advance my endurance and is supposed to help me in the long run. For me, it just felt pretty hard and got my breathing going pretty full on!
You can check out the chat we had below.
Looking at my Strava results, it was good to see how my heartbeat, as well as breathing, seemed to be able to recover relatively quickly.
Only minor coughing this run and I can feel myself, and my running, really improving.
What is giving me great strength is two-fold. The first is when Rick says to relax.
I instantly analyse my body and find I am wasting energy being tense and am able to correct immediately. The second is being able to withdraw myself mentally from the treadmill, concentrate on his voice and pretend I am somewhere else. Often, I a mentally running through a forest.
Maybe I should go to a forest for a run and see if I start relaxed immediately?
Can I call myself a runner yet?
I've found it interesting how not having done any exercise whilst sick that I feel I have taken a few steps backwards. I mean, it's to be expected, but I was surprised by how much.
Maybe it's that my breathing was the area impacted most that means it was much easier to notice. If I was a professional birthday cake eater (a career I would certainly consider if it was offered to me) I'd expect I could still put away the same amount of cake in the same amount of time whether I had the flu previously or not. So, horses for courses.
While I wasn't running Rick did have the chance to show me some exercises & stretches I could do both pre and post run.
For this run I did a pre-stretch (I've asked Rick to put a tutorial up so keep an eye out!) and a longer warm-up. So basically, stretching and a 5 min walk at a reasonable pace.
Those simple things made quite a difference to me, or at least in my mind, and I felt I started stronger as a result. Sometimes it feels like the first couple of minutes I am trying to keep up with the treadmill but when starting warm it felt like we were starting as equals.
I'm still enjoying this running thing. Really.
It turns out I didn't have the man flu. I had the real flu.
Just over a week and a half of coughing, aches, pains and sleep.
The rest of my household were sick also so I didn't need to do any additional acting to make myself seem worse than I really was!
This was my first session back and it was great to get a sweat up.
I've got a bit of a cough which is very persistent, but it only seems to flare when I stop running.
Post run I felt much better than I'd felt all week and truly think the combination of exercise, sweating and drinking a lot of water during really helped to flush my body of some little nasties that it was holding on to from being sick.
Still, I think next year I might get the flu shot, just in case.
It's been a long couple of days. This man flu thing is still lingering.
Rick taught me something I never knew that I did incorrectly. Doing up my shoelaces. Seriously.
All these years I've been doing it wrong. It has made a difference to the way my feet feel in their runners so I'm very happy. I've asked Rick to post a video explaining how to do it. Once it's done i'll pop it into this post for everyone to see.
Back to running.
I felt much better after my last run so I figure it can't hurt to do another session.
People speak a lot about endorphins and that sort of fancy talk, but for me its about how I feel in my own body post-run.
I feel that I breathe a bit cleaner, my lungs fill more, my clothes feel like they fit better and parts of my body are just a little bit 'tighter'.
I know it's mostly in my own head but isn't that a great positive about this running thing? Better self-image and more confidence?
I know a lot of people, including myself, that could benefit from that. Maybe this running thing has more to it than I initially expected.
It seems that all my friends and family are getting sick at the moment.
I haven't got sick per se, but I'm bordering on a serious case of man flu.
If I hadn't just started this Runnez journey I think I'd be pretty sure to be in bed with a very high level of complaining.
As it stands, however, I've decided to tough it out.
Now, I did have some concerns about training while not 100%. My breathing for one I thought would really suffer.
The cough I'm dealing with is annoying just laying in bed so getting on the treadmill doesn't seem like it would be any easier.
I jumped on the treadmill and again decided to go with a random virtual session. Turns out, I picked the same session as last time.
What I really enjoyed about this session was that mentally you are putting in the large blocks of effort at the start and then shorter efforts towards the end.
This means that my brain tells me all the hard work has been done at the start and everything afterwards was 'downhill'.
This is the first session where I overbaked myself a bit. I thought I was better than I was (what, I'm not an expert runner after 2 sessions!?) and paid for it a little bit.
Rick did warn us not to go to hard - especially those of us new to running - but I thought I knew better.
Turns out, I didn't.
Today in Melbourne is was around 11C and rained all day long.
I ran in comfort inside with Rick encouraging me the entire way and I forgot I felt sick - or that I couldn't run - and when I was finished wanted to jump on the front counter and Leonardo Dicaprio my lungs out with "I'm king of the world". Instead, I went home and had a coffee.
There's been another upside to this running thing.
Normally, I'm not a fantastic sleeper. Toss and turn and never sleep the night through.
This running thing isn't a cure-all, but I have noticed that I have been having quality sleeps since day 1.
Granted, I am awake now at 6.45am typing because I couldn't sleep - but I'm not tired and only woke once or twice during the night. That, for me, is huge.
I feel well rested, relaxed and, well, hungry. Gosh, I'm going to have to have an early breakfast too!
Let me know if you are having quality sleeps after your Runnez sessions - I'd love to find out.
Also, are you waking up hungry?
The day after my first running session I did wake up a little stiff, a little sore.
Not bad pain by any stretch of the imagination but more the type that let you know you had used part of your body you hadn't been previously.
It's a bit disappointing that this type of pain does not appear to others so you can wear it on your chest like a badge of honour. Instead, you need to try and drop it awkwardly into coffee conversations where they really don't fit.
"Can you hold my coffee for me please Dave?" my friend asks.
"Sure" as I lean across and make a little noise to let them know it's a bit uncomfortable to stretch the extra millimetre. "My legs are a bit stiff after the run I did."
I puff out my chest like I've just cured the obesity epidemic while my friend just gives me a look that says "whatever".
For Day 2 I was expecting much of the same but I thought I'd choose a different program this time.
Fartlek worked pretty well the first time so I figured a second would be much of the same.
I chose this one for myself after telling Rick I'd do the same again. By the time I got around to it I couldn't remember which one it was so I just went the random Fartlek. Is it just me or does 'Random Fartlek' sound a bit wrong? Anyway.
It turns out this one was a bit more front-loaded in nature. Essentially, there were 3 sets of 3 mins on and 1 off.
I was able to push myself OK as Rick had mentioned that once the first sets were done it was all downhill from there.
Although this was a more difficult program it still was great knowing at the end they were short efforts with rests after each.
I did go as hard as I could for the last 45 seconds as well, so I felt really good about it all when I was done.
I'm sure it's just an illusion, but when I got home, showered and put some new clothes on I was sure they fit a bit better than they did the day before.
I guess that's the point.
All of my talk, all of the promises to myself, they all boil down to today.
This is going to be my first run. My first Runnez session. The first time I've had to wear a spiffy pair of running shorts.
I have looked forward to this moment, somewhat. Not so much the running but the feeling I hope to get after. 1 minute after. 1 week after. 1 year after.
Rick chose this session for me and said it was Fartlek. I thought, at first, he said something about farting but it turns out this is a real word. Yet another thing I am learning along this journey - a new language.
The session he had me do had a lot of efforts than were broken up with nice rest periods.
Mentally, it didn't feel like I was working as hard as I was because I knew a rest was only ever a minute away.
My heart rate did fluctuate from 140-180 bpm depending on the effort I was exerting, but I always felt like I was in control. I did, also, forget to turn my Garmin on until about 10 mins in, so my results are a bit skewed.
I must admit, it is nice to have Rick talking to you throughout the session. I've always loved to have music playing, but he found ways to amuse me and always keep me upbeat and interested. That is one of Runnez charms.
Once the session was over I felt really good. Not because I was dripping in sweat or my legs felt toned but because I had finished and I knew that the next step of my running life had started.
I forogt to turn my Garmin on until I stopped and checked the time!
Hi! My name is Dave and I am lucky enough to have been chosen by Rick from Runnez to be able to blog about my new running journey.
I have never liked running. Never. Ever.
The only time I ever ran was to chase after a ball or to get out of the way of something.
I do enjoy a range of other activities - just never running.
Rick and I met through a mutual friend and hit it off from day one.
I always showed interest in his Runnez program, but was quite happy to not participate.
There were always a few main reasons for my not wanting to run. Firstly, I never really got the urge to just go for a run - it never occurred to me. Secondly, I've always had issues with my knees - ever since I was about 15 playing AFL football.
After the surgery I had on my knee at the time, I remember the doctor saying to me that I would never squat again and would never run.
Rick told me about 'Runnez Virtual', his platform for doing Runnez programs via your phone, tablet, computer or TV.
I thought this was something I could get on board with. I've never been one to exercise in front of others if I can avoid it and I also remember being teased at high school for the way I ran.
I turn 40 next year and want to work hard to make sure I enjoy a long and healthy life. To accomplish that I think I need to eat better, exercise more and spend quality time with those I care about most.
I think the food and exercise will help me be the best person I can be - and the onflow of that is being able to enjoy my life more.
Tomorrow will be my first day running, my first day looking carefully at what I eat and my first day sharing my journey with you.
I decided to call this blog Running Naked. Why? Because I feel like I'm baring my all on the page and that, to me, is the same as standing in the middle of the MCG on Grand Final day. Naked.
I hope you enjoy the ride.