Quartermarathon in an hour

It used to be that I could barely run few hundred meters. The two main problems were that I couldn’t catch my breath and that the side of my stomach started hurting.

I started running regularly few months ago in connection with my extra hour a day program. I abandoned early rising — nowadays I just get up at 9 during the weekend feeling completely drained, not to mention Mondays. Changing this to rising early again is definitely on my to-do list. It rocked, and it sucks now.

When I was starting, I ran a little over 3.5km at a very slow pace (almost half an hour). After reading few articles about running, I started paying more attention to proper breathing and few other things. I added a longer 6.5km route along the river to add variety to the routine. I found it surprisingly easy to run almost twice as far.

And now, feeling pretty comfortable with 6.5km, I connected the two routes to make it over 10 kilometers (I am not sure how far it actually is, but according to google maps it’s something between 10km and a quartermarathon (10.5km)). I ran it in 57 minutes on my first (and so far the only) try. I’ll try again the next weekend, if the weather is any good.

Running is good because:

  • it is rather demanding and makes you tired quickly (so that you can get back to your beloved computer as soon as possible ;))
  • you need no special equipment and you can run anywhere
  • runner’s high is not a rumour
  • it helps your health in various ways (I used to have half-asthma and after running few hundred meters I couldn’t breathe for another two hours (really), but now I trained my lungs and improved my breathing technique)
  • you have plenty of time to think when running, so you are bound to get various good ideas while running

Also, running is simply fun.

8 thoughts on “Quartermarathon in an hour

  1. Yeah, I’ve been jogging for a number of years now, with breaks of a few months thrown in between. Very refreshing.

    It does only train your legs however, and your “long-term” stamina. So I tried something else: I went a few times to the gym, and did a weight-lifting session with an instructor. It was very good, I felt muscles I didn’t know I had :) I definitely would do that regularly if it weren’t so darn expensive.

    So I think the best way is to do a little bit of running, plus regular workout at the gym (without instructor… cheaper). Now just to be organized enough to really do it :-/

    Ps. Swimming is also excellent – trains the whole body. Did that for some time, but I spent as much time going to the pool as swimming in it.

    Ps2. First dozen or so pics from the winter gallery show my jogging route :)

  2. Yeah, it trains stamina, which is very important for me. I also learned to breathe properly, though I still have to concentrate on it.

    Gym is boring, I prefer to go to nature… :)
    There are also many exercises you can do to keep generally fit even at home, without a gym (pushups etc.).

    Re PS: Swimming is great, I love it… but I don’t like closed pools too much, so I have to wait for summer. ^^

  3. Hi,
    running sure is great, I’ve also found about it not so long ago. I am just surprised you’ve started in winter. For me, this is a season of pause because I hate cold air. But it seems the weather is getting warmer again, so I’ll give it a try today :-)

    Just a note, when you say that no special equipment is needed, that is only partially true. Sure, you can run in whatever old boots and clothes you have, but if you don’t want to damage your legs and also want to feel more comfortable, nice running shoes are a must. Also, good running clothes make things a lot better (sweat taken off of body, thermal/water/snow insulation, etc…). Also a sporttester is a great tool. Most of more serious runner get one sooner or later.

    Anyway, your time is just too great for just getting started. During summer I had run almost daily and my physical condition was at its best then and I am not sure I could have beaten you in 10km ;-) I only once measured my time at 5km and it was 23 mins, but with that tempo continued, I would be dead before long :-)

    So, good job and keep it up!

    Marek

  4. The cold weather sucks… but it’s mostly just the first five to ten minutes — then one gets warm and the weather doesn’t matter anymore :)

    I’m thinking about buying running shoes, but I still consider them just a luxury (when I start running 20km everyday, then I’ll need proper running shoes).

    And I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do 5km in 23 minutes :-o

  5. True, but I usualy don’t feel cold, that wouldn’t be a problem. What bothers me is a cold air and there’s pretty much no way to avoid breathing it. I tried to find some advice regarding this but there don’t seem to be anything good. I hear, some people wear a scarf over their mouth, but that just sounds silly. But maybe I’ll try it when I will be desperate enough :-)

    Well, you can get decent ones for not such a big price. The price is anywhere between 1000 and 5000 czk with 2000 being already reasonable (my current ones cost 2600, and they are just great). Anyway, if you would be able to buy it in e.g. in US, the prices are usually half of what they are in Czechia. Market economy really does wonders sometimes :-)

    Regarding 20km everyday, that sure is a nice dream, but even the best of amateurs don’t do more than 300km a month, usually 10km three times a week + one long run at weekend (of course, it differs between sprinters and marathon runners, but amateurs usually don’t specialize much anyway. They just run). Body needs a rest sometimes too. It is very important not to overdo training and then not be able to walk for a few days and start hating running. But I guess you are already past this danger :-)

    Hehe, in my current condition, neither could I, it sounds almost like a dream to me now. But I hope I’ll get there again (and farther even :-))…

    marek

    P.S.: Maybe you already found it, but if not, certainly look at this forum. There are tons and tons of invaluable information there and also very helpful and experienced people.

  6. The coldest I ran in was -5˚C. The trick is not to breathe in using your mouth — breathe in with nose, you can then breathe out with both nose and mouth. This works perfectly for me.

    (Last weekend it was around 2˚C and I became careless and started breathing with my mouth open — and soon found out it was a mistake.)

    As for running 20km everyday — I wasn’t all too serious about it. I just meant that if I ever did that, I’d need proper running shoes. :)

    And that forum seems very useful, I’m gonna lurk a bit, thanks for the link ^^

  7. I’ve breathed in only with my nose for a long time now (except for sprints of course, nose can’t handle that at all), so this is no real helper :-)
    Actually, my main problem is that my nose is sore in no time in a cold air and I have to use handkerchief all the time… So breathing through mouth is more comfortable for me, but really just one breath in five minutes or so, otherwise the lungs would start to protest soon.

    So it was a joke was it? We’ll see an half a year ^^
    But really, it’s important to get a shoes. When you have your legs damaged it is already to late. In fact, in my opinion, it’s best to get them as soon as possible, because in the beginning you also don’t have a very good technique of running.
    Also, the shoes usually have a minimal distance they are functional for (after that time the cusioning and other important parts start to wear out) and this is usually somewhere between 1000–2000 km, so if you actually don’t run that much, you don’t damage the shoes much and they will last for a long time ;-)

    You’re welcome :-)

  8. I have pretty comfortable shoes. Not sure whether they are “running shoes”, but they suit me well. The only problem is that they are starting to fall apart. And they also smell a little :)

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