While in the Royal Navy I would put my name forward for any sporting activity, one reason was it would get me out of the normal day duties, and another there was normally a visit to a pub afterwards, some might say my motivations where a bit miss guided, I did enjoy taking part in the sport, what I am really trying to get across is that I used to go at it like a mad man and tire myself out very quickly, I had no stamina.
Now I find myself at the age of 64 taking on challenges I would never try as a young man, even if it did get me out of work, the furthest I had ran for prior to this year was 1500 metre’s, a friend had volunteered me for the race, this was 40 years ago, I completed the race and was pipped at the post for third place.
In October 2016, I had to give up my job for health reasons, the doctors don’t know what is wrong with me, but one did say I should get some exercise, you don’t always listen to what doctors say do you, but I did not like how I looked in the mirror, my belly was starting to hang over my belt, a look I was not fond of.
I started with some dumbbells at home, then joined a gym just before Christmas, I know your supposed to make a resolution and then start in the New Year, I found this bloke on the internet who had taken himself from being overweight to winning body model competitions (I think that’s what they call it).
Anyway, his name is Chris Zaremba and his site is http://fitnessoverfifty.co.uk/ there is all sorts of information there from exercises to nutrition, Chris has done a lot of training and gained certificates in the fitness industry, so he knows what he is talking about.
The programme consists of cardio and resistance training, this is how I started running, there are two types of cardio, one is interval training, this involves running as fast as you can for a minute then walking for two, or till you get your breath back, then doing another minute running, the interval training is done over a 20 minute period, I have read that you should not do this for more than 30 minutes.
The other type of cardio is done at a steady pace, the pace that you do it at is 65% of your maximum heart rate, to find your maximum heart rate we need to do a bit of arithmetic, don’t panic I could do it so it is very easy, first of all take your age away from 220, and take 65% off that, I use the cross-trainer (elliptical) for this, the steady cardio for 40 minutes in length, making sure you stay within 5 beats of your target heart rate.
After doing this for around 6 weeks I took part in the Barnsley Parkrun this happens on a Saturday morning at 9 o’clock, now running on a treadmill and running on a paved path are two very different things, the later being the hardest, and then someone had put hills into this park to make things even harder.
The run covers three laps of Locke Park, and the hills go up in three tears, the first is the longest but not as steep as the next two, the next one is steeper but not as long, the last one is the steepest and the shortest, but this does not make it any easier.
On my first attempt it was a run walk, the run was at a very slow pace, I was that slow I was being overtaken by snails, I have now done four of these, and on the last one I managed to run all three laps, now I need to be able to go faster than the snails.
So why a 10k and not a marathon or half marathon, the reason is time, I can train to run in a 10k in eight weeks and I think it takes up to twenty weeks to train for a marathon, I might as well take it in baby steps and work up to it.
I have just started week two of my eight-week training plan, I would like to say the road running is getting easier, I am sure it will given time, back to the plan, over a week there is four days running, two rest days, and one day where I do another activity like swimming, cycling or anything that is different from running.
I choose the cross-trainer because I can maintain my desired heart rate, which is 101 bpm, I do this at level 14 at a speed between 65 and 70 cycles, at this level I find it easy to keep my heart rate within the limits.
Now comes the good bit, saved it to last, while doing this 10k run I am hoping to raise some money for a charity, the charity I have chosen is Bliss, the reason I have selected Bliss is because they gave support to my nephew when his daughter was born prematurely and very ill, this is the kind of support Bliss has given to families since 1977.
Don’t forget I am running to raise money for Bliss.
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