So I’m almost a week into my return to regular running and still feeling great. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s my favourite exercise.
Strava is telling me I’ve run 37.6km this week, made up of two speedy 5k runs and a couple of longer ones. Now that I’ve got some new trainers (picked up in the post-Christmas sales) the pain in my right foot has disappeared. I’m still amazed – though I know I shouldn’t be – the difference new shoes have made to my running.
I’m alternating between speedy (in my terms) 5k runs and longer, slower runs. I’m enjoying both, as the shorter runs leave me feeling like I’ve had a hell of a workout, while the longer runs give me great time to think.
Yesterday’s longer run turned from a planned 10k to 12.5k, despite the freezing cold wind, the tourist-packed streets and the very real lack of enthusiasm I had at the start. By the end, I’d enjoyed it more than I thought I would and had clocked up some valuable distance. But it was far from fun.
This morning, I went out with a more positive mindset and no firm goal for distance. I just know I wanted to complete a longer run. What a difference a day makes! I enjoyed almost every step of the way and racked up a very pleasant 15k run across the City of London. And all at a faster pace than yesterday!
Running aside, I’ve been meeting my Apple Fitness goals daily all week. This includes the higher (800kcal) ‘Move’ goal. On Tuesday, we flew home from Amsterdam, so I wasn’t in the mood for a nighttime run. Instead, I used our building’s gym and watched some Daredevil on Netflix while on the cross-trainer.
I also went on Wednesday and Friday and started using the resistance machine again, in addition to the cross-trainer. It’s one of those multi-purpose machines that allows you to pull/lift weights from a variety of angles. That, plus some amateur-hour free-weight work left me feeling like my biceps, triceps and lats were being dissolved by acid the following morning.
There’s something very motivating about seeing those little circles fill on my Apple Watch each day. My challenge is going to be keeping this going both when back at the office full time and when traveling. My mantra has become ‘Just keep moving’, both in terms of walking and standing, but also any exercise I’m doing.
Am I now a buff and slim athlete? Not one bit. It’s been less than a week since I ramped up the exercise I get. And that’s a challenge for most people – you don’t get to see instant results, so you abandon the changes you make. I’m not expecting instant results and I enjoy the running, so I’m confident I can keep his up over the medium and longer term. My main challenge will be doing so while I’m travelling for business. It jut takes planning (getting the gear in my suitcase and in my schedule) and commitment to the bigger picture.
I’m also successfully sticking to ‘Dry January’ and a much healthier diet. Huel is back on the menu and is keeping me full and satisfied. I cooked a delicious (if I do say so myself) vegetarian curry for dinner last night and will be having the remainder this evening.
Anyway, the bottom line is: a week of more exercise has been pretty successful and I’m feeling all the better for it. The challenge in the week ahead will be navigating a three-day psych conference while keeping up the exercise and avoiding terribly unhealthy food.