The cautiously running man

Posted on December 3, 2011 by Chris Baynham-Hughes

Second session of Physio this morning. I’d like to say it was an early rise, but with two boys under 2.5 years old it simply wouldn’t be true. I headed off for a second bout of pain, but full of hope.

Thirty minutes later I stepped onto the treadmill and spent thirty minutes on it trying to calculate the speeds back into miles (and running at the same time). No pain at all during the run – just the equivalent of mentally twiddling my thumbs as the monotony of treadmill running took hold. Monotony or not, I’m back, just not on the trails yet.

I find running on the treadmill quite tough. I’m not sure whether it is because you can’t ease up in any way without having to actively admit you are backing down; i.e., pressing the minus button on the speed, or whether it is just the monotony of running on a rubber band. It’s only recently I’ve seen the point in the machine; firstly for a predictable surface and thus aiding recovery from injury and secondly as a training aid for speed work – you can’t fake the pace on one.

I’m pretty old school in my training, I go out and run because I enjoy it and I think adding in speed work and specific hill sessions will take away that fun and enjoyment. I think people can get too scientific about it, take it too seriously and lose why they do it in the first place. It works for some, but not for me.

Speed work for me is the equivalent of going to the driving range as a golfer. Isn’t it more fun and enjoyable to just go and play a round instead? I may view this differently if I was doing it with other people and there was a game to it, but just motivating myself to do it on my own… no thanks.

Running captures my attention through the feeling of freedom I have when I run. It’ why I rarely run on roads and why I love trails. Mountain running in particular is just so liberating. I couldn’t feel more alive and free than when I’m running over mountains.

Laura can always tell when I’ve been out running, I’m lighter somehow; rested, clear. I genuinely believe that there is nothing a run can’t solve – if you get back and haven’t solved it then you didn’t run far enough; you either solve it or just don’t care anymore as you’re so knackered you realise that you no longer give a monkey’s.

All in all and excellent day then: ran strongly for thirty minutes without pain, returned to take Rhys to the park – all the time with half an eye on possible smooth routes to run feeling like I’m being let out of my cage. I ran enough energy out of him so that he’d sit still for his hair cut., oh and whilst Wales didn’t win, Shane got his final act in a Welsh shirt to be a try scoring one. Magic.

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