Different muscles


I can’t quite remember when I lost my running mojo but I think it was probably towards the end of the summer.  I have hardly run since then and, until this Friday, hadn’t run at all, for more than six weeks.

Back in the grey dank days of  November I decided that I had finished with running.  I didn’t go so far as to throw my running kit away – after all it is rather comfortable for slumping around the house in (not the shoes but the leggings definitely are) – but I remember saying to myself that if I didn’t enjoy it as I did the cycling, then there was no reason to do it.

But somewhere at the back of my mind there was a dim memory of happier running times.  Because I had previously enjoyed it.  Or rather, I am not sure I ever enjoyed it much whilst I was doing it, but I always felt a sense of achievement and a massive lift in spirits, when I had completed it.  And there is no doubt, that if you run, you can eat and drink what you want without putting on any weight at all.  And I like to eat.  And I love to drink beer and wine and whisky and ginger wine and . . .  well, you get the picture.

So a decision began to form – initially it was  just a vague maybe, but it evolved steadily to a probably, and by Christmas had become the kind of definitely from which there is no turning back – I would return to running.  But I wouldn’t be so hard on myself.  I think that is where I went wrong before – aiming to always run a PB if I did an event.  I will run, like I cycle, to have fun. After all, no one other than me is at all interested what speed I run at.

Thus, on Friday morning, I put on my trusty running shoes and went out.  I switched off all the pace and time settings from the display on my Garmin so I wouldn’t worry because I was so much slower than I used to be.  I just displayed distance and set out to run 10km.  It was hard but I did it.  When I got back and synced my Garmin with the computer, I could see my pace and time.  They weren’t great but then again they weren’t awful either.  And 10k was an ambitious distance for a first run.  So I was proud that I did it without stopping or walking and with no real moaning or swearing.

Now, however, two days later,  I can barely walk.  Who would have thought it?  I thought I was fit with all the cycling and walking I do.  But the tops of my legs are agony and going down the stairs is something I am avoiding at all costs.  It just goes to show that running and cycling use completely different muscles and it will take a while before I can run, even slowly, without feeling wrecked afterwards.

8 thoughts on “Different muscles

  1. and that is just the reason why i love cross training with running and biking they go together far better than running and walking. Although i will always love walking !!
    After being to advanced performance for new running shoes I may have found out why my legs sometimes ache… apparently i tend to use my hips to swing my leg rather than lift my knees especially when my legs get or are tired…. and i can feel myself doing this ,so now i have something to work on !!

  2. You have really embraced it all, Sally. In a way, it was seeing you enjoying your running and making such good progress, that reminded me that I did enjoy it and can do again. So thanks!
    I was told the same about lifting my knees when I did those couple of training sessions with the guys for the half. But it’s so hard to change your natural running style. But I think I will try to think about how I run a bit more and less about how fast!! Having said that, I was thinking of doing some fartleks to music tomorrow as they will make me forget that my legs hurt.

  3. Great Blog Gina. I am also not sure if I have ever run and thought ‘this is great’ but agree with you that there is a great sense of achievement when you finish. A lot of people can ride 50, 70 or 100 miles, but how many can run a half marathon!! Stick at it and we will get out running when the weather gets better 🙂

  4. Yes, it is so much easier to cover the distance, cycling. I do get knackered cycling, when I try to keep up with people or going up big hills, but it’s not the same kind of effort as with running where it’s effort from the first step to the last. I will stick at it. You too, Roly. And yeah we can so evening runs when the days lengthen out and we’re back up to some kind of running fitness. My legs STILL ache today – and it’s been 3 days now!!

  5. Different exercises, different muscles – bit more pounding of the joints with running! But I always admire people who run, only because it’s something I don’t do. I’ve never really liked long distance running as I was always more of a sprinter when I was at school and even now, short bursts of speed is still what I’m best at.

    Anyway, happy new year and all that – the only resolution I’m making this year is fitness based and one I should find (relatively) easy to keep to!

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