Esther’s Virtual Great North Run: 3 weeks to go

24th August 2020


Our Fundraiser in Wales, Esther, is taking part in the #GNRReimagined Virtual Great North Run on 13 September for Music in Hospitals & Care and is sharing her experience as the big day approaches. This week Esther tells us what she has learned about the importance of sensible training plans and not pushing your body too far!

And maybe of listening to slower music when you run if you are a novice runner!

For a few days I was walking a bit like a Thunderbirds puppet, with my legs doing some very odd things as a result of some pretty sore thigh muscles. As well as my Couch to 5k training runs I also do a lot of other exercise, including walking, various workout apps, Yoga and occasional bouldering. I love to exercise lots and normally it isn’t a problem, but I think the addition of running might be pushing my body harder than I anticipated. It is a very different sort of physical activity to what I am used to.

Because I am fit and can breathe well thanks to the Yoga and all the other exercise I do, I CAN run quite quickly. And because so far my running music of choice has been Queens of the Stone Age, I HAVE been running quite quickly. I suspect this might be the mistake and I need to slow it down if I want to be able to do this. I think this might become my biggest challenge. I am naturally a ‘fast’ sort of person – I walk, talk and act quickly as a general rule, not so good at slowing down (which is why I need Yoga of course!)

So today, when I go out for my next training run, I am going to listen to some much slower music and see if that will slow me down. I know how important it is to do this training at a pace that isn’t going to cause me injury.

This has highlighted the importance of giving yourself adequate training time before taking part in an event like this. I have embarked on this challenge because I know that my level of strength, fitness and stamina is good, but a few weeks in, I am learning the hard way that I am not fit in the way I need to be for a half marathon. The organisers of the Great North Run do recommend a minimum of a 12 week training plan! They also say it is fine to complete the Virtual run over more than one day, which I am definitely going to do.

Having said that, I am still very happy that I am doing this challenge. It has shown me that I am able to challenge any story I tell myself about perceived limitations and I can always try new things, even if I don’t succeed the way I would like!

If you are already in training for a marathon or half marathon and would like to give the run a go to fundraise for Music in Hospitals & Care, you can sign up here.

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