When I was oh so much younger I was a runner and a racer. I was extremely fortunate to have lived close to an excellent athletics club, I joined the club, found an excellent coach, met other runners who shared the same dreams as me. It was great fun but also extremely competitive, and immensely hard work. Our coach had the iron fist wrapped in a silk glove, he knew when to push us hard and when to ease off a bit too. This environment helped me improve to the next level and eventually I got to the stage where I was selected to run for my country. So far so good.
When you’re climbing towards your peak as a runner, you can measure your improvement extremely accurately, and isn’t it great when you grab a PB? Even if it’s by just a second or so, there’s no better feeling is there? Unfortunately, as you get older and the PB’s stop coming and you’re unable to be competitive at the sharp end of the field any longer, you can measure the slowing down process just as accurately. I simply couldn’t cope with this scenario, I was finishing behind people who were beating me because they were younger than me, not better! My ego wouldn’t allow me to carry on allowing this to happen, so I stopped running. That was just over 20 years ago.
About a year ago a friend told me they had signed up with an online coach, that they were really enjoying it and the buzz of improving. I told them it was because they had some structure to their training and someone else there who viewed things differently to the way they did. I did a couple of runs with them and really enjoyed myself - but I needed a purpose to run, I can’t just run for the sake of it I needed a target, and my PB times were, well let’s be honest, way out of reach. I had a chat with my friends online coach, who had the iron fist wrapped in a silk glove. He told me what I already knew and was quite obvious that I’d never run those PB times again. He suggested that I start all over, a complete second running career. We set some targets that will be hard to achieve but still realistic, we agreed a training plan, a formula if you like.......including hill sessions, I love hill sessions. I still sometimes head out the door thinking I’m 25 again, and suffer the consequences, and in some ways I hope that never changes!
It’s fair to say that I’ve found the love for my sport again, it’s a different kind of love for sure........thanks Coach Callum, thanks NewEra.