Beginning Running for Lard Arses

I started trying to run again in September last year, it was absolutely insane. I was very overweight at the time. Well, not overweight, not even obese, but obese category 2! I really needed to do something, and in a fit of madness chose running.
“Running” was a very loose description of what I was doing. I started by doing a walk/run program. Walking for a couple of minutes and plodding along for a minute. Surprisingly, it was fucking hard work. After doing this for 20 minutes I would be leaning against a lamp post desperately trying to suck in a lungful of air. If my ticker was ready to give up the ghost, that would have been it. I found the program on
Runner World - it seemed so easy. It wasn’t. Perhaps, they should have an even easier page titled “Going for Goals for Lard Arses” for people that are at least 5 stones overweight.
After about 6 weeks I was on Week 4 of the program and still every run was a form of medieval torture. At this point a colleague from work decided to join me. He’s considerably younger, and I was very worried that I would be lumbering on behind. In fact, we were well matched, and he’s been a great running buddy.
We completed the program by the beginning of December. Every run was still extremely difficult, and for the next couple of months the improvements were more in how I felt at the end of the run, and not at all in speed or distance. The harsh weather stopped play for a while. Stupid, stupid decision. We should have run in the snow and broken a leg, because of course it became an ongoing excuse not to run. For weeks. (Well, months).
April saw us starting again, knocked back, and pissed off that the hard work had been eroded. Within a few weeks we were back “on form”. Plodding away at the same old pace. The really odd thing is, we seemed stuck in a rut. It was easier and easier to run the distance, but our pace was stuck. I mean, 13 minutes per mile isn’t anything to crow about - it’s a slow jog.
Around the end of April we switched tack - no more increasing the distance and seeing the same old pace mile after dead mile. Now it was short runs, 2 miles. And, the first mile as quick as we could manage. Soon, this was showing benefit.
On Tuesday we did a two mile run in 20 minutes - hey, some people call that “running”, not “jogging”! Result.
Today, we ran a new route, not sure of the distance, and chose to run at talking pace. A new idea for us, running no faster than a pace at which you can carry on a conversation. Previously, if we’d tried that it would have degraded into a walk. I am stunned. Not only did we manage it, but we did it at a pace of 10:40 per mile.
Today saw us agreeing to do a half marathon in October. Bring it on…
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