An old(er) man starts running
I stopped playing football in my early 30s and 25+ years later have done absolutely no intense physical exercise, apart from walking regularly.
I guess the word ‘sedentary’ pretty much describes my activity levels, unless of course you include chasing around after my two grandsons on a quite regular basis.
Informed Choice supports a local school for children and young people with autism and on 2nd December we are holding a 5k run fun for this charity at Dunsfold Park (home of the BBC Top Gear track).
Foolishly, some may say, I have agreed to participate.
This provides a degree of entertainment to many of my colleagues. The usual jokes about what the consequences of this might be are bandied around the office on a regular basis.
Now of course we mustn’t be too jovial about this; there are after all too many examples of men of my age taking up exercise and suffering the consequences.
I have to be conscious of the potential cardiovascular problems this might cause and in addition I suffer from osteoarthritis of the spine as well as bad knees (football has a lot to answer for!).
Collapsing with heart problems or being laid off work with a back problem are neither particularly comforting thoughts.
For weeks I have been working on ‘nailing the rest days’ and have succeeded magnificently at that! But my program to get fit for 5k has properly kicked off this week!
It started at 6.30am on Monday morning, the same again on Wednesday and then again at 6.30 am this morning.
Running (well on Monday pretty much some fast walking and slow jogging) a measured 2.6k course I have turned in times of 28 minutes, 23 minutes and then this morning 16 minutes. Today I pretty much ran the whole course.
Next week I will repeat the exercise and want to get my time down to a regular sub 15 minutes.
The four weeks of November will see me extend the distance to 5k and twelve runs at that distance will have me prepared for the charity day.
Now here is the fun part – on current progress (all things being equal) I am going to do 5K in under 30 minutes which I think is pretty reasonable for a 57 year old.
But the pressure has switched in the office away from me. Martin has a best time for 5k of 22 minutes. He is going to have to work very hard to avoid the embarrassment of being outrun by his “old man”
The good news for me is that hopefully after the clocks go back this weekend I might be doing my training in lighter conditions!