I have no idea how to answer your question. But on a purely practical note (as I've thought of doing the same thing), do you carry your work clothes and other stuff on your back, or do you leave them there and take them home the next day? The hardest part of running to work and back isn't, it seems to me, so much the mileage as organising how to make sure all the right stuff ends up in the right place every day!
This will sound stupid but... can anyone explain exactly what fartlek and tempo runs are and how I should pace them?
I live in London so I'm confined to parks and the canalside. Not much in the way of hills round here unfortunately. The half marathon in November apparently has a steep one-mile climb in the middle - does anyone know how this is likely to affect my time?
I wrote about how over the last four or five months I've used running to aid my recovery from a serious drug addiction. I'm 28 and about 11 stone 7. I ran my first half marathon in 1.34.59 last week, but I didn't have much of a training plan - I would just go out and run as hard as possible five or six times a week, over distances of 2-12 miles.
I've signed up to do another HM in mid-November and I'm hoping that training in a more focussed way will help me improve my time.
It may be ambitious, and though I'd be happy with any improvement on my first time, I'm going to aim to run under 1.30 if possible. 5 minutes may be a big improvement but I had no idea about training or pacing last week - I didn't know what time to aim for or how fast to run. I lost a couple of minutes taking a toilet break after one lap. And I felt pretty comfortable at the end, my final lap of 6 being my quickest. Plus it's only been 5 months or so since I stopped smoking, taking hard drugs and drinking, so I'm hoping that my body is still recovering and therefore has the potential to get quicker.
So this week I started a new training plan that looks like this. (Apologies - I don't know the right terminology: I'm new to all this, which is why I'm asking for help.
MON - recovery run, 4 miles very slow (9min/mile?)
TUES - half marathon pace, 4 miles (6.50/m) increasing each week to 5, 6, 7, 8, 10
WEDS - 5-a-side football (including slow 2 miles to and from the game)
THURS - steady run, 8 miles (7.30/m?)
FRI - rest
SAT - fast - try and break my best time at 2, 4, 6 or 8 miles (6-6.30/m)
SUN - long and slow - 10, 12 or 14 miles (8.00/m?)
So basically a long slow run, a run at my target HM pace, a steady medium paced run, and a fast attempt to break my record (because this is fun and I enjoy measuring my progress), and a recovery run at the start of the week.
How does this sound? Is it too much? Will I be resting enough? Am I targetting the right pace?
They're probably right about smoking being harder to quit in some ways - everyone at Narcotics Anonymous seems to smoke, which I always find a bit ironic considering these people are supposed to be the experts at quitting substances! Well done on putting down the fags. I did the same while I was detoxing from heroin/methadone - I figured the withdrawal was going to be unpleasant anyway, so I might as well roll all the symptoms into one.
Re. my time: although I was in poor shape four months ago, I used to be hugely sporty as a teenager so I guess I had reserves of fitness waiting to be unlocked. I did work extremely hard though over the last four months, in my haphazard, amateur sort of way.
Great advice about finding another form of exercise to replace the running when injuries strike. You're absolutely right, I can imagine finding it harder to stay clean when things aren't going quite so well. Right now I'm living day to day on the euphoria of having a clear head and not needing to put substances into my body when I wake up every day. It's still an amazing feeling.
You're right - an addiction is a compulsive behaviour you have difficulty stopping even when the effects are detrimental. I'll keep an eye on it, and maybe find another physical activity to keep me busy in case of injury, as per Muttley's post.