The goals

So I think now is a good time to lay out my goals that I'll be charting in this blog.

It's a pretty simple plan, with two key aims:

1. Take part in my first 10k race. 
I know that I am more than capable of achieving this goal. A few months ago I was regularly running between 5 - 8k, so this is perfectly feasible.

The real challenge comes in my recovery process as I continue training. Since January, I have been battling a recurring problem with medial tibial stress syndrome. a.k.a. shin splints. This was caused by wearing the wrong shoes (stabilizer trainers were forcing me to under-pronate) and suddenly increasing my running after a Christmas break. I'm also a heel-striker.

I don't want to be one of those people who ruin their bodies by forcing it to run when it doesn't want to. But I love running and I know it is possible to heal and return to form.

One of the biggest challenges so far this year has been accepting that I need to take a step or two back. I can't go out and run five miles with the club right now. But I should be cool with that: I'm not abandoning ship. I'm listening to my body and taking the right steps forward - slowly but surely.

Out with my old Lunarglides: great at first, but I began to under-pronate

2. Learn to land with a mid-foot strike.
This is a hot topic right now and you could say I'm guilty of following the latest Runner's World fad. But I truly see the logic and benefit of landing mid-foot as opposed to on the heel.

When I heel-strike, I feel heavy with a greater impact on my hip and knee joints. When I trial mid- or forefoot running, I feel lighter with smoother momentum and a spring in my step.

It makes sense, but somehow it's easier said than done. I can do small portions of mid-foot running, but it is still new to me and it's taking me a while to maintain form safely and effectively - especially with healing calf muscles that are being used in a different way than they're used to.

It's something of a paradox that this could be a natural improvement to the bio-mechanics of my running, while also feeling a bit alien. Has my body just forgotten how to do it? Should I practice more until I'm 'reconditioned'? Or am I simply not doing it right?

So, these are my two goals for 2013. Seemingly straightforward and 'easy', but if there's one thing I'm a natural at, it's finding a challenge in the simplest of things.

Next year I'll be upping my game to, say, a half marathon. Promise ;)


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