Rick’s Month in Running – August ’23
I’m deep into somewhere I’ve not been for a long time. Training for a race.
It’s been three years since I last raced and Sarah has signed me up for a 10k at the stunning New Forest running festival. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I don’t really get nervous anymore. I say this not in any way as a throwaway boast, but because I’ve learnt to turn nerves into excitement. I still get the jitters and the buzz from doing a new show on TV or radio, or a live podcast with The Running Channel, but it’s what I call compound energy.
This is also quite different to being concerned that you’ve not trained properly. My god, I am getting that right now! Have I done enough intervals? Will I DNF (did not finish)? I’ve learnt through working in broadcasting to control my nerves by embracing that energy and moving it aside. It took me absolutely ages to master, but it’s helped my career massively since I cracked it.
There are three things that I’ve changed with my exposure to running post-osteotomy. First, I do 50/50 strength and conditioning sessions for each run. In practice, this means for every run I do a gym session. Secondly, I have 48 hours rest between runs to allow any swelling to decrease. I am still pain free. Lastly, I’ve upped my cadence to protect me from over striding, especially on downhills. This reduces the impact on my knee. This is all about protecting the knee from damage – not reducing pain.
Sarah took me out on an interval session (which you can watch above). It was in the full sun and having to talk through it made it more of a challenge, but it was fun. It just feels completely alien to me at the moment, actually training for a race that’s coming up. I’m absolutely psyched for it.
The podcast has been an absolute blast this month, with GB marathon runner Phily Bowden stepping in for Andy while he was on one of his many holidays. She is really chilled and gave some amazing insight into the oddities of selection for the GB Olympic Team. She was a cool guest to have on and Sarah and I would love to have her back.
My gosh, did you see our photos from the World Athletics Championships in Budapest? It was soooooooo hot. The poor athletes. It was over 30 degrees celsius every night in the arena. I was dripping wet just doing a live podcast.
The New Balance guys really looked after us in Hungary. Despite it taking us 36 hours to get there and sleeping by Andy’s feet in a hotel in Sussex for eight hours (with zero minutes of actual sleep due to bad 80’s music on repeat), I had the best time I’ve ever had at The Running Channel. What a city Budapest is – I really want to take my wife and babies there, but that might have to wait a while.
So, here we go – to Hampshire next for the race. Time to bring as much compound energy with me as I have in the tank. The mantras for the day then: Slow and steady wins the race; The faster you go, the quicker you finish.