Rick’s Month in Running – October ’23
I’d say the most common email we get at The Running Channel is about being stuck in a running rut.
Luckily, I’m just happy to be out running and am never too concerned about times. But I did recently notice that I’d flatlined with my 5km times and that got me wondering how I could push myself to get to a higher level. So, without the joy of having Sarah or Andy as a pacer on a Saturday morning, I turned to my watch.
The aim was simple: run under 5:00 minutes per km pace for every kilometre. I’ve never really used much tech for pacing before, so this was all a bit trial and error, but I went for it and managed to knock a minute off my post-surgery PB. So this got me thinking. Is it possible to run faster than you’ve ever run before? In my case, for 5km, this means going better than 23:19 – a time I set in 2019 before my surgeries. This will need some serious interval training alongside strength and conditioning. I’ll also need to hit a pace of 4:40 minutes per km, which seems like a terrifying speed for me. But I’m now in the game.
A few of you have kindly contacted me to ask about the impact of being a runner and having a drop foot. If you have a foot drop, the front of your foot might drag on the ground when you walk. It’s caused by a peroneal nerve injury – in my case, having a hyperextension of my left knee, caused by playing rugby as a teenager. It generally doesn’t bother me too much, but I occasionally trip over myself and get the odd blister. I concentrate very hard when doing live TV! I’m used to it now though and mostly forget about it.
Sarah asked me about the cause of the drop on The Running Channel podcast a couple of weeks ago. I used to wear a brace under my foot for the first couple of years after the injury, but my body has adapted to flicking my foot forward when I walk. The ability to heal and adapt is awesome.
Finally, a little shout out to Jess in our team who is what I call a ‘nut job runner’. She travels every weekend and is a race addict. Have a little read of her recent blog here about doing the London Duathlon – one of the world’s largest duathlon races. I’d love to have her air miles.
Keep smiling, keep running.