Chapter 12: Becoming an athlete in training


I remember an unfamiliar sense of pressure the night before the 2016 Abbey Dash 10km (Leeds, UK). Never before had my training preparations gone exactly as I had planned. At the same time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because the running programme I had used to prepare looked nothing like a running programme. In fact, of the 10 sessions in a week, only 3 of them could be considered traditional running sessions. It was an experiment of sorts. What would happen if I could complete this programme for 8 weeks in a row without interruption? The answer was a first 10km personal best (34:20) in 11 years. I was no longer an injury-prone runner but instead, an athlete in training.

One of the most painful aspects of being so injury prone over such a long period of time was the gradual erosion of my identity as a runner. It becomes harder and harder to refer to yourself as a runner when you are not running very much. Ironically, this was a necessary step in becoming a consistent runner…

Come back Monday May 31st for an extract from Chapter 13: Variability, a runners best friend. Pre-order the kindle version of the book now on amazon, out June 28th 2021.