Running on Empty

On paper, today’s run looks pretty good: I did 2.25 miles at my fastest ever average pace (9.58 min/mi).

However, I’m a little bit annoyed with myself. I wasn’t as comfortable as last week and mentally, I was struggling again. I just couldn’t concentrate properly. Didn’t help that my phone rang at one point (a blocked number), which temporarily stopped my music. I also helped retrieve yet another football (some lads were playing in a fenced off bit and the ball came over, so I threw it back), and that put me off my rhythm slightly.

But the thing that really annoyed me was my realisation that I hadn’t fuelled up properly. I hadn’t had my lunch and I was already starting to feel hungry even before I went out. I drank a lot of water instead and to begin with, I was ok. About a mile in I thought I could feel my stomach muscles start to feel slightly uncomfortable. So, I walked for about 10 seconds, decided I was fine and set off again. 

Eventually, my stomach muscles started to complain again. It wasn’t cramp or really painful but was enough to make me decide that as soon as I got to the end of that lap, I would stop. Also, my right thigh muscle was starting to stiffen and pull a bit (honestly, I did stretch before the run!), so again, I thought I wouldn’t try forcing another mile.

What I think this has taught me, is that if I’m going to try running further for longer, I need to make sure I’m properly fuelled up first. Sounds so obvious, but I think I assumed I still had enough gas in the tank from breakfast.

By the time I did my run today, it was a few hours after I’d had breakfast (yoghurt and banana), and probably too close to the time when my stomach was expecting to be filled again. I’d drunk a load of water before setting out and I never felt sick at any point but really, I  shouldn’t have tried to repeat last week’s 3-miler on so little.  

Anyway, I am nevertheless pleased about my average pace and I did still run for just over 2 miles, oh and the weather meant I got to wear my short-sleeved running top for the first time and was able to dispense with my headband and gloves so, overall, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself……

But, lesson learned – don’t run on empty!

Oh, and other lesson learned – put my phone on ‘Do NOT Disturb’ before setting out!



2 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. Thanks. Yeah, I know 🙂 That’s what I did last week (though I did listen to music). Mind you, last week, I’d eaten breakfast later in the morning. This time I’d eaten earlier and left too much of a gap between then and lunch. I think I was running on fumes this time! I wasn’t a fan of running to music initially either but, since then, an audio interval training package has helped me recognise what sort of music bpm (and therefore speed), I can run to comfortably. Even with the ‘Zombies, Run!’ audio adventure, it still uses music.

    So, last week was fine. I don’t know what got into my head this time. I think I was slightly anxious about not having eaten first and also knew that the weather was going to turn in the afternoon, so I just couldn’t settle.

    Nevermind, it’s all good experience. I’m still learning! 🙂

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