A friend recently declared in public that she ‘loved running; but was not very good at it’. This made me think. Define a good runner. What makes a good runner? Is it really just the domain of the elites, the club runners, the front of the pack runners, the podium placing runners?
Firstly, credit where credit is due, thanks to Lois for the title of this blog entry, this being her observation as we set out.
As many will know I am by nature a lone runner, but I found myself craving the company of others and so bit the bullet and made my first foray with the Glee Club, an informal monthly gathering of my fellow runners for a long a run.
It turns out that nature built me a bit wonky. For as long as I have been a runner I have had issues with my left leg. It is always tight and always needs more massage than the right, and has always seemed to be either the root of or involved in any injuries that I have had to contend. I am also an over-pronator and it is worse on the left.
I have written in the past that I prefer to be a solo runner; however, I am on occasion open to persuasion. When I was asked if I would speak at a recent West Highland Way training weekend I decided that I would embrace the experience and participate more fully and so arranged to stay with everyone at the By The Way hostel and run with them on the Saturday
A new aspect has come into my life as a runner: science. Heart rate, VO2 max and lactate threshold are all things that I was aware of but never really thought applied to me, at the level I perform. Now that I am working with Nairn at the Life Sciences Department at Glasgow University they have taken on a greater significance for me. It is through these tests that Nairn is able to measure my fitness and any improvements (or decline). They provide the basis for training advice and recommendations for race pace.