Its almost impossible to talk about running without talking about time. For most, simply finding time to run is not easy. Its possible to see the early morning jogger, though they are very rare as its difficult to resist the extra time snuggled up in the duvet playing the snooze game with the alarm. Then follows getting yourself ready for the day ahead, or persuading some little people with other ideas to go to school.
Some have the option of cycling to work of course, where you don’t get too puffed out and sweaty, but running seems to be a step too far. Work gets in the way of a daytime jaunt and there’s no such thing as a dinner hour any more, apart from those on flexitime and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t save up their flexitime to add to their annual leave.
Once home, its helping with homework, cooking tea, preparing packed lunches for the next day and persuading the same little people that they should tidy up and go to bed. Once these tasks are complete, at this time of year at least, its cold and dark outside and the return to that comfy duvet is far more inviting than a cold, icy run in the dark. Weekends have more time available, but if your training for a distance run, you’ll require more frequency than this.
Time is also the main subject of conversation with regards to training and races. I have come to the assumption that once a runner says that they are doing the 10K you can put your house on the first question being “What time you aiming for?”
Time seems important for self improvement, the digits on the dial congratulate you if you get a better time, but kick you up the backside if you get a higher number. Endless GPS tracking Apps are available and information for that self improvement has never been easier or indeed, cheaper to come by. However, I’m finding myself in this bout of training wanting to shed all barriers and complications, this includes taking a watch or smart phone out whilst pounding the streets.
My only goal throughout these weeks building up to the 10K is to plot a course and complete it with out stopping, my mind is focused on the distance rather than the time. So far, so good, and its quite good to be able to shrug off the pressures of beating any previous times.
I’ve even contemplated cutting off the official timing chip from my race number, but maybe, just maybe, if I can find the time, I’ll log on to the website as soon as I get home to check the numbers.
Paul Tyler is the presenter of Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM, Mondays 9PM