Running is a hobby which I have a love/hate relationship with. The last few months I have been getting back into it again. I wanted to get my fitness back up again, so I have decided to train for a half marathon. But this isn’t any half marathon, it’s a trail run, in the Redwood Forest in Rotorua. This will come with additional excitement and challenges.
With trail running, you’re not running on a footpath or the road, instead you are running on tramping routes, or maybe no track at all, in the wilderness. Running in the wilderness obviously makes for a far more beautiful experience. There are less people, no cars, and you’re at one with mother nature. Trail running can be much more difficult than road running though. The terrain can be much more steep and uneven than you’re used to, and you may be away from civilization, so there’s that. I have done a bit of running before now, but trail running is a new thing for me.
How I got into running.
I first took up running in 2015. I was getting a new gym program, and the instructor suggested that I could integrate short bursts of running into my walking routines, as a way to get fitter. To start with, I alternated my running and walking for 30 minutes, doing 5-minute bursts of each. 5 minutes felt like a very long time when running, I was easily out of breath. But at the end of it all, I felt quite good. There was something I really enjoyed about running, despite the suffering I felt.
I ran three times a week, and began to rapidly get fitter. As a result, I would increase the distances and running period. Towards the end of 2015, I ran a 12-km race, non-stop, with a time of 1 hour 9 minutes. I had accomplished something, which I thought was out of reach for me.
The next year (2016), I decided I wanted to go further, so I trained for a half-marathon (21-km), which I successfully completed in October that year, with a time of 2 hours 3 minutes. My legs felt wrecked after that, and I decided I wouldn’t run again for a while…
My training program (last week).
One thing I found about running is that it rapidly increases your fitness, but if you stop running, you lose it quickly too. So when I first started my training in February, I was almost starting from the beginning again. I was able to run 3-4 km non-stop without too much issue though. Anyway, here is what I have done the last week:
Monday: 10-km run.
Tuesday: 30-minute walk.
Wednesday: 6-km run.
Thursday: 1-hour walk.
Friday: 12-km run.
Saturday: 3-hour hike (Wairere Falls).
Sunday: 6-km run.
My legs have felt a bit sore from this, especially the hike, but everything is still manageable thus far. Most of my running up to now has been road running, but closer to the time I am going to incorporate some trail running into my routines, at least once a week.
I will be doing this run on the 4th August, as part of a winter festival in Rotorua. I will let you all know how this goes.