Spring has sprung and Ireland, once again, is awash in a veritable tidal wave of luminous yellow.
No, it’s not delicate catkins, nor the cheery branches of forsythia, nor even the endless rows of daffodils. Running fever is in full swing there`s a plethora of luminous tops bobbing about all over the country.
Yes, I’m out there too making the most of the lengthening evenings and thrilled too, that the clocks have finally moved on for that very important hour. It has an much needed impact on my energy and motivation.
The truth is, I need all the motivation I can get. For some reason, my running form has been poor. Three miles into a run and I’m screaming for it to finish. Here’s hoping it’s just a temporary glip. Boredom is my arch enemy. I have to keep my head busy so I am hoping that the new routes and the longer evenings will keep me tuned in.
Luckily, Tuesday brought a surprise:Teen Girl asked to sign up with a running club. It seems our weekly evening run and/or the demise of her school’s running club have spurred her on to taking things further.
And it’s a win for me too. Now, I’ll just have to be out the door with her two more nights a week and I can fit two of my runs in there too. And with new routes.
Then there’s the new running course from The Irish Times.
Runners warming up at St. Anne’s Park Run, Raheny, Dublin after completing The Irish Times coach to 5km course.
To tie in with the Spring renewal of running interest, they have established two online training programmes. Both of eight weeks’ duration, one is for beginners aiming to run 5km and the other is aimed at those who are aiming to run 10Km.
Anyone signing up for the 10 km course is advised that they should be able to run thirty minutes comfortably non-stop. Now, I know I can do that and from my Hal Higdon half-marathon and marathon training days, I know I can do even more. But I’m going to concentrate on the shorter distances for a while. Aim for quality rather than quantity in my runs and aim for a 10km again.
Unlike Teen Girl, I’m happy to go this alone and not join a club. I like being my own boss, and like the quiet space for my head that solo runs provide.
Saluting my fellow runners as they trot on by is enough camaraderie for me for now, at any rate.
And I’m happy to be part of Ireland’s spring tide. Bobbing about in our day glo colours, it’s definitely one of the country’s better moves in terms of the health and happiness of its’ citizenry.
But I know we all need all the help we can get to stay motivated.