My first time running in a group

Tonight I went to a recreational runners group for the first time.

It is run through Bristol and West Athletics Club for those runners who want to improve but not run as part of the club. I was feeling pretty tired after a long first Monday back in school but managed to force myself out the door. I was glad I did!

I arrived and was warmly greeted by the coach and had a brief chat with someone in my group which helped settle my nerves. He was also kind enough to let me know what was expected of the warm up. 3 laps of the track for a social jog was followed by some dynamic warm up exercises. This was exactly what I wanted before running. It felt like what I do in the gym with some nice new exercises for me to add to my routine. I have never really been one for a thorough 10 minute warm up but since my knee issue, I will always take into account time for warming up.

I was put in a group based on my 5k time which I said was 23 minutes based on my park run two days before. I’m a long way off that PB fitness so it worked out well. There was a number of groups available for a range of levels and targets. I was informed of the plan for the session which I am told gets sent out the night before. It was 4 lots of 1300m with 500m jogs in between.

I decided that because I was new and lacking confidence in my running that I would be best to hang at the back of our small group of 7. The lads who were setting the pace would move ahead but by the finish line, my little sub group were not far behind. I feel like I kept a bit in the tank for the last one and tried to increase my speed for the finish.
On the injury front my knee was fine but once again I had tight calves. I’m putting this down to a lack of running so am considering using the cross trainer to mirror the movement a bit.

I can see the benefits of having these sessions in my training plan even if it was once a week. I like to do my own thing but I am not very good at pacing. By running with others and on a track it will definitely aid this as our splits are shared and everyone is aiming for similar times. There are also those runs where you feel like going easier than you really could or should but in this setting that is harder to get away with it!

I’m sure I will be back next week and am looking forward to receiving my session plan on Sunday!

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