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Just starting to run

My aerobic fitness is kept in a leaky bucket

January 1, 2010

My lack of aerobic fitness was a real shock when I went for the first run after a couple of months break due to illness. My progress and been OK up to that point and I’d enjoyed including anaerobic exercise in the form of running intervals and gym work, which seemed to really help my general fitness along.

I didn’t think the first first run would be as the same as before the break and took it really easy. I was surprised by just how much my aerobic capacity had deteriorated. For the first 10 minutes I told myself that I’d be warmed up soon and start to float along, but that just didn’t happen. After 20 minutes I was puffing and shuffling along wondering what had gone wrong. After all that hard work it felt like I was back at the beginning.

I know that all types of fitness deteriorate with age and it’s only to be expected that you lose fitness faster without exercise the older you are, but it was still a bit of an unwelcome reminder. The good news is that after a few sessions of Long Slow Distance, keeping to 60-70% of maximum heart rate, everything is coming together nicely again. I’ve also gradually reintroduced higher intensity exercise.

After the initial disappointment it’s been a real boost to find out just how quickly fitness has returned, especially as it happened without picking up any injuries or unwelcome aches and pains. For once this middle age, recreational plodder followed his own advice and took everything slowly.

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