Sisters Mary Louise Ryan and Patricia Ryan at a run pre Covid-19
Tom's tips when starting out:
If you have started and gone out for a walk, run or cycle, then you have done the most important part. But now the hard part is to stay going to make that commitment to yourself to keep going.
Some of the barriers in your way will be sore feet, aches and pains self-doubt and maybe even despair. When you start any exercise it takes the body a while to adjust and it can often take a lot more work to keep the head right.
Well the first time you go out and exercise after along break, the first side effect is possibly which might be the easiest fix, a change of footwear.
Muscle aches and pains in the legs is usually the most common problem. This happens when you do more than your body is used to so if you start small and build slowly day by day, as I said the body needs time to adjust but stick with it and set yourself a ceiling start with 1 km walking building to 2 km per day, when you get to 2 km try to keep at 2 km for a week or two. It may take a few weeks to build to the 2 km. But you will get there.
If you are starting to run, the same principal applies, start small and build slowly. With running you may be able to run a kilometre at a struggle to start with and maybe walk a second one.
Someone else may be able to run 2km and that may be their starting point. Ideally 5 km per a day or 3 or 4 days a week would be your ultimate goal.
But we don’t want to rush this so take your time, enjoy the journey. Along the way lots can happen and there can be many stumbling blocks. If it was easy, would it be worth the effort?
Cycling for most people in theory is so easy because you can sit down and pedal and relax. But cycling is not all smooth sailing, and in Ireland you are never on flat roads for long, it’s all ups and downs. The road is not always as smooth as you might like.
Most people find after a good cycle that you end up walking like a cowboy with saddle sores. To be honest if you are going cycling I would recommend joining a club for back up and support.
With a club you will have someone to train with and if the club is interested in its members they will give you plenty of advice and help. Ideas on routes and route distances, advice on equipment and upgrades to bikes and where to go for any other equipment or help you may need.
Let’s get started
Believe in yourself and you will get there. There are people everywhere who are the same as you.
If you have a friend who is interested in getting fit they can be known as a training buddy and training buddies can be great, because some days you may feel like taking a break and that one day may turn into two days, then a week.
But if you have a training partner it is very hard to let them down and some days they may need your help as well. We have loads of reasons to take a day off, it’s raining, it’s too cold it’s too hot we can always find a reason to quit.
Everyone has these demons, we all have to work hard and take nothing for granted.
ANNE Barry joined Mooreabbey Milers last June. I nabbed Anne this week for a quick Q & A on her experience and thoughts so far.
Anne says the friendliness and sense of inclusivity from everyone, the encouragement and advice offered from the experienced members is what she finds helpful despite her own frustrations with her perceived lack of improvement.
I asked Anne how has the last 6 months changed her running routine.
"Being a member for just over 6 months all I can say is that I have some great work done and there's tonnes more to do.
I feel this will be achieved with the helpful guidance and inspiration too from the fit folk at Mooreabbey Milers AC."
Anne's ambitions are to perhaps achieve a full marathon but by her own admission will more realistically start easier and aim to accomplish a half marathon in the not too distant future.
Unfortunately due to our ongoing pandemic, Anne has not had the opportunity race so didn't have a favourite race or worst race/memory. However, Anne delights to tell me her best running memory in her short running career was at a virtual mini marathon in which she received the participation medallion.
Finally Anne says the one thing she can't do without for running is a decent pair of running shoes, they make the world of difference.