A run down memory lane

September 25, 2012

On Sunday I ran Friløbet: an annual 10km race through the streets of Copenhagen including a loop through Tivoli Gardens. The first time in my life I ever ran 10km was Friløbet in 2005 (which also was the first time the race took place) and the run on Sunday brought back happy memories.

I can’t remember exactly when I started running (or restarted – I had run a bit at school), but I think it was probably in 2001 or 2002 when I had a bit of an “I’m about to turn 40” crisis. I started running as the only sport flexible enough to fit in with small children/commuting/demanding job. It was the typical 30 minutes, 3 times a week, but like many, I struggled to keep up my motivation and didn’t train very consistently.  So when in spring 2005, one of the Danish newspapers started publishing a training programme in preparation for the first Friløbet I decided that, while I was 100% sure would NEVER be able to run 10km, I would try to follow the training programme. It was a revelation – I loved following the programme! Somehow I was just more motivated when I knew I had to fit specific sessions into my schedule, and the sessions were really varied (that was when I discovered I LOVE running intervals!).

So as September arrived I had followed the programme without missing a single session. This was in the days before I had a running watch so I had no idea how long or how fast I ran in training, but I decided I might as well go for it and run Friløbet. That spring, before starting the programme I had run a 5km race in 32 minutes so I figured that if I came in under 1 hour 10 minutes I would be pleased. Well friends, I ran my first 10km race in 55 minutes and 17 seconds AND I WAS HOOKED! The rest, as they say, is history!

In retrospect the breakthrough for me was finding out how motivating it is to follow a programme and I have trained from a programme ever since.  In the start I used standard programmes, but since around 2007 I have had a trainer, the fabulous Mr. Bjarke Kobberø, who makes personalised programmes for me.

It’s been a few years since I last ran Friløbet, this year my hubbie decided he wanted to try to run a 10km (he’s been running for a few years, but never more than 5km), so we both signed up. So once again Friløbet was the stage for a running breakthrough! I was a Very Proud Wife as I cheered hubbie over the finish line of his first ever 10km! Who knows where it will end in his case. He claims that he will never run a half or a whole marathon, but we’ll see!

By the way, hubbie follows the same standard training programme that I used in the beginning and which I would absolutely recommend if you are Danish speaking and want to train for 5 or 10km. It is included in a book Løbeskolen which has various programmes depending on whether you are a beginner or advanced.  That is, if you don’t go for a personal trainer, which is by far the best solution, at least if you have one as good as mine!