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Going slower to go faster

I went for a run this week. That doesn’t sound too surprising given the majority shareholder subject matter of my site, even given the name of my site, however this run was special as it was marred by a preceding period of systematically undoing my fitness – a holiday, if you will.

It felt odd to pull on the old running shoes again after a break,  but I was keen to understand if I really was back to square one with my running potential. 

I’d set myself a goal of running 5km in 26:40 – the thinking behind this was that to get to my target of 21:40 it would be a straightforward task of knocking a minute off each kilometre. I could achieve this by simply running a bit faster. I wonder if the professional running coaches have picked up on this amazing insight!

The run went well. It was hard in places, but overall it went well, and I went round in my target time with reasonably consistent splits.

The biggest benefit of the run was a reminder of how important it is to do something for positive mental health. After a couple of weeks away from work I’ve felt relaxed and completely de-stressed. This stress has gradually re-emerged this week as I’ve been back in the cut and thrust of my job. Getting a break from it, even to go red-faced and wheezing around the park a few times had a massive benefit on my outlook.

While it’s important (for me at least) to have goals and set targets and to aim at continually improving fitness levels, it’s even more important to take the time out for some self-care, and a step back from a reality that never stops. 

So take that break, let the reality trundle along without you for a while; after all, there’s one thing that us runners are good at – catching up!

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